Movistar have called on Tour de France spectators to abide by rules on mask-wearing and social distancing, after a photo widely shared on social media appears to show a number of fans getting up close to their rider Marc Soler, with masks either fitted incorrectly or not being worn at all.
Tour de France Stage 8: Nans Peters takes solo win, Adam Yates clings onto yellow
Yesterday's 140km stage hit the Pyrenees, and was perhaps the first occasion in which the fans' behaviour - and the organisers' ability to manage it - was truly tested, with large sections of mountainous road allowing spectators to roam freely as riders battled their way up the Col de Mente, the Port de Balès and the Col de Peyresourde. While television footage and photos can sometimes distort things, the alleged lack of social distancing didn't go unnoticed by some road.cc readers on yesterday's stage report and on social media. Some noted that there were far more spectators than expected who did not appear to be keeping a distance between themselves or the riders.
This frustration is summed up in the tweet from Movistar, with the photo they shared showing a number of maskless fans (you'll also notice our lead image shows at least two not wearing masks as Adam Yates rides by). Chris Boardman added that there's a very real danger of there being "nothing to watch" if incidents such as the one above continue, and André Greipel of Israel Start-Up Nation said this morning that riders have made "big sacrifices" to get to the start line.
On social media, most of the anger appears to be directed at the roadside fans who are failing to abide by the rules, while others are critical of the Tour's organisers ASO and local police for a lack of enforcement. Even so, the French Prime Minister Jean Castex declared that he was satisfied with fan behaviour on Stage 8, telling ITV: "We are prudent, but life goes on. The Tour is happening, the party continues.
"That is our line of conduct and I'm very happy with what I have seen this afternoon in my beautiful Pyrenees."
Clearly there is only so many miles of road the organisers are able to place physical barriers between riders and spectators; and the rest of us are simply hoping that the worrying scenes won't lead to teams having to leave the Tour, or the whole event being called off altogether before it reaches Paris.
I don't know of any premise of a societal shift in attitude towards modern riders of going soft. This just feels like another of the media's habit...
The message from the UN is clear: Murdered-out SUV = one of us Bakfiets fitted with child seats = suspicious
Or a fat bike.
At least we now know what to do if an example of bad driving coincides with a royal visit to your local area. Just tell the police that you thought...
life's too short, use rock and roll gold, get a shimano chain checker, the rest don't work correctly, and change when needed.
Ah, the beautiful poetry of Britney Spears, sounding like an advert for domestic violence.
Guessing because they're thick as mince and thought the brake rotor has to come off before you can get the motor out. Hope Anna gets back on the...
Shimano is Japanese not Taiwanese.
Gave the finger first - so his ensuing action was more likely pre-meditated than merely "careless". And I wonder what effort will go into...
The most runtime I ever had from a GoPro was around 1h 40m (gave up on GoPro years ago as a safety cam, swapping batteries & cards mid ride was...