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Selfie-taking spectator causes huge crash at Tour de France

Jumbo-Visma’s Sepp Kuss appeared to collide with the fan’s phone, sparking the pile-up

A day after a mass crash at the Tour de France caused the stage to be briefly neutralised while injured riders were treated by medical staff, another huge pile-up dominated the opening kilometres of today’s stage 15 to Saint-Gervais, caused – it appears – by a spectator leaning into the road to take a photo.

The crash, which took place with around 125km remaining in today’s mountainous stage, saw Jumbo-Visma’s Sepp Kuss appear to collide with the outstretched arm of a spectator on the side of the road.

The fan, it seems, was taking a selfie of the passing bunch, before quickly turning – arm outstretched – into the path of the 28-year-old American, an important cog in Jonas Vingegaard’s attempt to retain his Tour de France title and sitting in sixth place on GC himself, who hit the deck heavily after being clipped.

The resulting pile-up also saw Kuss’s teammate Nathan Van Hooydonck affected, while 2019 Tour winner Egan Bernal and Eritrean sensation Biniam Girmay also crashed. The incident brought an abrupt end to the until-then desperate fight to establish the breakaway, with the peloton immediately slowing to allow those impacted by the crash to regain contact.

> Tour de France spectator who caused 'Allez Opi-Omi' crash fined €1,200

The spectator-caused crash brought to mind the infamous incident from the opening stage of the 2021 Tour, when a fan brandishing a sign emblazoned with ‘Allez Opi-Omi’, and looking in the opposite direction, clipped Jumbo-Visma’s Tony Martin, causing a mass pile-up.

The spectator was later charged with “endangering others by manifestly deliberate violation of a regulatory obligation of safety and prudence,” causing “involuntary injuries, with incapacity not exceeding three months.” She was fined €1,200 by a French court and ordered to pay a symbolic €1 to the French Cycling Union.

“This is another crash caused by a spectator not paying attention,” Jens Voigt, reporting on the race from the back of a motorbike for GCN-Eurosport, said in the wake of today’s pile-up. “Dear spectators, every centimetre of the road is the office of the riders. Don’t step into their office, respect the riders. Enjoy the spectacle, but don’t try to be part of the spectacle. The riders are the show.

“As a spectator, show a little bit of love, respect, and understanding. Do not step on the road, not even a little bit. Leave the road to the riders.”

> Spectators cause two crashes in two days at Tour de France, Steff Cras forced to leave and blasts them saying "you have no respect"

Today’s crash isn’t the first time at this year’s Tour that fans encroaching onto the road have caused riders to fall.

During stage 11’s sprint finish, Bora-Hansgrohe’s Jordi Meeus was struck on the shoulder by a fan leaning over the barriers to attempt to film the race on their phone, while TotalEnergies’ Steff Cras was forced to abandon the race a day later due to what he claimed was a crash caused by fans spilling onto the road.

“When a spectator steps more than one metre up the road and doesn’t move when the peloton arrives, than you better stay home. You have no respect for the riders. I hope you feel really guilty! I have to leave Le Tour because of you,” the Belgian wrote on Twitter following his abandon.

Then, on stage 13, Lilian Calmejane was brought down by a homemade washing line of cycling tops in tribute to French hero Raymond Poulidor, held together by two flimsy poles, which snapped and fell into his path.

> Tour de France stage neutralised after mass crash in opening kilometres

This latest incident comes just a day after a mass crash which brought down at least 20 riders, including British champion Fred Wright and third-placed Jai Hindley, and saw South African climber Louis Meintjes and Movistar rider Antonio Pedrero abandon the race, caused the Tour to be neutralised for around 20 minutes as the race’s medical staff attended to the stricken riders.

Ryan joined in December 2021 and since then has kept the site’s readers and listeners informed and enthralled (well at least occasionally) on news, the live blog, and the Podcast. After boarding a wrong bus at the world championships and ruining a good pair of jeans at the cyclocross, he now serves as’s senior news writer. Before his foray into cycling journalism, he wallowed in the equally pitiless world of academia, where he wrote a book about Victorian politics and droned on about cycling and bikes to classes of bored students (while taking every chance he could get to talk about cycling in print or on the radio). He can be found riding his bike very slowly around the narrow, scenic country lanes of Co. Down.

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Shades | 9 months ago

Problem is is that the only camera any one has is their phone; people are going to lean out to frame the shot.  I watched on a Cat 2 climb a few years back and everyone was very well behaved.  Stood on the outside of a corner and used an SLR with a big zoom lens to catch some great shots of the lead group as they approached.  Had someone else with a GoPro on a pole to get above the heads of other spectators.  You've waited for literally hours to see the riders and it's over in a flash, so don't watch it through your phone camera.

wtjs | 9 months ago

The least we can do is hope the phone was irrevocably smashed- it appears from the scenes shown around non-barriered areas that Continental morons are as bad as ours

Vo2Maxi | 9 months ago

All we can hope for is that these careless narcissists get publicly exposed and ridiculed on social media. And yes, prosecution in extreme cases.
I've been spectating roadside at races where I've politely told someone their behaviour is likely to cause a huge crash, and they look at me like I'm stupid. If I was ever in a situation where I was stood next to someone who did so, I'd be sure to call them out and make sure everybody knew it was them.

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