Support road.cc

Like this site? Help us to make it better.

news

Placard-waving spectator who caused huge Tour de France crash arrested

Prosecutors confirm a woman has been taken into custody in Saturday's stage finish town, Landernau...

The placard-waving spectator who caused a huge crash on Saturday's opening stage of the Tour de France in Brittany has been arrested, prosecutors in Brest have confirmed. Ouest-France reports that the woman, who fled the scene of the crash which happened when she was standing on the roadside with her back to the peloton, has been taken into custody in Landernau, where the stage finished.

The crash happened with 45km remaining of the stage from Brest, with dozens of riders coming down after Jumbo-Visma’s Tony Martin, riding ahead of team-mate Primoz Roglic on the right-hand side of the peloton, hit her.

She had leant out into the road, displaying for the TV camera a message reading “Allez Opi-Omi” – the latter being the diminutives, in German, for “grandad” and “grandma.”

Since Saturday, prosecutors and the Gendarmerie in the Finistere department have been trying to ascertain the spectator’s identity, including via an appeal on Facebook.

The investigation centres upon “unintentional injuries with incapacity not exceeding three months by manifestly willful breach of an obligation of safety or caution.”

The suspect could face a fine of €1,500, however, if other parties file a complaint – something Tour de France organisers have indicated they will do – the potential fine rises to €15,000, as well as the prospect of up to 12 months in prison.

Yesterday, Ouest-France reported that the state prosecutor in Brest, Camille Miansoni, was “confident” of finding the suspect.

“Things are going well and we hope to be able to shed some light on this event within a reasonable time,” he said.

“After the witness appeal that was launched that evening, a number of eyewitness accounts were gathered.

“Obviously, they need to be collected and checked,” he continued, saying that would “take some time.”

“I can’t give any more information, but we’re confident,” he added.

A number of media outlets yesterday reported that the spectator had left France by plane – although as this article from Insider.com explains, that appears to be due to misinterpretation of running an article from Ouest-France through Google Translate.

The translation tool renders a phrase in a report from the newspaper at the weekend, which said that the woman “a pris la poudre d'escampette” – a colloquialism roughly meaning to scarper, or flee the scene – as “took flight,” hence the confusion.

Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

Add new comment

39 comments

Avatar
wtjs | 2 years ago
0 likes

There seems to have been a misunderstanding of events by a combination of 'people who don't read too good' and reporting in the hyper-junk press. The TdF organisers may have abandoned their prosecution, but the French state hasn't-as far as I can tell. I remain hopeful that they will exact some sort of retribution on behalf of the riders.

Avatar
brooksby replied to Lance ꜱtrongarm | 2 years ago
6 likes
Nigel Garrage wrote:

Common sense has prevailed: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/sportsnews/article-9745289/Tour-France...

"Common sense" ... "Daily Mail"...?  No: I can't bring myself to believe that 

Avatar
Captain Badger replied to Lance ꜱtrongarm | 2 years ago
5 likes
Nigel Garrage wrote:

Common sense has prevailed: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/sportsnews/article-9745289/Tour-France...

Common sense tells me that I don't want to click on it. What's the thrust?

Avatar
Sniffer replied to Captain Badger | 2 years ago
1 like

It is all over the other media outlets too.  Nigel knew by linking it the Daily Mail he would get a response - which he has achieved.

Now if we slide into a culture war debate he will consider his post a proper success.

Avatar
Captain Badger replied to Sniffer | 2 years ago
4 likes
Sniffer wrote:

It is all over the other media outlets too.  Nigel knew by linking it the Daily Mail he would get a response - which he has achieved.

Now if we slide into a culture war debate he will consider his post a proper success.

Hand me my pitchfork and torch! (the flaming one, if you please)

Avatar
hawkinspeter replied to Sniffer | 2 years ago
6 likes
Sniffer wrote:

It is all over the other media outlets too.  Nigel knew by linking it the Daily Mail he would get a response - which he has achieved.

Now if we slide into a culture war debate he will consider his post a proper success.

.

Avatar
brooksby replied to hawkinspeter | 2 years ago
1 like
hawkinspeter wrote:
Sniffer wrote:

It is all over the other media outlets too.  Nigel knew by linking it the Daily Mail he would get a response - which he has achieved.

Now if we slide into a culture war debate he will consider his post a proper success.

.

I love that film!!

Avatar
hawkinspeter replied to brooksby | 2 years ago
0 likes
brooksby wrote:
hawkinspeter wrote:
Sniffer wrote:

It is all over the other media outlets too.  Nigel knew by linking it the Daily Mail he would get a response - which he has achieved.

Now if we slide into a culture war debate he will consider his post a proper success.

.

I love that film!!

They installed a Galaga machine for Matthew Broderick so that he could get gud before filming and the Professor Falken character was inspired by Stephen Hawking

Avatar
PRSboy replied to Lance ꜱtrongarm | 2 years ago
0 likes

Seems Geraint Thomas agrees with you!

Avatar
Sriracha replied to Lance ꜱtrongarm | 2 years ago
0 likes

maybe they just found out she was a Frog rather than a foreigner, so they backpedalled.

Avatar
wtjs | 2 years ago
0 likes

Repeating myself: here, the police and other authorities would already be describing it as a prank and her as a prankster who never imagined a large placard could cause any harm to a large group cycling past at 50 kph, cyclists only centimetres apart

Avatar
Sriracha replied to wtjs | 2 years ago
3 likes

Not really. Things that went awry may often have been a prank, before things unravelled. But to cry prank there has to be some hint of an element of mischief or practical jokery, even if swamped by sheer stupidity in the execution. This had none of those elements.

Avatar
the little onion replied to Sriracha | 2 years ago
5 likes

I think it is a reference to the fact that in the UK, anti-cyclist violence, particularly putting wire and other traps on cycle paths, is routinely described by police as a "prank", rather than an act of violence

Avatar
Sriracha replied to the little onion | 2 years ago
2 likes

I realise that, but this incident in no way fits that pattern, so the comment struck me as misplaced.

Avatar
wtjs | 2 years ago
0 likes

The French police do have a reputation for tough prosecuting (the big cycling drug scandals, for instance) whereas in the UK she would just have to say she 'didn't mean to do it' and she'd be on her way home with terrifying 'words of advice'.

Avatar
AlsoSomniloquism replied to wtjs | 2 years ago
4 likes

They do come down tough for disruption of the Tour is probably a more correct interpretation. 

Avatar
brooksby replied to wtjs | 2 years ago
1 like

Isn't the problem here that she probably genuinely didn't mean to do it?

I don't imagine that the Man (or Woman) on the Clapham Omnibus would on purpose hold out a sign, or do anything else, to cause a huge crash in a major sporting event.  I don't honestly believe that she did, either.

So, prosecution would (IMO) have to be for some sort of "careless behaviour".

(But, c'est la Tour, and they will come down on her like a tonne of bricks...)

Avatar
Hirsute replied to brooksby | 2 years ago
4 likes

Isn't that what your children say when they are kicking a ball around in the lounge?!

Have to say it looks like she may end up with an excessive punishment though.

Avatar
wycombewheeler replied to brooksby | 2 years ago
0 likes
brooksby wrote:

Isn't the problem here that she probably genuinely didn't mean to do it?

I don't imagine that the Man (or Woman) on the Clapham Omnibus would on purpose hold out a sign, or do anything else, to cause a huge crash in a major sporting event.  I don't honestly believe that she did, either.

So, prosecution would (IMO) have to be for some sort of "careless behaviour".

(But, c'est la Tour, and they will come down on her like a tonne of bricks...)

the potential offence is listed in the report

Quote:

The investigation centres upon “unintentional injuries with incapacity not exceeding three months by manifestly willful breach of an obligation of safety or caution.”

Avatar
Rick_Rude replied to brooksby | 2 years ago
9 likes

I've been punished by the magistrates court for a couple of driving offences I 'didn't mean' to do but shit still happened and I did wrong. There needs to be something out of this even if it's a token penalty and a fine. 

Also just for japes, if you can dare look, go to the daily mail and you'll see the comment with most likes suggests the cyclists was also to blame.......

Avatar
Sriracha replied to Rick_Rude | 2 years ago
8 likes
Rick_Rude wrote:

Also just for japes, if you can dare look, go to the daily mail and you'll see the comment with most likes suggests the cyclists was also to blame.......

I don't dare look! Let me guess; the cyclist was reckless with regards to his speed, should have used his bell, was on the wrong side of the road, ignored the fact that the pedestrian is the vulnerable road user here, hadn't paid road tax, and was dressed like he was in the bloody Tour de France?!

Edit - this one beats the lot:
"If they had ridden single file it wouldn't have happened. Why I hate cyclists."

Avatar
Hirsute replied to Sriracha | 2 years ago
2 likes

I was going to look for you but at the time of posting, there are

7546 comments !!

(comments are now closed)

"Grown men in spandex riding 10 speed bicycles is kind of ..Well you know."

"These cyclists must be blind or arrogant -it looks to me like he saw her and just deliberately cycled into her . If i was her i would sue him for assault."

"Unless the highway code was suspended which is unlikely then the onus remains with the road user to maintain a safe braking distance, pedestrians and rabbits or potholes may cause a driver to brake, that is why there must always be adequate braking distance, these bike riders broke the highway code with intent. They should be herded into a court of law for their gross negligence.. and punished. Thankyou..."

"So let me see if I've got this right, every motorist has spent hours stuck behind some Lycra lout hogging the road, causing traffic jams and frustration, BUT when a piece of paper gets in their way, they blame an innocent women and her piece of paper. So arrogant"

"You idiots that would like to crucify this woman that was there cheering on her team did not mean to cause this. But the cyclist that had plenty of room to move enough to at the least reduce the impact instead decided to teach her a lesson is partially to blame. That is plain. It was an accident. She didn't run into the street. But the decision the cyclist made was NOT an accident."

Can't be bothered with reading any more inanity.

Avatar
hmas1974 replied to Hirsute | 2 years ago
7 likes

UK. No longer the sick man of Europe. Now the thick man of Europe.

Avatar
AlsoSomniloquism replied to Hirsute | 2 years ago
0 likes

I sincerely hope that some of those are ironic humour but considering the source....

Avatar
Captain Badger replied to AlsoSomniloquism | 2 years ago
0 likes
AlsoSomniloquism wrote:

I sincerely hope that some of those are ironic humour but considering the source....

Something that DM fans are well known for.....

Avatar
giff77 replied to Hirsute | 2 years ago
0 likes

There were some absolute stouters on the thread. Thanks be managed to erase most of them free m my memory. I might go back though to have a giggle at some of the poorly thought through rants. 

Avatar
srchar replied to Hirsute | 2 years ago
0 likes

At least half of those just have to be parody. I know it's getting hard to tell.

Avatar
Hirsute replied to srchar | 2 years ago
0 likes

I thought the third one could have been written by one of the residents wums on here. There is so much bile about cyclists that as you say it is hard to tell.

Avatar
Captain Badger replied to Hirsute | 2 years ago
2 likes
hirsute wrote:

I was going to look for you but at the time of posting, there are

7546 comments !!

(comments are now closed)

......

Fack me, even the DM moderators had had enough.....

Avatar
wycombewheeler replied to Hirsute | 2 years ago
0 likes
hirsute wrote:

I was going to look for you but at the time of posting, there are

7546 comments !!

"Unless the highway code was suspended which is unlikely then the onus remains with the road user to maintain a safe braking distance, pedestrians and rabbits or potholes may cause a driver to brake, that is why there must always be adequate braking distance, these bike riders broke the highway code with intent. They should be herded into a court of law for their gross negligence.. and punished. Thankyou..."

LOL at this one, guess their mind would be completely blown seeing cyclists use both sides of the road, and not stopping at any stop line or red light.

Do they even realise that the entire world does not follow the "highway code"?

Pages

Latest Comments