Tour de France Stage 1: Spectator sign triggers colossal crash

Tony Martin collides with spectator sign, Tour de France Stage 1, 6/26/2021
Saturday's first stage of the 2021 Tour de France was marred by a colossal crash caused by a careless fan holding a sign too close to the road. 

It happened with less than 30 miles remaining in Stage 1.  A fan stood on the edge of the road with a sign that said "Allezopi-omi!"  From our vantage point, it appears that they were facing in one direction posing for a picture as the lead cyclists rapidly approached from the other direction.  Either they were completely unaware that the riders were approaching, or they were trying to take the photo at the exact moment that the bikers passed by.  

Regardless of the reason for the photo, things turned out badly as it turned out to be a spectacular lapse in judgement.  The fan's sign clipped German cyclist Tony Martin, taking him down and triggering a chain reaction that led to a massive crash involving dozens of riders, bringing the race to a virtual halt.  
 

Here is an aerial view of the crash and its aftermath.  What a mess.
Fortunately, most of the riders came away relatively unscathed, with only one rider, German cyclist Jasha Sutterlin, having to pull out of the race entirely.  The major damage from the crash was suffered by the bikes, as many riders had to swap out their bikes for new ones due to bent wheels, bent levers, or shattered frames.



There have been plenty of crashes at the Tour de France over the years, but this was an embarrassing mishap that was completely avoidable.  There may not be any way to discipline this fan since it was an accident, but hopefully they will be more careful in the future.  

UPDATE 6/27/21:  Organizers of the 2021 Tour de France plan on suing the fan who caused the crash.  The fan fled the scene and has yet to be found.  

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