WATCH: Spectator at Tour de France causes massive crash after holding sign in path of oncoming cyclists

Nation and World

Cyclists during the first stage of the Tour de France lie on the ground following a crash during the first day of the race. (Ann-Christine Poujoulat/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)

(NEXSTAR) – The group that organizes the Tour de France is filing a complaint against a spectator who caused a massive crash during the first day of the race.

The spectator, who reportedly fled after the crash, had been holding up a sign reading “Allez Opi-Omi!” (loosely translated as “Go Grandpa-Grandpa”) approximately 45 kilometers from the Stage 1 finish line, Sports Illustrated reported.

In footage of the incident, she can be seen facing away from the oncoming bikes, extending the sign into the road just as German cyclist Tony Martin approaches. Martin hits the sign and crashes to the ground, causing a pile-up involving dozens of other cyclists.

Photos from the aftermath show several of the cyclists battered, bruised and requiring medical attention.

The official Twitter account of the Tour de France later called out the spectator, albeit indirectly, on social media.

“We’re glad to have the public on the side of the road on the #TDF2021,” the post read. “But for the Tour to be a success, respect the safety of the riders! Don’t risk everything for a photo or to get on television!”

Cycling accident Tour de France
Cyril Lemoine of France is helped by medical personnel after becoming involved in a crash on the first day of the Tour de France. (Anne-Christine Poujoulat/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)

Christian Prudhomme, director of the Tour de France, later told news outlet Ouest-France that the Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO), which organizes the race, was filing a complaint against the spectator, who was not publicly identified. The outlet further reported that she fled the scene after the accident.

Fans of the Tour de France, meanwhile, have called Saturday’s crash the worst ever seen at the race.

“Allez Opi-Omi… shame on you!” wrote one Twitter user, alongside a photo of the cyclists piled up in the roadway.

The massive accident was only one of two crashes that occurred on the first day of the race. The other, involving dozens of cyclists, took place nearer the finish line, NBC Sports reported.

Despite the accidents, cyclist Julian Alaphilippe of France — who was reportedly involved in the first crash — ended up winning Stage 1 of the race. Stages 2 through 21 will take place daily over the coming weeks, excluding two scheduled rest days.

This year’s race will cover a total of just over 3,414 kilometers, or 2,121 miles, before concluding on July 18.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Latest News

More News