Crashes in the Tour de France are commonplace, but a pile-up during Sunday’s Stage 15 was particularly eye-catching as a number of riders fell after a fan apparently tried to take a picture.
The incident happened around 129km from the finish line. The riders were travelling from Les Gets les Portes du Soleil to Saint-Gervais Mont-Blanc.
Eurosport commentary during live coverage of the race said a spectator had caused a rider to be put off balance.
“Someone taking a selfie on the side of the road,” said commentator Dan Lloyd. “It was one of the Jumbo riders who was clipped by them enough that he lost control … just somebody stepping too far out, trying to take a picture, clipping the riders who are hugging one side of the road to the other, and this is the consequence of that.”
“An arm came out and clipped a shoulder, and down we all came like skittles,” said Carlton Kirby on Eurosport.
The individual made contact with Sepp Kuss, according to the BBC. The Team Jumbo-Visma rider fell, causing others to follow on a narrow section of a road.
The stage resumed with all the affected riders getting back on their bikes. Meanwhile, on social media many fans were angered by the incident and some participating teams posted messages reminding spectators to keep their distance.
“If you are spectating at this amazing event, please give the riders room to race,” tweeted INEOS Grenadiers, while Team Jumbo-Visma posted: “Please be always aware when watching cycling at the side of the road.”
Team Confidis tweeted: “Please be careful, so that the party remains a party for the racers but equally for you. You don’t need a phone to create mind-blowing memories.”
S'il vous plait, faites attention. Pour que la fête reste une fête pour les coureurs mais également pour vous. Pas besoin de portable pour se créer des souvenirs plein la tête. 🙏 https://t.co/ohLJ17hWlu— Team Cofidis (@TeamCOFIDIS) July 16, 2023
Spectators lining the route of cycling’s most famous race is part of the Tour’s unique atmosphere.
In 2021, a fan stepped in front of the racing pack holding a cardboard sign, causing dozens of cyclists to crash during the Tour.