This year has seen an unusually large number of idiots invade sports fields or courts, although the worst that has generally resulted is a little delay. However, on the first stage of the Tour de France on Saturday, a spectator who ended up on the road caused far more chaos and influenced the outcome, triggering a massive peleton accident. Rider Tony Martin struck the sign and crashed into other cyclists, forcing many of the peleton to fall down. The fan was standing on the road, carrying a banner, and staring at the lead TV camera rather than the approaching racers. Timothy Burke has a video of how this appeared on NBCSN:
GREAT TO SEE SPECTATORS BACK INVOLVED IN SPORTS EH pic.twitter.com/Kwxj8be2Qh
— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) June 26, 2021
A massive pile-up happened when riders were traveling between Brest and Landerneau. After Jumbo Bissouma rider Tony Martin signed a supporter’s autograph, the incident began. Martin couldn’t ignore the signs, and he was obviously concerned as he neared them. Before getting off his bike and tumbling to the ground, he went directly to the cardboard message. He instantly fell into the path of the next rider, who was going to run overhead, at the age of 36. Following Martin’s collision, hundreds of cyclists crashed to the ground, resulting in one of the most dramatic crashes in Tour de France history.
It was an extremely dramatic day, for both good and bad reasons. The 1st collision, which occurred with approximately 45 kilometers to go and was caused by a fan, was terrible enough, though it happened at a very low pace. With 8 kilometers to go on a descent towards Landerneau, the second accident was genuinely terrifying: it looked that fans on the side of the road were entangled in it through no responsibility of their own, and Chris Froome was one among the many cyclists who fell hard. Froome limped across the finish line after seeking medical attention.