On Saturday, pandemonium erupted on France’s cycling routes when a major accident occurred during Stage 1 of the Tour de France. A spectator extended their banner a bit too far into the track and tripped rider Tony Martin, resulting in a swarm of bikes and people piling up.
Along with Martin, the whole Jumbo Visma crew perished, as did dozens and dozens of others. The fan who caused the accident was carrying a banner that said ‘Allez Opi-Omi!’ in black marker, which was a hello message to the fan’s grandparents.
On Saturday’s Tour de France stage one, the two major incidents claimed the lives of many riders, one of the incidents was triggered by a supporter putting out a placard too far into the road.
According to cyclingnews.com, both accidents happened within the race’s last hour, with the first occurrence with only 27 miles left.
Several videos shared on the internet showed a fan holding a cardboard sign on the side of the road when it was collided with by a cyclist in the race, resulting in a huge pileup.
Jumbo-Visma, the riding team of the Dutch, was one of the worst-hit by the accident. According to the investigation, Tony Martin, the cyclist, made contact with the spectator’s placard.
A second accident occurred shortly thereafter, with less than six miles remaining, as per Eurosport.
The degree of the injuries was unknown at the time. Martin had a road rash in the first collision but was able to continue the race, while Jasha Sutterlin of Germany was forced to retire.
Julian Alaphilippe, the world champion, overcame the day’s turmoil to win the initial stage.
Christian Prudhomme, Tour de France director, informed us on Saturday evening that ASO, the race’s organizer, had filed a complaint against this spectator. However, immediately after the event, a foreign citizen, most likely German, took to the sky. For the time being, he remains untraceable.