The woman who caused a crash during Saturday’s stage of the Tour de France has been arrested, according to a French TV report.
The spectator disrupted the men’s bicycle race during the first leg of the three-week event when she stepped onto the road to get her sign, which had a supportive message to her grandparents, on TV. The woman’s sign stuck out too far into the road, and German cyclist Tony Martin hit it and fell, causing a chain reaction of riders and spectators crashing.
According to BFMTV, a French news station, the woman was arrested on Wednesday in Finistère, in northwest France, not far from where the crash occurred. Her name was not release.
She has reportedly been charged with causing unintentional injuries, endangering the lives of others and could be fined 1,500 euros (roughly $1,778).
The crash, and two subsequent crashes not caused by spectators, led to a protest by riders during Stage 4 as well as an outburst by Marc Madiot, a sports director for one of the cycling teams at the race, calling for safer conditions before a rider dies in a collision. A Tour de France rider last died during the 1995 race when Italian Fabio Casartelli crashed while descending through a mountain pass.
Authorities had previously feared the woman had fled the country. The Tour de France organizers have already announced plans to sue the woman for disrupting the race. Marc Soler, a Spanish cyclist who dropped out of the race after sustaining injuries in the crash, including fractures to both arms, is also weighing whether or not to file a complaint against the woman.
German rider Jasha Sutterlin also was forced to abandon the race.
After the Tour de France’s official Twitter account posted a message to spectators.
“We’re glad to have the public on the side of the road on the #TDF2021,” it began. “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!”
The tour runs through July 18.
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Team B&B KTM's Bryan Coquard of France, right, and a Team Alpecin Fenix' rider lie on the ground after crashing during the first stage of the 108th edition of the Tour de France cycling race, 197 km between Brest and Landerneau, on Saturday, June 26, 2021. (Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP/Getty Images/TNS)