If you can’t do the time, put down the sign.
This weekend’s pileup at the Tour de France stole headlines after a single woman’s mistake led to a catastrophic domino effect. According to the Cycling News report, the woman has officially been detained by French authorities after fleeing the scene on Saturday.
Before going from fan to fugitive, the Tour de France spectator was spotted too close to the track and holding a sign pointed at television cameras; looking in the wrong direction, with her back to the oncoming cyclists.
Lacking a base level of awareness, the 30-year-old woman’s large sign knocked out German cyclist Tony Martin, setting himself up as the tripwire for trailing competitors.
What started out as potential all-time America’s Funniest Home Videos content became a tragic scene, as photos of the aftermath showcased damage done to the cyclists and their equipment.
Rather than sticking around and offering to pick up some medical bills, the cardboard culprit fled the scene and has officially been detained by French authorities as of Wednesday. She turned herself in four days after the incident and is facing serious consequences.
Seen by many as a cheap trick to land on TV, though not in the manner she intended, the woman had been on the run since Saturday, as authorities confirmed that a fine and litigation seeking potential jail time were in store.
The scene caused an outpour of support from the cycling community, while others called out the lack of control on fans by event organizers.
During the Tour’s fourth day of action on Tuesday, a number of cyclists decided to protest, mid-race, in request for improved safety for cyclists going forward.
According to the WP report: “The flash of passing cyclists paused briefly at the start of the fourth day of the Tour de France on Tuesday as riders protested road conditions after a number of crashes marred the third stage.
“Riders, many of whom bore scrapes and bandages after those crashes Monday, stopped for a minute at the start of the 93.5-mile Stage 4 ride from Redon to Fougères, stepping off their bikes and waiting silently before resuming their ride.”
Following the accident, Tour de France deputy director Pierres-Yves Thouault sounded confident in making an example out of the sign-lady’s vanity play after all of the damage dealt to the cyclists, their equipment, and for many, their careers.
“We are doing this so that the tiny minority of people who do this don’t spoil the show for everyone,” said Thouault.
From the competition to the clink, the path forward for this fan appears to be anything but Nice.