PARIS – Brittany’s gendarmes on Wednesday arrested a fan involved in a massive Tour de France pileup on the opening leg of the world’s largest cycling event, local media reported.
The fan held up a large cardboard sign while leaning in the path of oncoming runners. She seemed to be looking the other way, apparently towards a camera, and not towards the approaching platoon.
The woman, not publicly identified, was arrested by Finistère gendarmes who found her on the basis of “solid” testimonies from people interviewed this week, France Bleu Finistère said, citing a source close to the investigation. Investigators have spoken to dozens of people since Saturday’s incident, the local radio station said.
The tour organizers announced after the crash on the Brest scene in Landerneau that they would take legal action against the fan, who disappeared from the crash scene. She had leaned in the path of veteran Tony Martin, who fell off his bike and dragged dozens of others in his wake. German rider Jasha Sutterlin was forced to abandon the race.
The Landerneau gendarmerie, east of Brest, called for witnesses shortly after the pile-up. He declined to comment on the reported arrest.
Lovers of gatherings along the roads and in villages where runners pass are part of the tradition and charm of the Tour. But the woman in question leaned on the path of the cyclists with her sign saying “Go Opi-Omi”, a mixture of terms of affection in French and German for the grandparents – “Go grandfather-grand -mother”.