Tour de France fan who caused pile-up play is fine
Brest (France) (AFP) – The spectator behind one of the biggest pilings in Tour de France history was fined Thursday for the incident at this year’s event in which dozens of riders were injured.
A court in Brest, western France, sentenced the 31-year-old Frenchwoman, whose identity was withheld after being the target of a torrent of online abuse, to a fine of 1,200 euros ($ 1,350).
She was also ordered to pay a symbolic euro to the French association of professional cyclists UNCP, plaintiff at the trial.
Prosecutors had requested a four-month suspended prison sentence for endangering life and unintentional injuries.
Prosecutor Solenn Briand admitted that she recognized “how dangerous her driving had been” and expressed her regret.
She herself told the court that she was ashamed of her “stupidity”.
The woman, who has no criminal record, attended the opening stage of the Tour on June 26 in an attempt to have a sign noticed by television cameras.
It read “Go, Opi-Omi”, the German terms for “grandfather and granny”, a nod to his German-speaking grandparents who are fans of the race.
But she came out too far ahead of the tight peloton as it sped along a narrow road towards the finish in Landerneau in western France.
German runner Tony Martin couldn’t avoid hitting her and fell, forcing dozens of runners to crash as others swerved into the crowd of spectators.
Video footage of the collision and scenes of medics dealing with stunned or grimacing victims sparked outrage from fans and race organizers, especially when they realized the woman had fled the scene instead of stay to help.
She remained in hiding for four days before surrendering to the police.
Several riders had to withdraw from the race, including the Spaniard Marc Soler, who broke both arms.
The woman’s lawyer, Julien Bradmetz, said her client had “a fragile personality for many years”.
Christian Prudhomme, director of the Tour, adopted a conciliatory position.
“She did something stupid, she’s not a terrorist. We just want people to be careful when they come to the Tour and remember that they are there to see the champions and not to be on TV. “he told reporters in October.
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