Guest of The Indian Paper this Thursday, Bernard Thévenet returned to the enormous fall caused by a spectator during the first stage of the Tour de France. The former rider and two-time winner of the Grande Boucle gave advice to fans for the safety of all.
“You have to respect athletes and other spectators.” Guest of The Indian Paper this Thursday, Bernard Thévenet, former rider and double winner of the Tour de France (1975 and 1977) returned to the incident that occurred during the first stage of the 108th edition, on Saturday. He encouraged the fans present on the sides of the roads to be extra vigilant to avoid further falls, such as the one caused by a spectator in Brittany.
“Be very careful”
“We cannot do the gesture that this spectator made. It is unconsciousness, this lady did not realize that she was endangering so many people. Runners were injured and there are could have caused great damage among the spectators. The peloton is going at breakneck speed, you have to be careful “, insisted Thevenet. The spectator responsible for the heavy fall of the first stage of the Tour presented herself to the gendarmes of Landerneau (Finistère) on Wednesday, before being immediately placed in police custody. A judicial investigation had been opened against this woman of French nationality, who had seen fit to brandish a sign about fifty terminals from the finish without paying attention to the peloton.
The German Tony Martin could not avoid it and had trained several runners on the ground. Some were forced to give up. “The runners need the whole width of the road, the spectators have to be on the side. You cannot put barriers on each side of the road for 200 kilometers. Cars pass before to give safety instructions. : wear a mask, hold the children by the hand, do not encroach on the road. I take this opportunity to alert the spectators: be very careful. There was already unconsciousness when I ran. It is a tiny minority, but that can cause accidents “, underlined Thévenet, eleven Tours de France on the clock between 1970 and 1981.
“There is respect to be had”
The spectator with the sign risks a 1,500 euros fine for unintentional injuries with ITT of less than three months. Even two years in prison and a 30,000 euros fine if the notion of endangering the life of others is taken into account. “We still see spectators running next to a runner, it’s dangerous and unsportsmanlike. You have to stay on the side, which the vast majority of spectators do. Cycling is a close sport, There is respect to be had. There is no barrier between the spectator and the rider and you should never turn your back on the peloton, “Thévenet recalled on The Indian Paper.
This Thursday, the sixth stage of the Tour should end with a sprint in Châteauroux. The general classification is currently dominated by the Dutchman Mathieu van der Poel, ahead of the Slovenian Tadej Pogacar, title holder.