French police using Facebook to track down fan who caused Tour de France crash

Authorities are searching for the fan who stepped into the path of the peloton on the opening stage of the 2021 Tour

Police are searching for this spectator at the Tour de France
(Image credit: Gendarmerie de Finistére/ASO)

French police are searching for the spectator who caused a huge crash on stage one of the Tour de France

The authorities are believed to be using Facebook to track down the fan, who caused a major pile-up when she stepped in front of Jumbo-Visma’s Tony Martin while trying to get her placard television during the opening stage.

Officers from Gendarmerie du Finistère have shared an appeal on Facebook urging anyone with information to come forward. 

A statement on the force’s Facebook page, released on Sunday (June 27), said: “In the framework of an accident on 26/06/21 on the RD30 municipality of St Cadou , during the first stage of Tour de France 2021, a judicial investigation is opened for ‘involuntary injuries by deliberate breach of an obligation of safety or caution’.

“The spectator causing this accident left the scene before the investigators arrived. She was wearing glasses and dressed in blue jeans, red and white stripe sweater, yellow jacket (waxed). She holds a sign supporting the inscription ′’ALLEZ OPI-IMO!’

“Anyone with information is kindly asked to call the Finistère Gendarmerie Operational Centre.” 

According to a report in French newspaper L’Equipe, police are now seeking the fan who could face one year in prison and a €15,000 (£12,800).

The incident, which happened with around 45km remaining of stage one from Brest to Landerneau in Brittany, caused a huge stir both inside and outside of cycling.

TV images from the crash showed the spectator leaning into the road in the path of the peloton while trying to get in front of broadcast camera.

The spectator put herself in the path of the Jumbo-Visma train at the right-hand side of the road, with Tony Martin unable to avoid her.

As Martin went down, the crash caused a chain reaction in the peloton with dozens of riders hitting the tarmac.

Amongst the chaos, one rider was forced to abandon the 2021 Tour, as Jasha Sütterlin (Team DSM) became the first rider to abandon this year’s race. 

Tour de France organiser ASO has also said it plans to take legal action against the spectator. 

Deputy director of the Tour Pierre-Yves Thoualt told AFP news agency: “We are suing this woman who behaved so badly.

“We are doing this so that the tiny minority of people who do this don’t spoil the show for everyone.” 

>>> Tour de France: Who's out after stage two of the 2021 race?

The opening stage of the Tour de France saw thousands of fans gather at the side of the road to enjoy the racing, as the easing of lockdown restrictions allowed spectators to watch the racing live. 

A Twitter statement from the Tour organisers said: ‘We’re glad to have the public on the side of the road on the Tour de France 2021, 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.”