Tour de France rider causes hotel fire alert after leaving towel on radiator

Towel left unattended by Tour de France rider on a radiator causes smoke as Dordogne hotel is partially evacuated as a fire precaution

Elie Gesbert, Tour de France 2017.
(Image credit: Yuzuru Sunada)

A towel left by a Tour de France rider on a hotel's hot electric radiator led to a hotel in Boulazac to be partially evacuated.

France Bleu Périgord reports that the incident happened on Monday – the 2017 Tour's first rest day – at the Hôtel Campanile used by the French-based Fortuneo-Oscaro team.

Elie Gesbert – the youngest rider in the 2017 Tour de France at 22 years old – reportedly placed a towel on the electric radiator to dry it off, then left for lunch leaving it on at around 2pm local time.

>>> Tour de France 2017: Latest news, reports and race info

Apparently, Gesbert thought that he had switched the light off, but had inadvertently turned the radiator on instead.

The towel subsequently heated up to such an extent that it started to smoulder and produce smoke, which triggered hotel staff to take action.

The hotel was partially evacuated as the situation was quickly brought under control and there were no injuries as a result.

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The following day, Gesbert put himself into a two-man escape group alongside Yoann Offredo (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) on Tuesday's stage 10, prompting his team to joke on Twitter: "Today, @ElieGesbert sets fire to the race".

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Nigel Wynn
Former Associate Editor

Nigel Wynn worked as associate editor on, he worked almost single-handedly on the Cycling Weekly website in its early days. His passion for cycling, his writing and his creativity, as well as his hard work and dedication, were the original driving force behind the website’s success. Without him, would certainly not exist on the size and scale that it enjoys today. Nigel sadly passed away, following a brave battle with a cancer-related illness, in 2018. He was a highly valued colleague, and more importantly, n exceptional person to work with - his presence is sorely missed.