Environmental protests disrupt Tour de France for a third time

Stage 19 to Cahors interrupted as protest in the road brings racing to a standstill

Tour de France riders stopped
(Image credit: Getty )

The Tour de France was once again interrupted this afternoon as the environmental campaigning group Dernière Rénovation temporarily brought racing to a standstill. 

Not long after the action had begun on stage 19, the breakaway riders including Matej Mohorič (Bahrain Victorious) skirted around a group of people who appeared to have encroached on the road. 

Not long after the peloton were ordered to a standstill by Tour directors as the protest was cleared from the road. 

Soon after, Dernière Rénovation claimed responsibility for the disruption.

This was the third time the group had caused disruption at the Tour de France 2022. The organisation said:  “Five citizens chained themselves to each other and glued themselves to the road, bringing the peloton to a halt for several minutes before setting off again.

"Today's action is the third in a series of disruptive actions that will continue until the government makes a credible and effective commitment to insulating buildings. It is urgent to launch a massive plan of efficient and comprehensive renovations today.” 

“While the government asks the French to make 'efforts' by 'small gestures' such as lowering the air conditioning, this law will really lower carbon emissions, will reduce energy poverty and decrease our energy dependence on Russian gas. While we regret inconveniencing this sporting event and our fellow citizens, we must hold the government to its self-set commitments.”

They added that “humanity is better than surrendering to extinction" and that there was "no more time to wait" to take action on climate change. 

Louise, a 20-year-old woman who had taken part in the protest and was involved in the action on 12 July, said:  “I'm scared. I'm afraid to go back on the road and block the Tour de France again. But I'm even more afraid of the dark future that is taking shape if the government doesn't react."

She said she was from the Landes region that has experienced wildfires in recent weeks. She said: "I've been supporting Derniere Renovation for only three weeks and I've met some great people with incredible strength who confirm the fact that I'm in the right place to express my fear of a government that is condemning my entire younger generation to death."

The actions of the group have raised questions about cycling's response to climate change and the environment crisis. Actions of the group on stage 10 drew mixed reactions amongst the peloton. Whilst some riders respected individuals rights to protest, others were less complementary about the action. 

Philippe Gilbert riding his last Tour de France said earlier in the race: “It's a bit disappointing because there are other ways to protest. I hope they will be punished in proportion to their stupidity."

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