The Tour de France stage 15 took a flip for the more serious when a spectator making an attempt to take a selfie precipitated a large crash involving roughly 20 riders. Regardless of the unlucky incident, Dutch bicycle owner Wout Poels claimed victory on the stage, whereas defending champion Jonas Vingegaard maintained his 10-second lead over Tadej Pogacar.
The crash occurred when a fan prolonged their telephone in direction of the riders, inadvertently knocking the handlebars of Sepp Kuss, a teammate of Vingegaard from Staff Jumbo-Visma. Kuss misplaced management of his bike and went down together with teammate Nathan van Hooydonck, subsequently bringing down a good portion of the peloton. Surprisingly, all of the riders concerned within the crash managed to finish the 179km stage from Les Will get les Portes du Soleil to Saint-Gervais Mont-Blanc.
Reflecting on the incident, Kuss acknowledged, “There was a narrowing within the city and a spectator within the highway, and I suppose he simply clipped my handlebars. Fortunately I am OK, and hopefully, the opposite guys within the crash are all proper. It isn’t supreme.” Kuss attributed the mishap to fatigue, acknowledging the demanding nature of the race and the resultant lower in alertness amongst riders, coupled with unforeseeable circumstances.
Following the crash, the Tour de France’s official Twitter account launched a slow-motion video displaying a rider narrowly evading a spectator’s outstretched arm, accompanied by a message urging everybody to concentrate to the protection of the riders. Groups similar to Jumbo-Visma, Confidis, and Ineos Grenadiers additionally pressured the significance of warning and offering adequate area for cyclists.
This incident involving a spectator ranks among the many worst within the historical past of the Tour de France. An identical episode occurred in 2021 when a spectator holding an indication precipitated a large pile-up throughout the first stage. A number of riders had been injured, resulting in withdrawals from the race. In response, Tour director Christian Prudhomme emphasised the necessity for spectators to prioritize the riders’ security over in search of private consideration.
Whereas such incidents increase considerations, additionally they underscore the need of implementing extra measures to make sure the protection of the riders. The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) launched the SafeR initiative simply earlier than this yr’s Tour, which goals to reinforce security assessments throughout high-speed descents and enhance crowd administration. Nevertheless, the character of highway biking, which entails shut interactions between followers and riders, presents ongoing challenges that require continued vigilance.
When it comes to the race itself, Wout Poels celebrated his first-ever stage victory in a Grand Tour. Representing Staff Bahrain Victorious, Poels crossed the end line a outstanding two minutes and eight seconds forward of Wout van Aert, with Mathieu Burgaudeau securing the third spot. Vingegaard, accompanied by Pogacar, completed the stage six minutes and 4 seconds behind Poels, efficiently sustaining his total lead.
After a relaxation day on Monday, the Tour de France will resume with a 22.4km time trial from Passy to Combloux on Tuesday.