Tour de France: Spectator accidentally caused inflatable banner to collapse

Organisers up security after fan unwittingly causes flamme rouge to deflate

Tour de France organisers have promised to increase security after a spectator accidentally caused a crash in the closing kilometer of stage 7 when they caught their belt on a cable that helped to keep the inflatable flamme rouge upright.

The banner collapsed and crashed into Adam Yates (Orica-BikeExchange). The British climber sustained an injury to his chin that required four stitches to close, and several other cuts and bruises.

He is expected to stage 8 with the white jersey on his shoulders after the race jury awarded him the time advantage he held over the peloton before the incident.

The deflated banner also detained the majority of the bunch with the overall classification contenders rolling into the finish together.

"A spectator came too close to the structure and with his belt he caught it on the cable," ASO's Philippe Sudres told Cyclingnews, confirming the event was not an act of sabotage.

"The cable attached the generator that powered the arch, the inflatable. We know that from a witness who was there and who talked to the police. We will reinforce the security around the structure so that this doesn't happen again. In maybe ten to fifteen years something like this has never happened. It was an accident, not someone looking to break it."

The ASO keeps back-up systems in place for any such failures, but did not have time to re-inflate the banner before the peloton arrived.

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