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Riders ask public for respect, safety at Tour de France

The Tour de France is a month away, and after the mayhem seen on the Zoncolan in the Giro d'Italia, it is only fitting that the Tour organisers, ASO, release a series of videos where riders plead with the public to respect them and protect themselves during the race.

The Giro's penultimate stage nearly saw race winner Nairo Quintana (Movistar) pushed down by an over-enthusiastic Colombian fan, and breakaway rider Francesco Bongiorno (Bardiani-CSF) pushed off balance by a spectator - the missed effort on the steepest part of the climb caused him to lose contact with eventual stage winner Michael Rogers.

In the Tour de France, there have been three spectator fatalities since 2000 - two boys were hit by vehicles during the publicity caravan, one in 2000 and another in 2002, and in 2009 a woman was struck by a police motorcycle while trying to cross the road between the breakaway and field.

However, numerous crashes and injuries have been inflicted upon the peloton by spectators standing or running too close to the riders over the years. In this video, last year's quadruple stage winner Marcel Kittel (Giant-Shimano) gives his appeal to the public. Other riders who have filmed similar videos include Tom Boonen, Chris Froome, John Degenkolb, Andy and Fränk Schleck, Joaquim Rodriguez, and Thomas Voeckler.

Last year, riders took to Twitter to wage a similar plea to the public.

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