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Tour de France organisers withdraw lawsuit against spectator who caused mass crash

A spectator holding a sign sparked a massive crash on stage 1 of the Tour de France
(Image credit: NBC Sports/ASO Broadcast)

Tour de France organisers ASO have reportedly withdrawn their lawsuit against the woman who caused the mass crash on stage 1 of the race.

The woman, who was arrested by police in Brittany on Wednesday, was stood in the road holding a cardboard sign towards the end of Saturday's opener from Brest to Landerneau.

With Jumbo-Visma rider Tony Martin unable to take avoiding action, the German piled into the woman, sparking a mass pile-up.

Reuters reported ahead of Thursday's stage 6 that ASO will not take legal action against the 30-year-old woman, with race director Christian Prudhomme confirming the move.

"We are withdrawing our complaint. The story has been blown out of proportion but we wish to remind everyone of the safety rules on the race."

"If you come to the Tour, you hold your child, you hold your pet and don’t cross the road carelessly. And above all, you respect the riders – they’re the ones worthy of live television."

Race deputy director Pierre-Yves Thouault had stated after the opening stage that ASO would sue the woman, saying, "We are suing this woman who behaved so badly. We are doing this so that the tiny minority of people who do this don't spoil the show for everyone."

Following her arrest, she faces charges of 'involuntarily causing injury' and a €1,500 fine for her role in causing the crash, which saw DSM rider Jasha Sütterlin abandon the race with a hand injury and Movistar's Marc Soler leave the race later on after suffering fractures to both elbows and a wrist.

Eight other riders were seen by the race doctor and numerous others suffered minor injuries.

Soler said on Wednesday that he was considering legal action against the woman.
"I don't know what to do. I'm thinking of taking the spectator to court because that's an entire Tour canned and I feel very angry," he told La Vanguardia newspaper.