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Tour de France: Spectator accidentally caused inflatable banner to collapse

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The 1km to go banner deflated ahead of the peloton on stage 7

The 1km to go banner deflated ahead of the peloton on stage 7
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Riders duck under a deflated 1km to go banner

Riders duck under a deflated 1km to go banner
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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A blow up banner comes down during the Tour of Flanders

A blow up banner comes down during the Tour of Flanders
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Adam Yates (Orica-BikeExchange) was on the attack when the 1km to go banner fell and hit him

Adam Yates (Orica-BikeExchange) was on the attack when the 1km to go banner fell and hit him
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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A gendarme helps riders go past the deflated 1km to go banner

A gendarme helps riders go past the deflated 1km to go banner
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)

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.

Media type: Twitter
Media src: https://twitter.com/VelonCC/status/751696241839443968
Media caption: The moment the inflatable final kilometre collapses and hits Adam Yates

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