Tour peloton to observe a minutes silence in Pontarlier

The peloton all together

The peloton all together (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

The Tour de France peloton will observe a moment of silence on Sunday to honour the memory of a spectator who died after being struck by a police motorcycle during Saturday's stage. The race will pause in Pontarlier before the start of stage 15 to Verbier.

"Deeply affected by this tragic accident, the Gendarmerie, the Garde Republicain and the Tour de France organization offer their condolences to the families and friends of the victim and promise their full support to those who were injured," read a statement on the Tour de France website.

An initial investigation into the accident was carried out on Saturday by the French national police. The Gendarmerie reported that the accident occurred 38km into stage 14 from Colmar to Besançon as the 61-year-old woman attempted to cross the road after the breakaway group had passed. The motorcycle, being ridden by a member of the Garde Republicain escorting the break, slid further down the road after the crash, injuring two other spectators.

The Tour de France medical service began treating those involved in the accident before emergency personnel arrived at the scene. Despite the best efforts of the attending medical staff the woman initially hit died as a result of her injuries.

The two other spectators injured in the accident, a 36-year-old and 61-year-old, were transported to a hospital in Mulhouse.

"[I wish to express] the immense sadness of the Tour de France" said Race Director Christian Prudhomme to L'Equipe. "Safety [was] the first concern the organizers of the Tour de France. Since the last fatal accident in 2002, many measurements have been taken".

In 2002 a seven-year-old boy died after being hit by a vehicle in the Tour's publicity caravan on stage 10 of that year's race.

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