The 31-year-old woman who caused a massive crash at the Tour de France in June has been handed a four-month suspended prison sentence after a brief trial in Brest.
The woman from Brittany, who has not been named in order to protect her identity, stepped into the road with a sign saying ‘Allez, Opi-Omi’, looking into the TV cameras ahead – the phrases opi and omi are informal German terms for grandfather and grandmother.
Yet cyclist Tony Martin had nowhere to go as he slammed into the fan’s arm and fell hard onto the asphalt, before the German’s team-mates and competitors piled in behind with more than 20 riders hitting the deck.
She originally was in hiding for four days before giving herself up to police and now in court she was charged with endangering lives and causing unintentional injuries.
The woman felt ashamed of her ‘stupidity’ while her legal team focused on the online abuse that followed, which had ‘terrified’ her.
‘I am ashamed,’ the woman said. ‘I am a quiet person. Everything that has happened is the opposite of who I am.
The 31-year-old woman who caused a massive crash at the Tour de France in June has been handed a four-month suspended prison sentence
Tony Martin had nowhere to go when the supporter stepped out, looking at the TV cameras
Martin was the man brought down initially and was left with some road rash on his left side
A lawyer representing the riders’ association (CPA) said they hoped the sentence would serve as a signal of the seriousness of her actions.
‘The public is key to cycling races, it must remain that way, but it must be done with respect for the physical integrity of the riders,’ the lawyer said.
‘This case is representative of what can happen with people who want to take centre-stage themselves with pictures, videos. It has to be done with a minimum of common sense and this was not the case there.’
Julian Alaphilippe, who went on to win the stage, was brought down in the crash, alongside Belgian superstar Wout van Aert and Peter Sagan.
Team DSM’s Jasha Sutterlin was forced to abandon the race due to his injuries.
Rogue spectators interfering with the riders are a rare sight, particularly at Le Tour, and the crash was one of the most shocking in the race’s recent memory.
Julian Alaphilippe, who came down in the crash, remounted and went on to take victory