Tour de France

Officials arrest woman who provoked stage 1 crash at Tour de France

A suspect was taken into custody near the stage 1 finish in Landerneau.

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Police arrested the woman they say caused Tony Martin (Jumbo-Visma) to crash on stage 1 of the 2021 Tour de France, media reports said.

The suspect, who held a sign in front of the peloton and provoked a high-speed crash that blocked the peloton, was taken into custody Wednesday in Landerneau, where stage 1 finished.

“The woman has been formally identified and she was taken into custody a few minutes ago,” said Camille Miansoni, the state prosecutor for the city of Brest in Brittany. “A suspect is in custody.”

The French gendarmerie in Finistère announced an investigation into the incident, citing “involuntary injuries with incapacity not exceeding three months by manifestly deliberate violation of an obligation of safety or prudence,” reports RTL.

French officials made a public request for witnesses to come forward to provide information leading to the identification and arrest of the suspect.

As a result of the crash, Jasha Sütterlin (Team DSM) was forced to abandon the stage.

If found to be responsible for causing the crash — and subsequently all the dozens of riders who were involved in the crash, to come down — the spectator could face fines of €1,500, as well as additional penalties should Sütterlin decided to pursue further legal action.

The case was of interest due to the high-profile incident in the opening stage of the Tour as well as the decision by authorities to pursue a fan, something that might be unprecedented in Tour history.

While Martin is not actively serving as a law enforcement official, social media was quick to support the German time trial specialist, who is a German police officer, in holding the spectator accountable.