CPA joins legal action against ‘Allez Opi-Omi’ fan who caused massive crash at Tour de France
Woman holding the infamous sign faces a French court this week and could see a fine of 15,000 euros and up to one year in a French jail.
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The French spectator who caused a massive crash at the Tour de France this summer faces a French court this week.
And the CPA riders group has joined the legal action.
French media reports say the fan, who held up a sign in front of the fast-charging peloton and caused a big crash, will face charges of “endangering others” as well as “unintentional injury” in a French criminal court.
According to the French daily Ouest-France, the woman appears before a criminal court in Brest, France, on Thursday.
The newspaper reports that the woman, a local 31-year-old in the Finistère area, faces a fine of up to 15,000 euros and a possible one-year jail sentence.
‘Allez Opi-Omi’ — the sign seen around the world
The incident occurred on June 26 in stage 1 near the town of Sizun, about 45km from the finish line.
The woman held a sign up that read, “Allez Opi-Omi,” in front of the approaching peloton. Riders could not avoid her, causing Tony Martin (Jumbo-Visma) to crash and provoked a domino-effect of falling riders and crashing bikes behind him.
The woman initially went into hiding, but later turned herself in to local authorities.
The incident created headlines around the world, and resulted in several riders crashing, including Jasha Sütterlin (DSM) who abandoned that day, and later Martin.
CPA asks for symbolic fine in legal action
ASO, owners of the Tour de France, later dropped early intentions of pressing charges against the woman.
The CPA confirmed Wednesday it will be in French court this week to press its case after some 50 riders crashed as a result.
“The damage suffered by the riders is physical, moral, and economic. An athlete prepares months for a grand tour and it is not acceptable that all his hard work, that of his family, his staff, and his team should be shattered in an instant by the quest for popularity of those who should attend the event without becoming the protagonist,” said CPA president Gianni Bugno. “We are sure that the spectator did not intentionally want to harm anyone, but with her carelessness, she compromised the health and the season of more than one of our members.
“The one euro compensation we have asked for does not pay for the fracture of both arms of Marc Soler nor for the consequences suffered by Tony Martin and the other riders who ended up on the ground, but it has a symbolic value.”