Tour de France drops lawsuit against fan who caused crash

The spectator was in custody at a police station in Landerneau, Brittany, the northwest French region where the world's biggest cycling event held its first four stages.

German Tony Martin was sent tumbling when he rode straight into the sign, and a large number of other riders also fell to the ground.   -  REUTERS

The Tour de France withdrew a lawsuit against a spectator who caused a massive pile-up during the first stage of the race, organisers told Reuters on Thursday.

"We are withdrawing our complaint. This story has been blown out of proportion but we wish to remind everyone of the safety rules on the race," Tour director Christian Prudhomme said.

"If you come to the Tour, you hold your kid, you hold your pet and don't cross the road carelessly. And above all, you respect the riders - they're the ones worthy of live TV."

The spectator, a 30-year-old French woman, was in custody at a police station in Landerneau, Brittany, the northwest French region where the world's biggest cycling event held its first four stages.

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She was holding a cardboard sign and facing away from the cyclists at a television camera as they passed. German Tony Martin was sent tumbling when he rode straight into the sign, and a large number of other riders also fell to the ground.

On Tuesday, Tour de France riders bringing the race to a halt for about a minute one kilometre into its fourth stage in a silent protest for safer racing conditions after numerous crashes.

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