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‘Opi-Omi’ crash-causing spectator arrested in France

The fan who caused the Stage 1 Tour de France pile-up has been found

Photo by: Facebook/Gendarmerie du Finistère

Police have arrested a suspect identified as the woman who caused Tony Martin (Jumbo-Visma) to crash on stage 1 of the 2021 Tour de France. Martin went down causing a massive pile-up behind him, which resulted in many injuries and thousands of dollars worth of damage.

The suspect held a sign (which read “Allez Opi-Omi”) in front of the peloton facing the cameras in front of her and didn’t realize Martin was directly behind the sign. Almost the entire peloton went down in the chaotic pileup at the top of Saint-Rivoal with 45km to go. As bikes and bodies flew across the road, many cyclists and spectators were injured and Team DSM rider Jasha Sutterlin had to pull out of the Tour after just one stage of the Tour.

The search

Following the crash, the organizers of the Tour de France announced they would be taking legal action against the spectator who caused it.

The Gendarmerie du Finistère, a French police force similar to the RCMP, posted on Facebook asking anyone with information on the suspect to come forward. The post from the government organization notes that a judicial investigation has been launched for “unintentional injury with incapacity not exceeding three months due to a willful violation of a safety or prudence obligation.”

According to French media, on Wednesday police found and arrested the suspect, who was taken into custody in Landerneau, where stage 1 finished.

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

In France, suspects can be taken into custody for a limited amount of time while the basic paperwork for a fine is prepared. If found to be responsible for causing the crash the spectator could face fines of €1,500. If Sutterlin decided to pursue further legal action the spectator could face additional penalties.