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Was this spectator being super brave, or super dangerous helping a fallen rider?

Hugo Page crashed hard in France

Photo by: Antoine Besson @Antoine_Besson

At the recent Four Days of Dunkirk, French hope Hugo Page took a nasty tumble. The 20-year-old Page rides for the Intermarché–Wanty–Gobert Matériaux and is one of France’s big hopes for the future. He would end up finishing 14th overall in the race, and third in the best young rider competition at Dunkirk, and much is expected of him for the future.

Spectator interference has been a hot topic in cycling of late. Who can forget the Opi-Omi incident at last year’s Tour, where a spectator took out half the peloton. It was stage 1, and a woman held a sign (which read “Allez Opi-Omi”) in front of the peloton facing the cameras in front of her and didn’t realize the German rider Tony Martin was directly behind the sign. Many cyclists and spectators were injured and Team DSM rider Jasha Sutterlin even had to pull out of the Tour.

More recently, at Paris-Roubaix, Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl’s Yves Lampaert had a bad crash toward the end of the race. The Belgian rider was in a two-man chase group trying to catch ultimate winner Dylan van Baarle (Ineos Grenadiers.) They were riding on the far right of the road, to avoid the cobbles. But that also meant they were close to spectators to avoid the rough stuff, when he suddenly lost control and crashed.

Commentators blamed the spectator, claiming they were standing too close to the action. Some believed that Lampaert nicked a spectator, which caused him to zig zag to the other side of the road and get flung off his bike. Either way, fans on the side of the road are a big part of cycling, since it’s an outdoor sport, and everyone is free to watch.

At Dunkirk, after Page crashed, a spectator ran out and grabbed him, helping him get to the side of the road and out of harm’s way. Once he was by the side of the road, a team car would give him a fresh bike and off he went. The spectator was certainly quick with her assistance, and thankfully none of the oncoming riders (or team cars) had to veer out of the way.

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