A 30-year-old woman who caused a mass pileup at the Tour de France at the weekend was released from police custody on Friday but ordered to appear in court in October. The woman, who has not been named, was arrested on Wednesday and questioned over the crash caused by her large cardboard sign during the first stage of the race in northwestern Britanny.
A statement from the prosecutor’s office in the town of Brest said she had been ordered to appear in court on October 14 where she could face charges of negligence and causing unintentional bodily harm.
Wearing a bright yellow coat, she was seen on Saturday unfurling a handwritten cardboard banner towards television cameras with the words “Allez Opi-Omi!” (“Go, Grandpa and grandma”) in front of the cyclists.
German racer Tony Martin, who was on the outside of a tightly packed peloton, was unable to avoid colliding with the sign and the ensuing pileup led to a five-minute delay as riders and bikes were untangled.
Dozens were left with cuts and bruises and one with fractured hands, sparking a debate about safety and spectator conduct at the Tour de France, where fans are allowed to line the roads.
The woman told investigators that she felt ashamed of her “stupidity” and was alarmed by the level of public interest in her case.
RBA/AFP Photos: Bettini