UPDATE 1-Prosecutors call for suspended sentence for fan who caused Tour de France crash

| Thu, 14 Oct 2021 13:47:20 GMT

(Adds verdict postponed, prosecutors)

By Stephane Mahe

BREST, France, Oct 14 (Reuters) – Prosecutors in the trial of a roadside spectator who caused a massive pile-up during the first stage of the Tour de France in June called on Thursday for a four-month suspended jail sentence, a lawyer for the riders’ union said.

The court postponed its ruling to Dec. 9, lawyer Romuald Palao, who represents the Professional Cyclists’ Association CPA, which is party to the trial, told reporters after the hearing in the French city of Brest.

The French woman, who has not been named, sent one cyclist tumbling – with dozens more falling to the ground as a consequence – because of a cardboard sign she was holding at a television camera, facing away from the cyclists.

The young woman, whom a prosecutor said felt ashamed of what she did, is accused of involuntarily causing injury and putting the life of others at risk.

A lawyer for the defendant declined to comment on the trial.

The Tour de France withdrew its own lawsuit, saying that while the safety of the race was key, the case had been blown out of proportion after it triggered a media frenzy.

“The public is key to cycling races, it must remain that way, but it must be done with respect for the physical integrity of the riders,” Palao said.

Tour de France organisers on Thursday announced the route of the 2022 edition of the race. (Reporting by Stephane Mahe and Ingrid Melander; Writing by Ingrid Melander; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky and Alison Williams)

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