The prosecution requested on Thursday, October 14, four months prison with suspension of sentence for a woman who in June caused a massive fall of cyclists in the emblematic competition of the Tour of Francia. A message to your grandparents during development could cost you dearly.
“Allez opi-omi!” (Let’s go grandpa-granny!) Read the cardboard banner that this 31-year-old girl showed to the camera, with her back to the cyclists, to greet her grandparents, fans of this popular race on June 26.
The race was then running through Sizun, a town located 45 kilometers from the finish line of the first stage, when several cyclists could not avoid the woman and her banner. The German Tony Martin was the first to fall, followed by others.
His message went around the world, but the consequences were seriouss. “He made fifty riders fall, some had to withdraw,” lamented in a statement the international organization of cyclists CPA.
His message went around the world, but the consequences were serious
Among the runners who had to leave are the German Jasha Sütterlin (DSM) and the Spanish Marc Soler (Movistar). The latter, winner of the Paris-Nice competition in 2018, ended up with three fractures in his left arm.
During the trial held this Thursday in Brest (west), the prosecution requested four months in prison, with a suspended sentence, since the woman recognized “the dangerousness of her behavior” and “showed signs of repentance.”
The CPA, the only association of runners recognized by the International Cycling Union (UCI), had asked women for a symbolic euro to raise awareness about the adoption of “responsible and respectful attitudes towards runners.”
“The damage suffered (…) is physical, moral and economic. An athlete trains for months for a great lap and it is not acceptable that that hard work (…) disappears in an instant due to the search for popularity,” he said the day before its president, Gianni Bugno.
“She is not a terrorist”
The unemployed young woman, judged for “endangering other people” and for “involuntary injuries” that caused an incapacity for work “not exceeding three months”, shunned the press upon her arrival at court this Thursday.
Her lawyer Julian Bradmetz, who called in vain for the closed-door trial, described her as “fragile for many years.” “That fragility has increased to the point where my client lives hell today.”
The images of this woman, dressed in a yellow raincoat and wearing the banner with a big smile before being hit by the squad, they went around the world, generating great media interest, especially when it disappeared for days.
Four days after the events, when a call for witnesses was activated, the woman went to the Landerneau police station, in charge of the investigation and where she was detained, as she could no longer bear the media pressure.
“The accusation caused him a feeling of shame, out of fear of the consequences of their action. She says she is distressed by the media coverage of what she calls her ‘stupidity’, “the Brest prosecutor, Camille Miansoni, underlined at a press conference.
The 108th edition of the Tour de France was marked by numerous crashes and dropouts. The race organization, which initially announced its intention to denounce the woman, finally resigned to “calm things down.”
“This lady made a big mistake that could have had even greater consequences, but she is not a terrorist,” Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme said Thursday during the presentation of the 2022 stages.
The verdict will be known on December 9.