Tour de France organisers end legal action against fan who caused pile-up

Tour de France organisers have withdrawn their legal action against a spectator who caused a massive crash on the first stage.

Organisers made the decision in a bid to defuse the situation after the careless fan was placed in custody, race spokesperson Fabrice Tiano said on Thursday.

Gendarmes in Brittany arrested her on Wednesday, four days after the accident brought down dozens of riders and forced German rider Jasha Sutterlin to abandon the race.

The spectator brandished a large cardboard sign while leaning into the path of oncoming riders. She appeared to be looking in the other direction, apparently at a camera, and not at the approaching peloton.

The woman, who has not been publicly identified, was arrested in the Finistere region by gendarmes who tracked her down based on accounts from people questioned this week, France Bleu Finistere radio said.

Investigators have spoken to dozens of people since the incident on Saturday, the local station added.

Tour organisers announced after the crash on the stage from Brest to Landerneau that they would start legal proceedings against the fan, who disappeared from the crash scene.

She leaned into the path of veteran rider Tony Martin, whose fall had a domino effect on the peloton.

The Gendarmerie du Landerneau, east of Brest, put out a call for witnesses shortly after the pile-up. It refused to comment on the reported arrest.