Fan holding sign causes major crash at Tour de France

LANDERNEAU, France — A fan holding a sign caused a massive crash during the opening stage of the Tour de France on Saturday, sending riders tumbling to the road in a domino effect.

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Cyclist Tony Martin crashed into the fan’s cardboard sign, which extended over the road as the man leaned into the path of the veteran cyclist, ESPN reported.

The fan was facing the camera and not looking at the approaching cyclists when Martin brushed against the sign, the network reported. Martin tumbled to the ground, and his teammates fell around him as the pack of cyclists was bunched up around the collision, according to Sports Illustrated.

“It was stressful,” former Tour champion Geraint Thomas told The Associated Press. “I was just concentrating on staying on my bike, basically. Happy to get through it.”

The sign said “Allez Opi-Omi!” The words “Opi” and “Omi” are German terms of endearment for grandparents, akin to “granny,” according to Sports Illustrated.

Tour officials cautioned fans to “respect the safety of the riders” and “Don’t risk everything for a photo or to get on television!”

Many cyclists avoided the crash and kept riding, including Julian Alaphilippe, who won the first stage.

The Tour de France began in Brest and will consist of 21 days of cycling with two rest days mixed in, according to The Sporting News.

The race is scheduled to end July 18 at the Champs-Élysées in Paris.