The Tour de France’s run through England has been hailed as a smashing success: The Telegraph reports that an estimated 2.5 million spectators have come out to watch the race, a number that will only grow during Monday’s third stage between Cambridge and London. But it’s safe to say that many of those fans are carrying cellphones, and it’s also safe to say that many of those fans will want a memento that can only be obtained by stepping onto the course and snapping a selfie as world-class cyclists whiz by them.
— Jim Roberts (@nycjim) July 7, 2014
After warnings following the first stage on Saturday that fans were encroaching too far into the riders’ personal space, there were further complaints yesterday some were standing in the road with their backs to the peloton trying to take selfies of themselves with their heroes.
“A dangerous mix of vanity and stupidity,” wrote BMC’s American rider Tejay van Garderen, who appeared to suggest that he needed treatment in the wake of one incident. “Standing in the middle of the road with your back turned while 200 cyclists come at you, just to take a selfie. #think #TDF2014”
British cyclist Geraint Thomas, who races for Team Sky, said that fans in England who aren’t accustomed to high-level road races don’t understand the speed involved or how much room the cyclists need. “The worst thing is when people have got their back to the peloton taking selfies. There were a few. They don’t see us coming, they’re stood in the road and it’s dodgy. If you want to do that, stand on a wall or something,” he told the Telegraph.
The Tour de France returns to France on Tuesday for Stage 4: Le Touquet-Paris-Plage to Lille.