Woman who caused Tour de France crash goes on trial

The roadside spectator who caused a large pile-up through the first stage of the Tour de France in June has appeared in court docket charged with injuring dozens of cyclists.

The 31-year-old French girl, whose identification was withheld after she was focused by a torrent of on-line abuse, has already instructed prosecutors of being ashamed at her "stupidity."

She fled from ready journalists on the courthouse in Brest, western France, however the presiding choose rejected a request by her lawyer to have the trial held behind closed doorways.

The girl, who has no felony document, had attended the opening Tour stage on 26 June with the aim of getting an indication observed by tv cameras.

It learn "Allez, Opi-Omi," the German phrases for "grandpa and granny," a nod to her household's German roots.

But she stepped out too far in entrance of the tightly packed peloton because it sped alongside a slim street towards the end at Landerneau in western France.

German rider Tony Martin was unable to keep away from bumping into her and fell, forcing dozens of riders to crash whereas others swerved into the crowds of onlookers.

Video footage of the collision and scenes of medics tending shocked or grimacing rivals sparked outrage amongst followers and race organisers, particularly after they realised the girl had fled the scene as an alternative of staying to assist.

She remained in hiding for 4 days earlier than turning herself in to police.

Several riders needed to pull out of the race, together with Spain's Marc Soler, who had each arms damaged.

Charged with endangering lives and inflicting unintentional accidents, she dangers a high quality of as much as €15,000 and a yr in jail.

It appears unlikely that she is going to spend time behind bars, nevertheless, as the general public prosecutor of Brest famous after her arrest on 30 June that she had some "personal vulnerabilities."

The Tour's organisers, the Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO), had initially deliberate to sue however later mentioned it wished to "calm things down" and wouldn’t be a plaintiff.

But the Switzerland-based International Association of Riders (CPA) has maintained its grievance and is searching for a symbolic €1 in damages to ship a message in opposition to harmful fan behaviour throughout phases.

"The damage suffered by the riders is physical, moral and economic," CPA president Gianni Bugno mentioned in an announcement Wednesday.

"An athlete prepares months for a grand tour and it is not acceptable that all his hard work, that of his family, his staff and his team, should be shattered in an instant by the quest for popularity," he mentioned.

The girl's lawyer, Julien Bradmetz, declined to remark forward of the ruling anticipated immediately, although the choose might schedule the choice for a later date.

A supply near the case mentioned the lawyer might argue that race organisers had didn’t take enough safety measures, citing the sequence of accidents that marked the 108th version of the Tour.

The trial got here the identical day as organisers unveiled the route and phases for subsequent yr's race, which is able to begin in Copenhagen and likewise consists of routes in Switzerland and Belgium.

based mostly on web site supplies www.rte.ie

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