Tour de France chiefs WITHDRAW lawsuit against woman who caused horror crash but warn fans to show 'respect' to riders

TOUR DE FRANCE chiefs have withdrawn their lawsuit against the woman who caused a mega-crash during the opening stage of the famous race.

A 30-year-old French woman was arrested on Wednesday after her home-made sign saw half the peleton wiped out in an almighty pile up.

The local woman handed herself in and was held by police in Landerneau, Brittany – the northwest French region where the first four stages were held – after four days on the run.

She caused carnage midway through Stage One of the competition as she tried to show off a huge sign with a message for her grandparents.

Tour chiefs were fuming with the woman with deputy director Pierre-Yves Thouault telling AFP: "We are suing this woman who behaved so badly."

But now the dust has settled somewhat, the organisers of the world's biggest cycling race have decided against pursuing the perpetrator in court.

Tour director Christian Prudhomme said: "We are withdrawing our complaint.

"This story has been blown out of proportion but we wish to remind everyone of the safety rules of the race.

“If you come to the Tour, you hold your kid, you hold your pet and don’t cross the road carelessly.

"And above all, you respect the riders – they’re the ones worthy of live TV.”

The daft cycling fan was so keen to have her homemade sign captured by the cameras she stepped onto the road and didn't look at the approaching cyclists.

In doing so, she inadvertently knocked Germany's Tony Martin off balance, causing a huge pile-up.

The crash took place near the town of Saint-Cadou – 30 miles from the end of the race from Brest to Landerneau.

Prosecutors in Brittany immediately launched a criminal investigation after the accident, with a spokesman for the Finistere Gendarmerie urging the public to help turn in the suspect.

They said: "The spectator who caused this accident left the scene before the arrival of the investigators.

"Everything is being done to try and find her. She was wearing glasses and dressed in blue jeans, a red and white striped sweater, and a waxed yellow jacket."

The criminal enquiry was for ‘deliberately violating safety regulations and so causing injuries that might prevent someone working for up to three months.’

Under French law, if found guilty, the dopey fan faces up to a year in prison and a fine equivalent to just under £13,000.

The prosecution can technically still go ahead but the Tour's retraction makes it unlikely meaning the most probable outcome is the woman being released with a warning.

Remarkably, the horrific crash resulted in no life-threatening injuries – although 21 of the riders were affected by the pile-up.

Ignatas Konovalovas, Cyril Lemoine, Marc Soler and Jasha Sutterlin were all forced to retire from the race due to the injuries they sustained.

Lemoine picked up the worst of the injuries, breaking four ribs in addition to suffering a moderate pneumothorax and a head wound.

Furious riders even staged a protest on Stage Four of the race, coming to a halt mid-race to show their anger at dangerous racing conditions.

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