Prosecutors in France are seeking a four-month suspended prison sentence for the woman who caused a huge crash at the opening stage of this year’s Tour de France in Brittany, causing four riders to abandon the race.
The 31-year-old, from the Finistère department where the opening stage from Brest to Landernau took place, is charged with “endangering others by manifestly deliberate violation of a regulatory obligation of safety and prudence,” causing “involuntary injuries, with incapacity not exceeding three months.”
The maximum penalty she could face is a €15,000 fine and/or 12 months’ imprisonment.
The four-month suspended sentence sought by prosecutors at a hearing at the criminal court in Brest today is intended to serve as a “warning,” reports Le Telegramme.
The court has reserved judgment, with the sentence due to be handed down on 9 December.
Professional riders’ union the CPA has joined the action as a civil party and is seeking token compensation of €1 to reinforce to spectators their responsibility regarding race safety, as is the ANCP, which represents French riders.
Three riders – Cyril Lemoine of B&B Hotels, Groupama-FDJ’s Ignatas Konovalovas and Team DSM’s Jasha Sütterlin – were unable to carry on in the race, while a fourth, Movistar’s Marc Soler, finished the stage but had to abandon afterwards due to injuries sustained in the crash.
The woman who caused the crash as she held up a sign greeting her grandparents in German fled the scene and handed herself in to gendarmes four days after the incident, which happened on 26 June.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.