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"Do it for us and the rest of the field": Movistar issue plea over maskless Tour de France fans

The team have called on fans to behave more responsibly, but the French Prime Minister declared that he was satisfied with behaviour in the Pyrenees yesterday

Movistar have called on Tour de France spectators to abide by rules on mask-wearing and social distancing, after a photo widely shared on social media appears to show a number of fans getting up close to their rider Marc Soler, with masks either fitted incorrectly or not being worn at all. 

Tour de France Stage 8: Nans Peters takes solo win, Adam Yates clings onto yellow

Yesterday's 140km stage hit the Pyrenees, and was perhaps the first occasion in which the fans' behaviour - and the organisers' ability to manage it - was truly tested, with large sections of mountainous road allowing spectators to roam freely as riders battled their way up the Col de Mente, the Port de Balès and the Col de Peyresourde. While television footage and photos can sometimes distort things, the alleged lack of social distancing didn't go unnoticed by some readers on yesterday's stage report and on social media. Some noted that there were far more spectators than expected who did not appear to be keeping a distance between themselves or the riders. 

This frustration is summed up in the tweet from Movistar, with the photo they shared showing a number of maskless fans (you'll also notice our lead image shows at least two not wearing masks as Adam Yates rides by). Chris Boardman added that there's a very real danger of there being "nothing to watch" if incidents such as the one above continue, and André Greipel of Israel Start-Up Nation said this morning that riders have made "big sacrifices" to get to the start line. 

On social media, most of the anger appears to be directed at the roadside fans who are failing to abide by the rules, while others are critical of the Tour's organisers ASO and local police for a lack of enforcement. Even so, the French Prime Minister Jean Castex declared that he was satisfied with fan behaviour on Stage 8, telling ITV: "We are prudent, but life goes on. The Tour is happening, the party continues. 

"That is our line of conduct and I'm very happy with what I have seen this afternoon in my beautiful Pyrenees."

Clearly there is only so many miles of road the organisers are able to place physical barriers between riders and spectators; and the rest of us are simply hoping that the worrying scenes won't lead to teams having to leave the Tour, or the whole event being called off altogether before it reaches Paris.

Arriving at in 2017 via 220 Triathlon Magazine, Jack dipped his toe in most jobs on the site and over at eBikeTips before being named the new editor of in 2020, much to his surprise. His cycling life began during his students days, when he cobbled together a few hundred quid off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story) and bought his first road bike - a Trek 1.1 that was quickly relegated to winter steed, before it was sadly pinched a few years later. Creatively replacing it with a Trek 1.2, Jack mostly rides this bike around local cycle paths nowadays, but when he wants to get the racer out and be competitive his preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking - the latter being another long story.  

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iandon | 3 years ago

I cant watch the tour.  These masks make me feel sick.  

pwake | 3 years ago
1 like

Is this the same French Prime Minister who rode in the lead car with Prudhomme? Wouldn't it be ironic if a Prime Minister was to contract the virus from not following his own government's recommendations? Wouldn't happen in Brit... oh, hang on a minute...

Boofus | 3 years ago

Roadside fans made me uncomfortable prior to the pandemic, but today really had my teeth on edge. I'm amazed a ride hasn't dismounted and had...stern words with some of these idiots yet. Just crazy. 

Awavey | 3 years ago

Well it didnt look good to me,but what do I know,though i wonder how 'appy Monsiuer Castex will be if a rider/team tests covid positive as a result and the whole thing is abandoned.

But I'll give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he wasnt directly reacting to the images on the climb we all saw,and is just sound biting to the general state of the race showcasing France,and not the drunken idiots who cant follow simple rules.

efail replied to Awavey | 3 years ago

I was on Mente, yesterday. Several official  cars came past and gave out masks, even though most people already had them. I was shocked when I saw the next two cols on the tv later. These people are idiots. There is no excuse.

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