Tour de France resumes after climate activists try to block riders


MEGEVE, France, July 12 (Reuters) – The 10th stage of the Tour de France was interrupted for 10 minutes on Tuesday after half a dozen climate activists tried to stop riders on the road before being removed by the police and a senior official of the organizers. .

The activists, one of whom was wearing a t-shirt saying “We have 989 days left”, were sitting in the road about 36 kilometers (22 miles) from the finish in Megeve, a Reuters witness said.

The activists were pulled off the road by police, aided by Tour organizers Amaury Sport Organization (ASO) chief executive Yann Le Moenner.

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ASO declined to comment on this specific incident when contacted by Reuters.

Later, Tour director Christian Prudhomme said: “These things (protests) happen, it’s the price of success.”

Stage leader Alberto Bettiol rode through a cloud of pink from a flare before being asked by a race official to get off his bike just before organizers announced the stage halt.

Ten minutes later, race director Christian Prudhomme ordered the race to resume.

“Since the government doesn’t care about the climate crisis, we need to come and support the Tour de France to refocus attention on what matters for our survival,” climate activist movement Last Renovation said in a statement. .

“We need to get our government to react as they lead us to the slaughterhouse.”

At last month’s French Open tennis, a Last Renovation campaigner interrupted the men’s semi-final between Croatian Marin Cilic and Norwegian Casper Ruud when she jumped onto the court and tied herself to the net , wearing a t-shirt saying “We have 1,028 Days left”.


Some runners condemned the protesters.

“It’s a bit surprising,” Philippe Gilbert told reporters.

“At first I saw smoke and I thought it was not very smart because it’s forbidden, but then there was more and I thought the worst had happened, as if someone, a kid, had been hit by a car.

“It’s a little disappointing because there are other ways to protest. I hope they will be punished in proportion to their stupidity.”

American Quinn Simmons said: “It’s a bit of a shame. You’d think with so many police at a bike race they would be able to keep the course clear for us.

“I guess I should be careful what I say about protesting or there could be another incident.”

Simmons was suspended for six weeks by his Trek Segafredo team in 2020 after posting controversial comments in response to a tweet about former US President Donald Trump.

Others, like Slovenian yellow jersey holder Tadej Pogacar, had fun.

“On the radio we heard there were people on the road and we had to stop, so we did that and we heard the police were taking the guys away,” he said. “It was a funny moment.”

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Reporting by Julien Pretot and Gonzalo Fuentes; Editing by Catherine Evans, Ken Ferris and Toby Davis

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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