Riders in the Tour de France came to a halt for nearly 15 minutes today when protestors blocked the course. The Stage 10 race leader – Alberto Bettiol – was asked to pull over after riding through a cloud of pink smoke from a flare on the side of the road.
A group of climate activists had chained themselves together and were sitting in the middle of the road. One of them was wearing a t-shirt that said: “WE HAVE 989 DAYS LEFT.”
A similar protest occurred during the French Open on June 3, when a woman with a t-shirt reading “WE HAVE 1028 DAYS LEFT” tied herself to the net during a match. A group called “Derniere Renovation” claimed responsibility for that incident, as well as the protest today during the Tour de France.
The countdown is believed to refer to a United Nations report that says time is running out to slow climate change. The referenced date is March 27, 2025.
French police cleared the protesters from the road and Tour de France organizers re-started the race. Bettiol was leading Stage 10 and climbing at the time of the interruption. But it was Cort Nielsen who edged Nick Schultz at the finish line to win the day’s segment.
Italian Cyclist Breaks Neak After Colliding with Fan
Earlier this week, Italian Daniel Oss collided with a spectator during Stage 5 and took a terrible fall. The fan stepped too far into the race path and Oss was unable to steer his bike away in time to avoid a violent crash. The 35-year-old cyclist flew off his bike and reportedly suffered a fractured bone in his neck.
The craziest part was that Oss actually recovered from the collision and fought through the injury to complete the stage. After crossing the finish line, though, he underwent a medical examination. When Oss discovered he endured a broken neck, he withdrew from the event.
Tadej Pogačar is currently leading the Tour de France. The 23-year-old Slovenian holds an 11-second advantage over Lennard Kämna with 11 stages to go.