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Spectator's Sign Causes Massive Crash on Tour de France's First Day

A major crash at the Tour de France occurred when a cyclist collided with a fan's sign that extended over the road.

A fan at the Tour de France caused an enormous pile-up when cyclist Tony Martin crashed into the fan's cardboard sign during Stage 1 on Saturday.

The fan was not looking at the incoming peloton while facing the camera and holding a sign that extended over the road. After the initial impact, Martin's team fell around the cyclist causing much of the pack to pile up around the collision. 

Chaos erupted in the aftermath of the crash as riders waited for new bikes while others at the back of the pack waited for the road to clear. The crash occurred with 45 kilometers (27.96 miles) left in the first stage of the Tour de France, which began in Brest in the northwest Brittany region.

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The sign that extended over the road said "Allez Opi-Omi!" The words "Opi" and "Omi" are German terms of endearment for grandparents, akin to "granny." 

Dutch cyclist Ide Schelling, who was the leader at the time of the crash, was one of the few riders to escape the crash. However, reigning world cycling champion Julian Alaphilippe, one of the riders involved in the crash, went on to win the first stage.

Following the crash, the Tour de France tweeted out a message to the public saying, "We're glad to have the public on the side of the road on the #TDF2021. But for the Tour to be a success, respect the safety of the riders! Don't risk everything for a photo or to get on television!"

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