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Tour de France won't press charges against woman who caused crash

Spectator causes crash at Tour de France
A spectator's sign caused a crash at the Tour de France. Now officials want to sue her. 00:54

A cycling fan who caused a huge pileup on the opening day of the Tour de France on Saturday handed herself in to police in Brittany this week, but was to likely avoid prosecution as the Tour organizers decided not to press charges.

The woman leaned out into the road in front of the lead pack, holding up a homemade banner for the TV cameras and not looking out for the riders.

German competitor Tony Martin rode right into the banner and was knocked over. He fell sideways, toppling the rider beside him and setting off a domino effect that left most of the pack on the ground or at a standstill behind them.

At least 21 cyclists were injured, including four-time champion Chris Froome of Britain.

Police did not name the woman, who was in custody on Wednesday. However, local media said she was a 30-year-old Frenchwoman. At first it was thought she was German because her homemade banner was a mix of French and German: "Allez opi omi" or "Go grandpa, grandma."

The woman fled the scene but police appealed to the public for information about her identity after the Tour organizers, ASO, said they would bring a lawsuit against her for involuntarily causing injury through reckless behavior — a charge that carries a $1,770 fine. 

On Thursday, however the ASO said it no longer wanted to press charges, in a bid to calm the situation, but they reminded fans to keep away from the riders.

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