Jonas Vingegaard still donned the yellow jersey as Wout Poels climbed to a victory during the 15th stage of the Tour de France on Sunday, but it didn’t come without some drama.
About 52 kilometers into the event, a spectator allegedly holding a cellphone in their hand while on the side of the road inadvertently touched American rider Sepp Kuss and caused him and several other riders to fall.
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“There was a spectator leaning into the road, I guess. It just happened suddenly, and that’s part of the Tour, there are a lot of people,” Kuss said afterward via Cycling News. “Ideally that wouldn’t happen, but it’s the biggest bike race in the world and a lot of people don’t know exactly what’s going on.”
“There was a narrowing in a town. We were just trying to slow down the peloton (pack) to let the break go, and then just on the side, unfortunately, somebody wanted to get a selfie. I didn’t really see it coming.”
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Vingegaard reminded fans to be aware of the riders coming down the paths.
“I’d like to tell the spectators to enjoy the race and be there to cheer for us without standing on the road or pouring beers on us,” the overall leader said. “Please, just enjoy the race.”
The Cofidis team added: “Please be careful. So that the party remains a party for the riders, but also for you. You don’t need a cell phone to create mind-blowing memories.”
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Organizers also asked fans to “pay attention to the riders” after the incident.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.