As cyclists in this year’s Tour De France set out to make new records, it’s a sure thing that the spectators of the event, especially as it winds its way through the United Kingdom, are setting records of their own. The Guardian tells us that five time Tour De France winner Bernard Hinault said that this is the largest spectator turnout for the event that he has seen in over 40 years on his bike. But the mass spectator interest this year has presented some serious safety concerns for both spectators and cyclists alike.
It’s that often ridiculed but ever persistent modern obsession with the selfie. First popularized as the bane of Facebook, the selfie has officially come to the Tour De France in the form of spectators entering the road way with their backs turned to the oncoming cyclists in attempts to get the perfect Tour De France selfie, much to the chagrin of the participating cyclists. ABC News tells us that American Tejay van Garderen has already been hurt due to the eagerness of the encroaching crowds when he tweeted, “Standing in the middle of the road with your back turned while 200 cyclists come at you, just to take a selfie” and, “That being said, I love the crowds and thank you for your support. But please give us room. Gonna ice my knee now.” Tejay went on to say that actions by selfie seeking spectators are “a dangerous mix of vanity and stupidity.”
The Guardian tells us that selfie-seeking crowds have gained the ire of other cyclists on the tour as well. Team Sky rider Geraint Thomas said quite simply that the selfie obsessed spectators are “the new pain in the arse” and, “The worst thing is when people have got their backs to the peloton taking selfies.” Thomas went on to describe in more detail the safety hazards posed by selfie obsessed crowds from the cyclists’ perspective when he said that, “If you are on the front you can see it, but if you are a couple of people back you suddenly see them and you can hit them. There have been too many big accidents with riders hitting spectators and you don’t want to see that. There is not much racing on British roads and people don’t understand how fast we go and how much of the road we use. If they want selfies they should stand on a wall.”
Aside from the spectator induced selfie craze hitting the Tour De France this year, there has been some humorous events as well. As the Inquisitr tells us, one Yorkshire farmer was so inspired by the Tour De France this year that he decided to ‘dress’ his sheep in Tour De France Jerseys. There have been no reports of ego-centric spectators attempting to take selfies with the sheep as of yet.