TORONTO – Tour de France cyclists have a lot to deal with on the course – from gruelling hills, to the risk of nasty crashes. But this year athletes are faced with a new danger – selfies.
The now infamous front facing camera, duck face-inducing #selfie trend has made its way to the sidelines of the biggest cycling event of the year – much to the dismay of riders.
According to riders, many fans have been risking the safety of both riders and themselves to snap a selfie as the peloton passes, turning their backs to the oncoming group of riders and getting dangerously close to cyclists.
“The worst thing is when people have got their backs to the peloton taking selfies,” said British rider Geraint Thomas during an interview.
“They obviously don’t see us coming and they’ve stood in the road – which is dodgy. If you want to do that, just stand on a wall or something away from us.”
German rider Marcel Kittel, who won the third stage of the race, echoed the concerns, urging spectators to stay off the road.
“Some spectators were in the middle of the road taking pictures,” said Kittel. “We are very happy to have them and it was an amazing crowd today but they have to take care to stay off the road.”
Aussie Zak Dempster and American Tejay van Garderen also took to Twitter to address the dangers of roadside selfies.
1. Selfie with a human predator (shark, lion, crocodile etc).
2. Selfie with oncoming train (on tracks).
3. Selfie with back to tdf peloton.—
Zak Dempster (@ZakDempster) July 06, 2014
That being said, I love the crowds and thank you for your support. But please give us room. Gonna ice my knee now.—
Tejay van Garderen (@tejay_van) July 06, 2014
One user shared their #TDF selfie with the caption, “Nearly died taking #TDFselfie.”
Race officials say millions of fans have flooded the course route in just the first two stages.
The Tour de France entered London, England, on Monday. The race will end with the final stage in Paris on July 27.
© Shaw Media, 2014