July 7, 2014 12:37 pm

Selfies are putting Tour de France riders at risk, say cyclists

Marcel Kittel of Germany and Team Giant-Shimano celebrates his victory ahead of Peter Sagan of Slovakia and Cannondale in second place and Ramunas Navardauskas of Lithuania and Garmin-Sharp in third place in stage one of the 2014 Tour de France.

Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

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.

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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.

WATCH: Guy takes selfie in front of moving train, gets kicked in head

“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.

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.

© 2014 Shaw Media

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