A police car is on fire on the closing climb of today’s Tour de France stage

Flames before the flamme rouge.


— christophe vandegoor (@chrisvandegoor) July 16, 2022

by Iain Treloar

The infrastructure around the Tour de France is so vast that something’s bound to go wrong from time to time. Last year, a truck full of sausages got stuck on the route. Today, we received a notification from the Tour de France organisers that “as you read this”, a “specific intervention” was in progress on the finishing climb, up to Mende aerodrome. 

According to a Sporza correspondent on the road, that intervention was specifically a police car on fire. Video footage from former pro Fabian Wegmann shows both doors open, nobody apparently harmed, and assorted officials with fire extinguishers resolving the situation.

At time of publication, CyclingTips was unable to confirm the cause of the fire, although it is quite hot today, which would likely have exacerbated matters. A secondary factor could also be that the car in question appears to be a Dacia Duster, a compact 4WD of Romanian origin that is popular in France, non-existent in Australia, and an abiding source of amusement to me specifically. 

Behind the flaming Duster and the tower of smoke, the Tour de France infrastructure has backed up. In the sole picture we currently have access to, a truck full of Official Bananas of the Tour de France is waiting, patiently, for a chance to get through. 

There are several hours until the riders of the peloton contest the slopes of the Montée Jalabert, which we are told “will be reopened as soon as possible” to allow access for the promotional caravan. There is no likely impact on the day’s proceedings, other than a rather permanent conclusion to one Dacia Duster’s involvement in it. 

Update: The burnt police car has been moved from the climb. A big brown patch and a terrible smell lingers. The next most exciting thing is the peloton’s arrival in two or three hours.

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