Protestors bring the Tour de France to a halt

Protestors caused the race to stop with less than 40km remaining on stage 10.

by Jonny Long

photography by Getty Images

Protestors have brought the 2022 Tour de France to a halt mid-way through stage 10 from Morzine to Megeve.

Riders suddenly came to a stop, confused at first as to what was going on. EF Education EasyPost’s Alberto Bettiol, who was slightly ahead of the day’s break, rode past the incident but was then stopped further down the road by a race motorcycle. The Italian was pictured on television stopped in the road and taking a bottle from neutral service with less than 40km to go. The activists are believed to be climate emergency protestors.

It was soon announced the race had been neutralised and motorbikes signalled for the peloton to slow down. Pictures then emerged of a number of protestors sitting in the road, a red flare having also been set off. The peloton, which was a number of minutes back from Bettiol, initially carried on their way but stopped before the protest.

After 10 minutes Alberto Bettiol was allowed to continue while behind the peloton waited for the gap to extend back to its previous size. After Peter Sagan had quickly drunk a small can of coke they also resumed racing.

On one of the protestor’s shirts was a URL that linked to the website of ‘Dernière Rénovation’, which is a climate emergency group campaigning for governments to engage in the “energy renovation of buildings”.

“I would prefer not to come to this. I would rather be with my grandfather, be quiet on my sofa watching the Tour de France, while the government does its job. But this is not the reality,” reads the message on the website, written by a 32-year-old named Alice, presumably one of the protestors.

“The reality is that the world towards which the politicians are sending us is a world in which the Tour de France will no longer be able to exist. In this world, we will be busy fighting to feed ourselves and to save our families. Under these conditions we will face mass wars and famines. We must act and enter into civil resistance today to save what remains to be saved.”

Since April the group have blocked multiple roads in France, the National Assembly in Paris, as well as disrupted the Roland Garros tennis tournament. Since the beginning of their activism over 70 arrests have been made.

More to follow…

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