Senior Officials from Tour de France The organization was seen dragging climate-crisis protesters into a pit during the 10th stage of the race from Morzine to Megève.
Although tied together around the neck, a small group of young protesters were pulled off the race road by tour officials. About 36 kilometers from the end, on a section of a straight road, protesters sat on the track and set off red flares. Both the breakaway stage and the peloton were stopped until the road was cleared.
Climate activists from the Derniere Renovation movement said: “Since the government doesn’t care about the climate crisis, we need to come and take over the Tour de France to refocus attention on what matters for our survival. We need to get our government to react as it leads us to the slaughterhouse.”
“Nonviolent disruption is our last chance to make our voice heard and avoid the worst consequences of global warming,” the group said.
Organizers of the Tour de France ASO declined to comment on the protest. Commenting on the scene on a motorbike at the race, Sir Bradley Wiggins told Eurosport viewers: “She was really cruising. It was so crazy. A lot of people get angry, some sports directors got out of the cars, got their boots off.”
The Derniere Renovation group was responsible for the outage at the French Open, when a protester jumped onto the court and strapped herself to the net, wearing a T-shirt that read: “We have 1,028 days left.” At the Tur protest, they were seen wearing T-shirts that read: “We have 989 days left.”
The Tour has long been a target of protests, but it happened against the backdrop of the race organizers pledging their commitment to reducing carbon emissions. This year’s “Road Book”, the guide given to all those involved in racing, states that the Tour is “firmly committed to being an increasingly environmentally responsible organisation”.
In 2020, during the pandemic round, the race has been criticized by recently elected “green” mayors in some of France’s major cities. Lyon Mayor Gregory Doucet described the Tour as “macho and polluted” and lacking environmental conscience, and there have been multiple calls for the race to further reduce carbon emissions.
The end result of the race itself was thrown into doubt when the UAE team led by Tadej Pogakar tested positive for Covid-19, just 48 hours after all the runners in the peloton were tested and declared free of the virus.
George Bennett, one of the main mountain support riders for the defending champion, and teammate Rafal Majka, tested positive on Tuesday morning in Morzine. Bennett withdrew from the race while Micah was allowed to continue racing on the grounds that he had no symptoms.
On Saturday, another Pogacar player, Vegard Stake Laengen, tested positive and withdrew. The eight-man team that Pojácar started with in Copenhagen has now shrunk to six, with Majka continuing uncertain.
“According to our internal protocols, Majka has been tested for Covid-19 and came back positive this morning,” the Emirates Airlines team said in a statement.
“It is asymptomatic and PCR analyzed, [we] He was found to have a very low risk of infection, similar to the case of Bob Jungles [the AG2R Citroen rider who tested positive in Copenhagen] earlier in the race.” Australian rider Luke Durbridge (Team BikeExchange) has also been tested with the virus and has been withdrawn from the race.
The ASO has moved to restrict media access to team buses, or the circuit, saying that only “USCI representatives (jurors, commissioners, anti-doping), team personnel and organization staff who supervise teams can access the circuit.” Access to media end lines remains unchanged.
EF Education-EasyPost’s Magnus Cort Nielsen won the stage in a final photo from absent Dorbridge teammate Nicholas Schultz. Leonard Kamna, of Bora Hansgrohe, one of today’s breakaways, has moved up within 11 seconds of race leader Pogacar but is expected to fall back over the next 48 hours, which includes top finishes at Alpe d’Huez and Col du Granon.