A spectator taking a selfie caused about 20 riders to crash on stage 15 of the Tour de France.
The stage was won by Dutchman Wout Poels while defending champion Jonas Vingegaard maintained his 10-second lead over Tadej Pogacar.
Sepp Kuss, Vingegaard’s Team Jumbo-Visma teammate, had his handlebars knocked by a fan holding a phone.
Kuss went down with teammate Nathan van Hooydonck and brought down a large group in the peloton.
“There was a narrow in town and a spectator on the road, and I think he just cut my handlebars,” said Kuss.
“Luckily I’m OK and hopefully the other guys in the crash are OK. It’s not good.
“I think it’s fatigue. It’s a tough race and everyone is a bit tired. You lose a bit of alertness and there are always things you can’t control as well.”
All riders who crashed completed the 179km stage from Les Gets les Portes du Soleil to Saint-Gervais Mont-Blanc.
Dane Vingegaard was unaffected, while stage winner Poels was in a breakaway a few minutes down the road.
‘Please listen to the riders’
Shortly after the incident, the official Tour Twitter account posted a slow-motion video of a rider crouching under the outstretched arm of a spectator with the message: “Please give and pay attention to the riders.”
Jumbo-Visma tweeted: “Please always be careful when watching cycling on the side of the road.”
Team Confidis said: “Please be careful. So that the party remains a party for the runners but also for you. You don’t need a cell phone to make mind-blowing memories.”
Ineos Grenadiers said: “If you are watching this amazing event, please give the riders room in the race.”
One of the Tour’s worst crashes involving a spectator occurred in 2021, when a woman holding a sign with message in German to his grandparents rider Tony Martin was cut in the first stage.
Two riders were pulled and eight were treated for injuries, including Spain’s Marc Soler, who broke both arms.
The woman turned to the police and went to court because of the incident.
He was ordered to pay a symbolic one euro fine but, after receiving a lot of abuse, his identity was suppressed.
At one time, Tour director Christian Prudhomme said: “We just want people to be careful when they come to the Tour and remember that they are there to see the champions – and not to be on television.”
‘We’ve seen it before’ – analysis
Matt Warwick, BBC Sport
After the ‘Omi & Opi’ scandal in 2021, where a young woman caused a huge pile-up on stage one of the Tour, the riders are more cautious of fans who want to get close to the action.
The world governing body for cycling is the UCI introduces a variety of steps under the SafeR banner before this race, which included better assessments of high-speed descents following the death of Gino Mader last month, and more crowd management.
At the top of the Col de Joux Plane climb on Saturday, Pogacar was held back by motorbikes and mobbed by people standing inches from their heroes.
At one time, the list of rider casualties was very long, but road cycling is a unique sport, which is growing in popularity, and trades in the novelty of outdoor competition.
The Poels won the first stage of the Grand Tour
Poels’ stage win was his first in a Grand Tour, with the Team Bahrain Victorious rider finishing two minutes eight seconds ahead of Wout van Aert and Mathieu Burgaudeau in third.
Vingegaard finished with Pogacar six minutes and four seconds behind Poels.
Despite attacking in the last kilometer of the 7km climb to the finish, the Slovenian Pogacar, riding for the UAE Team Emirates, was unable to open a gap to Vingegaard.
Monday is a rest day, before the 21-stage race resumes with a 22.4km time trial from Passy to Combloux on Tuesday.
Stage 15 results
- Wout Poels (Net/Bahrain-Victorious) 4 hours 40 minutes 50 seconds
- Wout van Aert (Bel/Jumbo-Visma) +2mins 8secs
- Mathieu Burgaudeau (Fra/TotalEnergies) +3mins
- Lawson Craddock (USA/Team Jayco AlUla) +3mins 10secs
- Mikel Landa (Spa/Bahrain-Victorious) +3mins 14secs
- Thibaut Pinot (Fra/Groupama-FDJ) +3mins 14secs
- Guillaume Martin (Fra/Cofidis) +3mins 32secs
- Mattias Skjelmose (Den/Lidl-Trek) +3mins 43secs
- Simon Guglielmi (Fra/Team Arkea Samsic) +3mins 59secs
- Warren Barguil (Fra/ Team Arkea Samsic) +4mins 20secs
General classification standings
- Jonas Vingegaard (Den/Jumbo-Visma) 62hrs 34mins 17secs
- Tadej Pogacar (Slo/UAE Team Emirates) +10secs
- Carlos Rodriguez Cano (Spa/Ineos Grenadiers) +5mins 21secs
- Adam Yates (GB/UAE Team Emirates) +5mins 40secs
- Jai Hindley (Aus/Bora-Hansgrohe) +6mins 38secs
- Sepp Kuss (US/Jumbo-Visma) +9mins 16secs
- Pello Bilbao (Spa/Bahrain Victorious) +10mins 11secs
- Simon Yates (GB/Team Jayco-AlUla) +10mins 48secs
- David Gaudu (Female/Groupama-FDJ) +14mins 7secs
- Guillaume Martin (Fra/Cofidis) +14mins 18secs