Cyclists are furious fans are risking life and limb to snap a selfie at the 2014 Tour de France and say it needs to stop faster than the time it took the social media craze to officially become a "thing."
Sure, the support of the thousands of fans that have shown up along the official route in England has been great to see, but as American Tejay van Garderen wrote on his Twitter account, "It’s a dangerous mix of vanity and stupidity."
SPOTTED: this is what happens when you risk everything for a photo. Respect the riders! / Respectez les coureurs ! pic.twitter.com/SG4YVgWN0X— Le Tour de France (@letour) July 7, 2014
Roads in England – and much like the rest of the way along the Tour when it shifts to France – are narrow. With cobblestones and high wind speeds also complicating their rides, cyclists have their hands full. Overcrowding fans coupled with a swarming peloton creates a dangerous environment for both involved, promoting Tour directors to issue warnings following Sunday’s stage that fans are encroaching too far on the street.
“Standing in the middle of the road with your back turned while 200 cyclists come at you, just to take a selfie. #think #TDF2014,” van Garderen wrote to his 10,000 fans on Twitter. He then added, “That being said, I love the crowds and thank you for your support. But please give us room. Gonna ice my knee now."
The 101st edition of the Tour de France finishes its England leg in London on Monday and heads to France for the next 18 stages. Crowds are expected to swell over that time as the route takes cyclists through popular villages and scenic countryside.
-- Chris Howland, NBCSports.com