First it was the cluelessselfie-takersnearly crashing Tour de France riders out of the race’s first week; now it’smobile phone usersalmost taking down the race leader with only a few days to go in the Tour.
The latest incident took place Thursday on stage 18, the last mountain stage of the Tour, which concludes on Sunday in Paris. A spectator was hanging out on the last big climb of the entire three-week race, at Hautacam. She was apparently chatting on her phone with her back to the race and to the yellow jersey, Vincenzo Nibali of Italy.
Nibali was cruising up the climb, having broken away from his rivals. As he neared the top of Hautacam and toward his fourth stage victory, he was making his way around a turn and — smack! — he hits a spectator standing too far out in the road. Nibali makes a last-moment move to his right to avoid hitting her directly — and possibly going down and out of the race. He flings his arm out to protect himself. The spectator’s phone goes flying. Social media goes nuts. Fortunately, no one was injured.
A cop following Nibali even taps the woman’s shoulder after the hit.
Barring disaster — you know, crashes and clueless spectators — Nibali is set to win his first Tour de France on Sunday. There are just a few stages left, but the big mountains are done and dusted. The Italian has a lead of over 7 minutes on his nearest rival and has effectively been untouchable all race long.
Nibali managed to go on and win the stage without incident:
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