The Tour de France, the greatest two-wheel race in the world, is a blur of speed and force and velocity unlike anything else in sports. So naturally, there are fans turning their backs on the race to take selfies.
The “dangerous mix of vanity and stupidity,” in the words of rider Tejay van Garderen, has enraged riders along the route.
“The worst thing is when people have got their backs to the peloton taking selfies,” said Geraint Thomas, who called the selfie-takers “the new pain in the arse.”
The issue, he noted, is that the selfie-takers aren’t aware of how fast the riders are going, and can’t see to avert wrecks. “There have been too many big accidents with riders hitting spectators, and you don’t want to see that,” he said. “There is not much racing on British roads and people don’t understand how fast we go and how much of the road we use. If they want selfies, they should stand on a wall.”
The possibility of spectators and other off-course threats making their way into the path of riders is a continual threat, but the fact that selfie-takers are willfully ignorant is what is driving riders insane. “I love the crowds and thank you for your support,” van Garderen said. “But please give us room.”
Here, via BuzzFeed, is a sample of Tour de France selfies. Don’t do this.