Tour de selfie swamps the peloton

08 July 2014 - 02:01
By Tom Cary, © The Daily Telegraph

The selfie has swept the globe, with everyone from Barack Obama to David Cameron jumping on the bandwagon. But when mixed with cycling it is the "latest pain in the butt", according to Team Sky's Geraint Thomas.

Quickly taking a shot of yourself, with a swarming peloton in the background, can be extremely dangerous, and on Sunday the Tour de France riders had had enough.

After the first stage on Saturday there were complaints that spectators were encroaching too far into the riders' space. There were further complaints on Sunday that some people were standing in the road with their backs to the peloton trying to take selfies of themselves with their heroes.

"A dangerous mix of vanity and stupidity," wrote BMC's US rider Tejay van Garderen, who seemed to suggest he needed treatment in the wake of one incident.

"Standing in the middle of the road with your back turned while 200 cyclists come at you, just to take a selfie. #think #TDF2014."

He said: "That being said, I love the crowds and thank you for your support. But please give us room. Gonna ice my knee now."

Thomas, Team Sky's Olympic team pursuit champion, was in agreement. Ahead of the third and final stage on UK soil - from Cambridge to London - yesterday the Welshman admitted that he had been blown away by the support. Police estimates are of 2.5million spectators over the first two days but organisers reckon the number could be as high as 5million.

Thomas said: " The worst thing is when people have their back to the peloton taking selfies. There were a few. They don't see us coming, they're in the road and it's dodgy. If you want to do that, stand on a wall or something.

"It's the new pain in the butt. They were just standing in the gutter. If you want to go and do that go and sit in a tree."

  • Marcel Kittel won a sprint finish to the third stage of the Tour de France after 155km of racing from Cambridge to Buckingham Palace in London yesterday.

It was the German 26-year-old's second stage victory as he beat Slovak Peter Sagan, with Australian Mark Renshaw third.

Italian Vincenzo Nibali kept the yellow jersey.