The Tour de France is one of the largest and most iconic sporting events on the planet, with nearly 200 cyclists from all over the world racing over 2,000 miles over the course of 23 days.
But the tour stopped for several minutes on Tuesday when a group of protesters placed themselves in the middle of the course on the roadway and lit flares to block riders.
Stage 10 of @LeTour has been interrupted due to a group of protestors blocking the road.
The race has been temporarily stopped while they are cleared from the road. pic.twitter.com/O6a0Hgid5g
— NBC Sports Cycling (@NBCSCycling) July 12, 2022
Video from the event shows the protesters quickly running onto the roadway and spreading out evenly across it, which forced the cyclists to stop. The protesters remained on the course until authorities forcibly removed them.
According to Cycling News, the protests were performed by a group by the name of Derniere Renovation – the same group responsible for a similar protest at the French Open in June when a woman tied herself to the net during the men’s semi-final round.
“I would rather be with my grandfather, be quiet on my sofa watching the Tour de France, while the government does its job. But this is not the reality,” reads a quote attributed to Alice on the Derniere Renovation website. “What do you expect from me? That I stay on the roadside watching my life go by like I watch cyclists go by? No, I decided to act and interfere to avoid the worst episode of suffering and create a new world. Because everything can still change.”
The race was eventually restarted with event organizers ensuring to maintain all of the previous leads built before the halt.