The Turnstile

Selfies becoming a 'pain in the arse' for riders at the Tour de France

Jay Busbee
The Turnstile
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Spectators watch as a distanced rider climbs Bradfield Pass during the second stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 201 kilometers (124.9 miles) with start in York and finish in Sheffield, England, Sunday, July 6, 2014. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

The Tour de France the greatest two-wheel race in the world, 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."

[Related: Cyclist denied kiss on podium]

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 selection of Tour de France selfies. Don't do this.

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Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at jay.busbee@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter.

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