Tour de France 2022: Protestors on road bring stage 10 to a standstill

·2 min read
Police officers remove protestors from the road (Reuters)
Police officers remove protestors from the road (Reuters)

The Tour de France was brought to a standstill on Tuesday as demonstrators blocked the road en route to Megève.

A large breakaway group of riders were leading stage 10 by several minutes when they ran into protestors lined across the road with around 35km of the 148km route remaining.

Two of the activists were sitting back-to-back tied together while others let off red smokebombs, and the breakaway was significantly hindered in its progress towards the finish.

Eurosport’s on-road commentator Bradley Wiggins reported seeing team officials leave their cars to physically remove the demonstrators, describing the conflict as “great scenes”, while police also intervened.

Race director Christian Prudhomme was forced to neutralise the stage and restore the previous time gaps, leaving many riders waiting for around 10 minutes.

Police remove protesters from the road during the 10th stage (EPA)
Police remove protesters from the road during the 10th stage (EPA)
Demonstrators are cleared to the side of the road (AFP via Getty Images)
Demonstrators are cleared to the side of the road (AFP via Getty Images)
Race leader Tadej Pogacar is unflustered by the disruption (AFP via Getty Images)
Race leader Tadej Pogacar is unflustered by the disruption (AFP via Getty Images)

A group called Dernière Rénovation claimed responsibility for the disruption.

Their statement on social media read: “Today, 9 citizens supporting Last Renovation interrupted the 10th stage of the Tour de France between Morzine and Megève at Magland to stop the mad race towards the annihilation of our society.

“We can no longer remain spectators of the ongoing climate disaster. We have 989 days left to save our future, our humanity.

“The finish line is a ravine and we are calling on our government to turn immediately.

“Our goal is to force legislation to drastically reduce France’s emissions, starting with energy renovation, the area most likely to bring together social and climate justice today.

“This is our last chance to avoid catastrophic and irreversible consequences: deadly heat, extreme weather events, famines, mass migrations, armed conflicts… and this for all the next generations of humans.”

No riders were hurt and the race continued soon afterwards.

There have been many occasions down the years when protestors have attempting to disrupt the Tour de France. In 2018, farmers rolled hay bales into the road and in the ensuing melee, police accidentally pepper-sprayed much of the peloton.