The 14th stage of the Tour de France has been temporarily stopped due to a mass fall. About five kilometers after the sharp start in Annemasse, a large part of the field fell in a descent on a rain-soaked track. The tour organization immediately neutralized the race. Only after about 23 minutes did the race continue with a two-kilometre neutral phase. It was the first mass fall on this year’s tour.
The Spaniard Antonio Pedrero and the South African Louis Meintjes had to give up the race injured and were taken to the hospital. A broken collarbone at Meintjes was immediately confirmed. The 31-year-old was 13th overall and was the captain of the Intermarché team with Georg Zimmermann from Augsburg.
The fall was apparently caused by a driver error. Almost every team was involved, so race director Christian Prudhomme felt compelled to neutralize. Sporting directors praised the move, which is rare on the Tour. The race doctors took care of the 20 or so drivers who fell, some of whom suffered extensive abrasions.
In the past, external factors were more likely to have caused a race stop. Sometimes environmental activists blocked the road, sometimes drivers went on strike for more safety on the road. In the 2019 Tour, the stage to Tignes had to be canceled due to a landslide.
The Annemasse to Morzine stage is the second of three mountain stages in a row before Monday’s second rest day. Leaders Vingegaard and Pogacar separate only nine seconds. Everyone is expecting a showdown in the mountains, where the Slovenian can get even closer to the Dane or even take the yellow jersey from him.