UKC

Justice for Tony Martin

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The French authorities are trying the Opi-Omi women tomorrow.

https://www.cyclingnews.com/news/opi-omi-spectator-who-caused-tour-de-france-crash-to-be-tried-in-criminal-court-thursday/

Max penalty is a 15,000€ fine and a year in prison.

I think the riders union are suing her as well?

Justice at last!

 gethin_allen 13 Oct 2021
In reply to VSisjustascramble:

> I think the riders union are suing her as well?

I suppose it depends on whether she is worth suing and whether it will gain anything beyond her criminal conviction.

If she's of average wealth and uninsured (not sure if you can get insurance for such things) then she'd likely be bankrupt and going around seriously ruining people's lives isn't really a good look for pro cycling no matter how stupid the perpetrators actions were.

In reply to gethin_allen:

My understanding is that it’s a token 1€, but I get your drift.

 fred99 13 Oct 2021
In reply to gethin_allen:

> I suppose it depends on whether she is worth suing and whether it will gain anything beyond her criminal conviction.

> If she's of average wealth and uninsured (not sure if you can get insurance for such things) then she'd likely be bankrupt and going around seriously ruining people's lives isn't really a good look for pro cycling no matter how stupid the perpetrators actions were.

I'd have thought that something needs to be done as an example, otherwise you could have people going around "seriously ruining cyclist's lives" because they support another team or some such idiocy.

A period in jail, and coming out to a life with all her savings and property taken away might just stop a repeat. The alternative is to close ALL the roads where cycle races  - especially the Tour de France - are taking place. Is that what people want ?

 Harry Jarvis 13 Oct 2021
In reply to fred99:

> A period in jail, and coming out to a life with all her savings and property taken away might just stop a repeat. The alternative is to close ALL the roads where cycle races  - especially the Tour de France - are taking place. Is that what people want ?

Is that the only alternative, or is it possible that this is an exceptional case, and that many hours of road racing pass without the need for such draconian conditions? 

I'm sure you might be able to think of other alternatives. It's not clear to me why you think that destroying this person's life is a viable alternative to all the other options. 

 65 13 Oct 2021
In reply to fred99:

> A period in jail, and coming out to a life with all her savings and property taken away might just stop a repeat. The alternative is to close ALL the roads where cycle races  - especially the Tour de France - are taking place. Is that what people want ?

Either scenario would make me abandon all interest in the sport.  There is a world of difference between a naive woman waving a banner and someone punching Eddy Merckx in the kidneys. 

 wercat 13 Oct 2021
In reply to Harry Jarvis:

There were so many instances of reckless spectators throughout the Tour who could equally have caused pileups and I think they are equally culpable but just lucky they didn't injure anyone.  I wonder if the race organizers should be held partly to blame and this spectator punished shortly and sharply but not have her life ruined.  The real issue is the number of stupidly dangerous and distracting spectators not this person in particular.

Post edited at 14:06
 gethin_allen 13 Oct 2021
In reply to fred99:

Having a criminal conviction and a 15k Euro fine isn't exactly a slap on the wrist, ignoring whether or not she is imprisoned (which I don't think she will be).

I'm not sure making examples of people would to have any impact on people like the lady in question. These people aren't conspiring to knock off cyclists so aren't considering the consequences of their actions to themselves or the cyclists involved.

Consider how a member of the public who is of the anti/ambivalent to cyclist opinion would view bankrupting this lady and seriously disrupting the lives of her family (possibly children)? I don't think this would help our cause as cyclists.

The alternative to closed roads for these races is that the public will turns against cycling and fewer races are given licences. Maybe not the big races like the tour but the lower category races. And anyway, there's no way on earth the ASO could close the tour route to spectators or fence the whole route.

In reply to wercat:

Not only that but race organisers have caused so many serious incidents in the past with bad course choices, with terrible road layouts and road furniture in the last kms of sprint finishes and barriers with dangerous constructions that have injured riders in the past. Absolutely stinks if they aren't going to get themselves in order before going after an individual who made a stupid mistake rather than a malicious decision to bring down TM. 

 Harry Jarvis 13 Oct 2021
In reply to wercat:

I don't doubt there are problems with spectators encroaching. I've often been bemused by the crowds on mountain stages, and marvelled at the patience of the riders seemingly having to fight their way through the mobs. 

However, I was more than a bit bemused by fred99's idea that the only options were the financial destruction of one woman's life or the closure of roads to spectators. If it's not possible to consider a slightly wider range of options, I'm not sure road races could be continued. 

In reply to fred99:

> I'd have thought that something needs to be done as an example, otherwise you could have people going around "seriously ruining cyclist's lives" because they support another team or some such idiocy.

The French didn't seem to take any action against the multitude of people spitting at, or hitting Chris Froome...

 DerwentDiluted 13 Oct 2021
In reply to VSisjustascramble:

Community service, picking up litter after the tour has passed, and scrubbing off all the allez daubing on the roads. She gets to keep the house, idiots are deterred. 

 GrahamD 13 Oct 2021
In reply to VSisjustascramble:

I don't think the sentence is important.  I'd imagine an ordinary 30 year old would have suffered plenty by now.  What is important is setting a legal precedent.

 65 13 Oct 2021
In reply to DerwentDiluted:

> scrubbing off all the allez daubing on the roads. 

Absolutely not!

In reply to GrahamD:

At the end of the day she went to a bike race to try to get on TV and did something that could have killed someone.

I appreciate it wasn’t intentional, but she broke French law at the end of the day. Just because people race bikes for a living doesn’t mean they can be endangered by members of the public.

A criminal record alone would ruin most people lives, but under French law she committed a criminal act, so as the French say “c’est la vie”.

 65 13 Oct 2021
In reply to VSisjustascramble:

> A criminal record alone would ruin most people lives, but under French law she committed a criminal act, so as the French say “c’est la vie”.

I'm interested in your expertise in French law.

Possible pedantic correction for you, it's anglophones who say C'est la vie. To the best of my knowledge it is hardly ever used by the French, and when it is it has more or different connotations than how we use it.

 Mike_Gannon 13 Oct 2021
In reply to VSisjustascramble:

Just my opinion, but if a car hit a pedestrian they'd be done for careless driving.

She didn't exactly step out into the road, she'd been there a good few minutes. You could argue the guy wasn't looking where he was going and is just as culpable.
youtube.com/watch?v=lR2E30eb4Ow&

Seems more like what happened to this guy

youtube.com/watch?v=0I0Zs1G1ri4&

Post edited at 23:17
 FactorXXX 13 Oct 2021
In reply to 65:

> Possible pedantic correction for you, it's anglophones who say C'est la vie. To the best of my knowledge it is hardly ever used by the French, and when it is it has more or different connotations than how we use it.

That's interesting and probably quite disappointing to the people that use the term.
However, as they say in France, that's life. 

 65 13 Oct 2021
In reply to Mike_Gannon:

> Just my opinion, but if a car hit a pedestrian they'd be done for careless driving.

> She didn't exactly step out into the road, she'd been there a good few minutes. You could argue the guy wasn't looking where he was going and is just as culpable.

Are we talking about the same thing here or have I missed something? I thought this was about the woman who caused the pile up at The Tour with her big sign.

It's a bike race, THE bike race. If you don't get what that is about then I give up. The woman was a plonker, but I think she's realised that now. Prudhomme got it right. I'm more concerned that the sport I love has more witch-burners following it than I thought. I'd be interested to hear Tony Martin's view and see if it has softened from his understandable reaction after the crash.

 Pedro50 13 Oct 2021
In reply to 65:

Well TM has retired stating it's just too dangerous for a family man. A dignified man. 

 65 13 Oct 2021
In reply to Pedro50:

> Well TM has retired stating it's just too dangerous for a family man. A dignified man. 

That's a bloody shame.

In reply to Mike_Gannon:

Wow. UKC's capacity to educate me about the world never ceases to amaze me.

jcm

 Slackboot 14 Oct 2021
In reply to 65:

The expression is c'est la vie, c'est la guerre, c'est la pomme de terre which, when translated literally, means “that's life, that's war, that's the potato”. They don't use the phrase in isolation..... or so I'm told.

 Toby_W 14 Oct 2021
In reply to Mike_Gannon:

Not really, it’s a race, on closed roads.  Imagine someone leaning out and catching the spoiler of a formula 1 car and falling onto the track causing a huge crash.

You also seem to be suggesting he should have swerved around her…. Really?  I don’t think you’ve thought about this unless you’re just trolling.

Cheers

Toby

 petemeads 14 Oct 2021
In reply to Slackboot:

The internet would disagree with your potato variation being used by the French. I had to check because they do have some wonderfully peculiar sayings ("Dans la semaine de quatre Jeudis" as an example) but this one seems to be an English franglaise weirdness. 

In reply to VSisjustascramble:

I thought you meant this guy for a moment:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tony_Martin_(farmer)

In reply to gethin_allen:

> Having a criminal conviction and a 15k Euro fine isn't exactly a slap on the wrist, ignoring whether or not she is imprisoned (which I don't think she will be).

Unless French justice is very different to ours, I'd be amazed if she gets the maximum

 fred99 14 Oct 2021
In reply to captain paranoia:

> > I'd have thought that something needs to be done as an example, otherwise you could have people going around "seriously ruining cyclist's lives" because they support another team or some such idiocy.

> The French didn't seem to take any action against the multitude of people spitting at, or hitting Chris Froome...

I'm sure that I'm not alone in thinking that the French should have done something about it.

It could be that such inaction has led to this particular incident, due to a belief that she could do whatever and be free from any repercussions.

 DaveHK 14 Oct 2021
In reply to fred99:

> I'm sure that I'm not alone in thinking that the French should have done something about it.

> It could be that such inaction has led to this particular incident, due to a belief that she could do whatever and be free from any repercussions.

That would imply that this person's actions were a deliberate attempt to cause harm. I think it's pretty clear she didn't set out to hurt or harm a rider in the same way as those targeting Froome did. Stupid and negligent yes, malicious no.

 DaveHK 14 Oct 2021
In reply to 65:

> That's a bloody shame.

I'm fairly sure he'd have been retiring in the not too distant future anyway but he's used the publicity his retirement has generated to comment on rider safety.

 steveriley 14 Oct 2021
In reply to VSisjustascramble:

I'd take a guess at that woman's life being hell post incident, and that's its own kind of punishment. She did something spectacularly dumb, but no different from dozens of other incidents every stage. 

 gethin_allen 14 Oct 2021
In reply to DubyaJamesDubya:

> Unless French justice is very different to ours, I'd be amazed if she gets the maximum

Indeed, a few hours community service would in the cards in the UK and she'd probably be held up as a champion by anti LTN campaigners.

 deepsoup 14 Oct 2021
In reply to petemeads:

> I had to check because they do have some wonderfully peculiar sayings ("Dans la semaine de quatre Jeudis" as an example)..

Is that really weirder than a "month of Sundays"?

In reply to Toby_W:

> Not really, it’s a race, on closed roads.  Imagine someone leaning out and catching the spoiler of a formula 1 car and falling onto the track causing a huge crash.

> You also seem to be suggesting he should have swerved around her…. Really?  I don’t think you’ve thought about this unless you’re just trolling.

> Cheers

> Toby

They are trolling.

 felt 14 Oct 2021
In reply to deepsoup:

> Is that really weirder than a "month of Sundays"?

That a nice counterexample, but I'd say yes, perhaps a little weirder, as a Sunday has a much more clearly defined identity than a Thursday.

 Ciro 14 Oct 2021
In reply to deepsoup:

> Is that really weirder than a "month of Sundays"?

It's always funny when you stop and think about the arbitrary nature of what we find normal or weird in communication.

Americans sound weird when they call trousers pants... but what do underpants go under if not pants... if we're wearing underpants without pants does that not make us weird?

Why the f*ck they would say "I could care less" I will never understand though

In reply to Ciro:

Pants is a perfectly good English word for trousers, we never stopped using it in my part of the world (North West England). I’m alway bemused when people bring up that particular ‘Americanism’.

 Slackboot 14 Oct 2021

Many stage finishes in a race have the spectators tightly packed in a funnel that  parts at the last moment to al!ow the cyclist through. To me it is incredible that there are not more incidents like this, where a spectator just makes a mistake which has consequences because they are allowed to be so close to the action. Stuff like this is going to happen occasionally if we are to maintain the intimacy of close proximity. The alternative is to always have the crowd well back behind barriers. That would make it safer but destroy the atmosphere for many.

In reply to Slackboot:

Most people in the “tunnel” on say a mountain top finish are watching the race so can get out of the way in time.

If she was watching the race and had stepped out into the road for a moment I’d have a bit more sympathy for her.

TdF 2022 route is out by the way. The cobbles are back.

 gethin_allen 14 Oct 2021
In reply to VSisjustascramble:

> Most people in the “tunnel” on say a mountain top finish are watching the race so can get out of the way in time.

Also, the riders aren't doing 30+ mph up the big hills.

I think many people are unaware of how fast pro riders ride in the peloton, I certainly was the first time I saw one go by. I remember sitting on the side of the road outside Bradfield in the peak district to watch the TDF thinking I'd get a good look at the riders there as they were coming up hill towards me and then they blasted through in a matter of seconds.

 felt 14 Oct 2021
In reply to Ciro:

> Americans sound weird when they call trousers pants... but what do underpants go under if not pants... if we're wearing underpants without pants does that not make us weird?

That's a rather German way of looking at words, if you don't mind me saying so.

> Why the f*ck they would say "I could care less" I will never understand though 

It makes perfect sense if you understand what Americans mean when they say, "Tell me about it!", i.e. "Don't tell me about it!"

In reply to The New NickB:

> I’m alway bemused when people bring up that particular ‘Americanism’.

Pants is fine.

It's the singular 'pant' that is particularly American.

 yorkshireman 14 Oct 2021
In reply to felt:

> It makes perfect sense if you understand what Americans mean when they say, "Tell me about it!", i.e. "Don't tell me about it!"

I was bemused by a similar issue in French. "Tu m'etonnes" literally translates as "you surprise me", but is used in the sense of "I'm not surprised", or as you say above "tell me about it!"

I can see why a French friend of mine who speaks 8 languages and works for the European Parliament insists he's an interpreter not a translator, since most his value is trying to decipher the meaning and subtext behind words and phrases, not simply translating them.

 wbo2 14 Oct 2021
In reply to VSisjustascramble:  Would you support a similar prosecution of a competing rider who through bad riding, or even more interestingly, deliberate bad sportsmanship caused a similar crash? If not, why not, particularly for the deliberate scenario?

 fred99 15 Oct 2021
In reply to wbo2:

>   Would you support a similar prosecution of a competing rider who through bad riding, or even more interestingly, deliberate bad sportsmanship caused a similar crash? If not, why not, particularly for the deliberate scenario?

I certainly would.

Quite apart from the obvious cheating, which should warrant immediate disqualification and subsequent disciplinary action by the sports governing body, there has to be a good chance of a criminal case for assault, probably with the added "occasioning actual bodily harm" or maybe "with a blunt instrument". In the event others were knowingly involved, then conspiracy charges could also be added.

Sport at the elite level is an example to youth and society in general, and so should be held to a higher level of behaviour.

 DancingOnRock 15 Oct 2021
In reply to tomsan91:

It would certainly be interesting when the judge asks what precautions were put in place to prevent this from happening. 


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