‘Vanity and stupidity’ – Tour de France cyclist slams 'dodgy' selfie craze
BMC Racing cyclist Tejay van Garderen has criticised the selfie phenomenon that has gripped cycling fans and warned of the potential dangers.
The social media craze that has even gripped the likes of David Cameron and Barack Obama, has become a feature of the sport recently and the Tour de France riders have had enough.
After warnings following the first stage on Saturday that fans were encroaching too far into the riders’ personal space, there were further complaints that some were standing in the road with their backs to the peloton trying to take selfies of themselves with their heroes.
“A dangerous mix of vanity and stupidity,” wrote BMC’s American rider Tejay van Garderen, who appeared to suggest that he needed treatment in the wake of one incident. “Standing in the middle of the road with your back turned while 200 cyclists come at you, just to take a selfie. #think #TDF2014”
“That being said, I love the crowds and thank you for your support. But please give us room. Gonna ice my knee now.”
His team-mate Geraint Thomas added that it is now the “latest pain in the ass.”
“The worst thing is when people have got their back to the peloton taking selfies,” he said.
“There were a few. They don’t see us coming, they’re stood in the road and it’s dodgy. If you want to do that, stand on a wall or something.”
“I think people need to realise we take up the whole road. If you want to go and do that go and sit in a tree.”
During the Giro d’Italia stage in Dublin this year, a young Irish cycling fan apologised to Marcel Kittel for taking a selfie with cyclist after he had collapsed to the ground following his stage win.
At the Tour of Flanders in April a 65-year-old woman had to have two operations on her brain after being knocked over by Garmin-Sharp rider Johan Vansummeren at high speed, and riders are acutely sensitive to the dangers that crowds pose to them and vice versa.