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Spectator Causes Prolific Rider to Abandon the Tour

Article updated on July 7 12:16 GMT to provide additional accurate information on historical accidents caused by spectators.

Daniel Oss, most well known as a prominent supporting rider behind many of Peter Sagan's successes, was forced to abandon the tour on Stage 5 after suffering a fractured vertebra that was caused by a spectator standing in front of the rider.

Flashback to the 2018 Amgen Tour of California, Oss is pictured riding behind Sagan.

Flashback to the 2018 Amgen Tour of California, Oss is pictured riding behind Sagan.

In the fifth stage of the Tour de France, on the third cobbles section, Daniel Oss (TotalEnergies) was involved in a spectacular crash after colliding with a spectator. The incident occurred when a spectator stepped into the course while Oss was riding on the right-hand side. The Italian rider was sent tumbling to the ground and a Bora-Hansgrohe rider hit him from behind before also being thrown from his bike.

Oss sustained major injuries in the crash but managed to finish the stage 13:07 down on the stage winner Simon Clarke (Israel-Premier Tech). Oss later was forced to depart from the race as he will require immobilization for a few weeks at the least to help his fractured vertebra recover.

The team made a statement following the medical analysis.

The statement translates to, "The additional exams showed a fracture in one of the cervical vertebrae requiring immobilization for a few weeks. Daniel Oss is therefore forced to leave the Tour de France. The whole team wishes you a speedy recovery, Daniel."

This is not the first time that spectators have caused problems at the Tour de France. In fact, there have been several incidents of spectators interfering with riders during stages at this year's edition and just as in previous events.

In 2016, for example, spectators blocked the television broadcasting motorcycle and caused a major pileup. In 2015 at the Giro d'Italia--another grand tour race--a spectator's telephoto camera lens managed to take down many of the major contenders.

Last year's tour had one of the most dramatic crashes just 45km from a stage finish as a fan held a sign to the cameras, completely ignoring the incoming peloton. Two riders had to drop from the race, eight more suffered injuries, and dozens piled up as the chain of events unfolded. The woman fled the scene, but was later arrested and then set free without charges.

Just last week, another rider crashed after colliding with a spectator who had stepped onto the course. And earlier in the race, several riders were forced to take evasive action when spectators threw objects onto the road in front of them.

It is unclear what measures will be taken to prevent further incidents involving spectators, but it is clear that something needs to be done to ensure the safety of both riders and spectators alike.

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