Climate change protesters brought the Tour de France to a halt on Tuesday, temporarily halting stage 10. The group Dernière Rénovation, which has organized numerous protests across France, including at the Roland Garros tennis tournament earlier this year, said in a statement it seeks to ” force legislation to drastically reduce France’s emissions, starting with energy reform, the area most likely to bring together social and climate justice today.”
Belgian cyclist Philippe Gilbert told Sporza, “The police have all the trouble in the world to get them off the asphalt, because they had their hands smeared with glue. They were stuck to the asphalt.”
The protest blocked the race in Arve valley, according to French Journalist Pauline Perinet, the most polluted in the country.
Professional cycling is intertwined with numerous aspects of the climate crisis, both in terms of climate impacts affecting riders and races, as well as through sportswashing — multiple high profile teams are sponsored by fossil fuel companies and petrostates. “I would prefer not to come to this. I would rather be with my grandfather, be quiet on my sofa watching the Tour de France, while the government does its job,” a 32-year-old named Alice, presumably one of the protestors, wrote on the Dernière Rénovation website. “But this is not the reality.” (Protest: CyclingTips, The Guardian, Sporza (via Google translate), stickybottle, VeloNews, CNN, Cycling Weekly, SaltWire, CyclingNews, Sports Illustrated; Rider reactions: CyclingTips; Commentary: Cycling News, Barry Ryan commentary)