• Vincenzo Nibali rides the last metres after a crash with a spectator during Stage 12 of the Tour de France (Getty Images) (Getty)Source: Getty
Vincenzo Nibali's team Bahrain Merida is considering legal action against Tour organisers after he crashed with a spectator on Alpe d'Huez, according to reports.
Cycling Central

22 Jul 2018 - 6:59 AM  UPDATED 22 Jul 2018 - 9:26 AM

Nibali quit the Tour after fracturing his T10 vertebrae in the clash with a spectator, just one of a number of incidents of poor crowd behaviour atop the famed Tour climb.  

A video posted to Twitter after the stage appears to show a camera strap entangling Nibali when spectators coming too close to riders. 

Nibali out of Tour with fracture after crash with spectator
In the final kilometres, just as the race was in its last throes before the finish, the broadcast cameras came across Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain Merida) prostrate on the road next to his bike.

While Tour race director Christian Prudhomme personally apologised to the team and publicly called for a calming of fan behaviour, it wasn't enough, Bahrain Merida's general manager Brent Copeland told several outlets including Cyclingnews.

"I’ve spoken to both Christian Prudhomme and UCI president David Lappartient at length," he said.

"They apologised and assured us that safety will be improved in future. But, for us, that’s not enough; we’ve suffered huge damage as a team.

"It’s not acceptable. That’s why our lawyers are studying the possibility of legal action.

“ASO has insurance for this kind of thing and we’ve suffered clear and important damage as a team. Vincenzo is our team leader, he’s the patrimony of our team and of the sport as a whole, as Prudhomme and Lappartient have said.

“It’s true that there were barriers where the incident happened but there seems to be clear negligence. The fans invaded the road and the Gendarmerie didn’t do what they should. They also didn’t do anything about the people lighting flares. It’s not easy to control more 600,000 fans as there were the other day, but as they’re so powerful and so well organised, some things have to be managed firmly.”

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