Tour de France organisers Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO) have issued a remarkable apology at the conclusion of Stage 5, after it emerged that race commissaires forgot to bring in the flag to signal the start of today’s race.
By JOKE ZOETEMELK
In unprecedented scenes, the race organisation only realised their mistake with approximately 30km of the stage remaining.
“In hindsight, my arm was getting pretty tired,” said chief commissaire Pierre le Qui, who held the flag all the way from the neutral zone.
“Was it an oversight? Yes. Am I proud of it? No. But the race goes on – it is what it is.”
The reaction from teams has been generally positive, with many riders grateful for a pleasant group ride, having missed out on such simple pleasures during the coronavirus lockdown.
“It was a good chance to catch up with the lads,” said Ineos Grenadiers rider Luke Rowe, who suggested the entire peloton stop for coffee with about 90km to go.
“Unfortunately, everyone remembered it was my turn to shout, and since I didn’t have my bankcard with me, I’ve got to ride back to the bloody cafe now and settle up.”
Upon inspecting the bill, Rowe was later heard shouting “Who ordered the thickshake? I’m not paying for that.”
Suspicions immediately fell on Carlos Betancur, before it was revealed the Colombian is not actually riding this year’s Tour.