It's easy to forget that the art of self-obsession can be as deadly as it is fun. Selfies, a silent international killer of teens, not only threatens one of the world’s premier sporting events but the safety of hundreds of its riders.
After Saturday's first stage, Tour de France officials warned fans that they were beginning to creep too close for riders’ comfort and asked them to stay back. Apparently, spectators didn’t take the hint; more complaints arrived on Sunday that fans were standing in the road, backs to the cyclists, waiting for the chance to snag a selfie with their favorite rider.
Tour de France.....but first let me take a selfie pic.twitter.com/X6rCU8qcYx— Daniel Tate (@DanJGTate) July 6, 2014
Fed up, Team Sky’s Geraint Thomas went on a tirade about the selfie-obsessed, calling them "the latest pain in the ass." (This from a man who sits on a tiny bike seat for countless hours every day.) Thomas added:
The worst thing is when people have got their back to the peloton taking selfies. 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.
Hoping to hammer the message home in 140 characters, American rider Tejay van Garderen took to Twitter to fire off a slew of messages about the danger and stupidity selfies pose to the Tour de France.
A dangerous mix of vanity and stupidity.........— Tejay van Garderen (@tejay_van) July 6, 2014
That being said, I love the crowds and thank you for your support. But please give us room. Gonna ice my knee now.— Tejay van Garderen (@tejay_van) July 6, 2014
If you plan on attending any leg of the Tour, please head the warnings of these cyclists and keep an eye out of these dangerous criminals while you're at it.