Stage 10 of the Tour de France cycling race was interrupted for around 15 minutes due to a protest staged by nine climate activists on Tuesday afternoon.
The demonstration was claimed by Dernière Rénovation, a French climate activist group whose main demand is that the French government commit itself to renovating all buildings to be more energy efficient by 2040.
Italian cyclist Alberto Bettiol, who was leading the race in the Haute-Savoie region of eastern France, managed to swerve around the protesters, only to then have to stop to wait for the race to start again, respecting the distance between each cyclist that had been recorded at the time of the official pause. Danish cyclist Magnus Cort Nielsen later took the lead and won the stage.
The protesters were arrested by local police.
Dernière Rénovation has carried out eight highway blockades since April 1 — as well as a protest during the semi-final of this year’s French Open tennis tournament.
“The reality is that the world towards which politicians are sending us is a world in which the Tour de France can no longer exist,” Alice, one of the protesters, said in a press release. “We must act and enter into civil resistance today to save what remains to be saved.”