Riders on the Tour de France faced disruption on Stage 19 after a group of protesters encroached on the road. An environmental campaign organization- named Derniere Renovation- claimed responsibility for the act, bringing the race to a momentary halt. The 188 km stretch from Castelnau-Magnoac to Cahors- a flat road- is usually without demons, but the breakaway pack had to encounter a strange obstacle. The group of five- chained to each other- had glued themselves to the road, forcing the breakaway pack to skirt around them. Soon after, race organizers asked the peloton to stop as they cleared the field.
Today’s interruption marks the third such instance during the ongoing Tour de France, with the same organization responsible for the previous disruptions. Taking to Twitter, they outlined the motivations behind their protest:
“These citizens assume the risks of their action because today the greatest risk is the inaction of the government which condemns the French to suffer waves of extreme heat, mass starvation and massacres. There is no more time to wait. These citizens are there to affirm that humanity is better than abandoning itself to its extinction. They are there to make the government and its deputies react and say that society will not give up in the face of death and the most absolute evil. They are there to force the change required for a new society to come about. To force governments to drastically reduce their CO2 emissions, nothing less. They are there for actions, not words. We are at the dawn of a sixth extinction, entering into resistance is not a pleasure it is a question of survival.”
The race resumed soon after, with the leading pack allowed to push forward first before the peloton followed a couple of minutes later. With two stages remaining after today, Danish Jonas Vingegaard leads the race for the yellow jersey, followed by Slovenian Tadej Pogacar. Veteran Welshman Geraint Thomas completes the top three.