sport

Thomas fears Tour 'selfies'

Geraint Thomas was amazed by the experience of a Tour de France watched by five million people in Yorkshire, but believes spectator 'selfies' are a worrying trend.

Tour director Christian Prudhomme lauded the greatest Grand Depart yet and believed double the official estimate of 2.5million people had lined the routes from Leeds to Harrogate and York to Sheffield.

For Team Sky's Thomas the experience was hair-raising in a number of respects.

The 28-year-old from Cardiff, one of three Britons in the peloton following the withdrawal of Mark Cavendish with a shoulder injury, said: "It was unbelievable at times. Going up Holme Moss I had goosebumps. It was amazing.

"For sure, it was a bit dodgy at times. 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.

"It's the new pain in the a*** (for the Tour). They were just stood in the gutter.

"They don't realise we use every part of the road. They're a lot of us and we use every inch.

"If you're on the front (of the peloton) you can see them but if you're two back you nearly hit them.

"If you want to go and do that, go and sit in a tree. There's not much racing on British roads and people don't understand how fast we're going and how close we get.

"There have been too many accidents with riders hitting spectators. We don't want to see that but it could easily happen."

American Tejay van Garderen also had a firm rebuke for camera-phone loving spectators.

Van Garderen said on Twitter: "A dangerous mix of vanity and stupidity.

"Standing I the middle of the road with you back turned while 200 cyclists come at you, just to take a selfie. #think #TDF2014

"That being said, I love the crowds and thank you for your support. But please give us room."