Why were the activists who blocked stage 10 of the Tour de France protesting?
The Tour de France was brought to a sudden halt at Stage 10 when a group of climate change activists blocked the route.
On Tuesday, the Tour De France came to a screeching halt at Stage 10. Italian cyclist Alberto Bettiol was in the lead when he came upon a cloud of pink smoke and a group of protesters in the middle of the road. He was able to swerve around them, but the race was paused shortly after to get the protesters off the road.
The protesters in question were there as climate change activists. They sat at around 36 kilometers (22 miles) from the finish line, forcing the riders to stop down for around 15 minutes. The demonstration was organized by a French group called Dernière Rénovation, whose objective is to get the French government to make all buildings more energy efficient by the year 2040.
Several of the protesters wore shirts that read, “We have 989 days left”. The group has organized eight highway blockades since April 1, plus a protest during the French Open tennis semifinals in which a protester jumped onto the tennis court and tied herself to the net.
“Since the government doesn’t care about the climate crisis, we need to come and take over the Tour de France to refocus attention on what matters for our survival,” Derniere Renovation said in a statement. “We need to make our government react as they lead us to the slaughterhouse.”
Once the protesters were pulled off the road by police and Tour organizers, the race was able to resume with the riders maintaining the distance between them that they’d had at the time of the stop. Danish cyclist Magnus Cort Nielsen ended up winning the race. The protesters were arrested.