France: Tour fans 'pelt promotional workers'

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Media captionTour de France freebies galore as the teams run through town

Frustrated cycling fans who miss out on Tour de France freebies chuck beer, water and stones at promotional workers, it's claimed.

Casual followers of Le Tour may be unaware of the publicity caravan, the convoy of nearly 200 branded vehicles that precedes the cyclists at each stage, doling out merchandise including hats, stationery and sweets. But it seems joining the ranks of young women perched on vehicles can be almost as hazardous as racing the 2,115 miles on two wheels. The 45-minute procession sees "hysterical" crowds scrambling for freebies, notes Henri Seckel in French daily Le Monde's race blog.

Seasoned caravan worker Elodie, 26, who's spent the last fortnight launching dried sausage at hungry spectators from a converted 2CV, tells him: "Sometimes, especially in the mountains, people are so keen to get hold of the goodies, they may pounce on the car. It's impressive, they take risks. And if they don't get their sausage, they may throw various things at us. The nicest is water. Sometimes it's beer; sometimes stones."

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