Paris police hunt driver of car that crashed through barricades at Tour de France

A car with two occupants crashed through the barricades in the Place de la Concorde after hitting a taxi

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The Independent Online

Police in Paris are hunting for the driver of a car that crashed through barricades at the finishing line of the Tour de France.

Police opened fire on the car after it hit a taxi and crashed through the barricades which were being set up for the final stage of the race in the Place de la Concorde at 8am on Sunday.

Luc Poignant, a spokesman for the SGP police union, said the two occupants of the car fled after coming under fire in the Place de la Concorde where cyclists make their final round to end the race.

Poignant said officers were setting up the barricades when the incident occurred on Sunday morning and no police were hurt.

One police officer told Reuters it was a "minor incident" where the occupants of the car refused to stop for police, it was not terrorism, and wasn't aimed at the Tour.

He said: "It's just a simple refusal to comply, as there are many every day."

According to the Telegraph, witnesses spotted two men and two women getting out of a car which was then abandoned nearby with bullet holes clearly visible on the body of the car.

The car is registered to an owner living in Mantes-la Jolie, a town about 35 miles west of Paris, according to Le Parisien newspaper.

Police have not released the name of owner to the public and there is no suggestion at this stage that they were the ones driving it.

The Tour's race director Thierry Gouvenou said the event will not be affected by the incident and cyclists would arrive as normal for the final lap of the three week race, according to ITV News.

Thousands gather in the Place and along the Champs Elysees to see the final leg of the Tour which ends on Sunday afternoon.

Chris Froome is widely expected to be awarded the yellow jersey in the overall classification for the race which is due to go over the finish line at about 7pm local time. If he wins, he will be the first British man to win the Tour de France more than once.

Additional reporting by AP and Reuters