Please Stop Shooting The Cyclists, S’il Vous Plait

The Tour de France is fraught with peril, with dangers like drug testers and, um, potholes. Oh, and falling off a cliff. Those, among myriad other reasons, should be enough to make any reasonable person consider other activities for fun or profit.

Red Ryder
(Police have released a picture of the suspected assailant, above.)

It may be time to add one more lurking predator to the mix, though, one of the most cunning of all. No, we’re not talking about Siberian tigers, though that would certainly liven up the mountain stages. “The Frenchman surges ahead, and oh dear, it looks like Sasha has pounced upon him! She’s got a good hold of his jugular, that beautiful beast!” No, we’re talking about the ever-dangerous prankster.

As NBC SPORTS tells us, the riders are now taking sniper fire, though their lives aren’t exactly at risk:

Two Tour de France riders have been slightly injured in what an official suspects was an air-rifle shooting.

Organizers said on Friday that Julian Dean of New Zealand and Oscar Freire of Spain were struck along the road in northeast France during the 13th stage.

We’re hoping that the firearms in question are firing air soft pellets and not actual BBs, since the amusement factor is actually inversely related to the potential injury factor. Luckily, nobody has shot an eye out, kid, though those things can sting like crazy.

Also, without knowing how many rounds were squeezed off (not a euphemism), we do have to commend the gunman (probability that the shooter is male: 100%) for his marksmanship: one of the riders was struck on the finger, which is one hell of a shot.

Not that we condone any of this. Because we don’t. Guns are bad. Now we want you to quietly ponder the dangers involved while we go to the garage and laugh our asses off stare coldly at the ceiling.