Mix of calm and concern as cycling’s Tour heads into riot-hit France

Madrid, July 2 (BNA): While the majority of the Tour de France peloton is unperturbed by the riots that have hit the country after the police shooting of a teenager, some have expressed fears that the race could be disrupted.

After kicking off in Bilbao, Spain, the tour heads to France on Monday with visits to Bayonne, Dax, Pau and Bordeaux during the week, according to Reuters.

The foreign team members admitted they didn’t know much about the situation in France, arguing that they were in a “bubble” in the Tour de France.

Some 33,000 law enforcement officers are deployed throughout the three-week race, but team buses and thousands of euros worth of material are guarded by a lone private security officer overnight.

A senior source familiar with the matter said none of the officers would be withdrawn from the race to be redeployed around the country for riot control duty. Tour de France organizers say they are ready to adapt to any situation.

The riders are focused on their racing, but have been keeping an eye on the latest developments.

Last year the Tour was hit by climate activists, who stopped the race twice, which led to additional security measures being taken on the road this year with two motorcycles from the Gendarmerie Intervention Brigade in front of the peloton to prevent any protest.


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