Despite Civil Unrest Tour De France Goes Ahead With Heightened Security

Tour De France Goes On Despite Riots

Civil unrest in France. Credit: Gendarmerie Nationale/

The Tour de France is one of the highlights in the sporting calendar but in view of recent civil unrest, many people have been concerned about the safety of the 176 riders taking part.

Following the fatal shooting of a teenager in Paris, scenes of unprecedented violence have been seen throughout France’s major cities. The Race’s organisers remain hopeful that the situation is improving as arrests now seem to be on the decline.

As is custom, the race began outside France on Saturday, July 1. This year it started in Northern Spain’s Basque Country and only entered France on Monday, June 3.

Although the Tour avoids the trouble spots in its early stages, there are stage finishes and starts in major cities such as Bordeaux, Clermont-Ferrand, Pau, and of course, the final stage in Paris writes Cycling News.

Tour Organisers Well Prepared

Last Friday, the day before the Grande Depart, speaking of the domestic troubles, Race Director Christian Prudhomme said: ‘We are in contact with the authorities, like every year on the Tour, and we’re following the situation closely.’

Yesterday, Tour de France assistant director, Pierre-Yves Thouault said: ‘We are following this all very closely and we remain focussed and attentive.’ He also confirmed that he was in close contact with authorities throughout France, with the Ministry of the Interior and French police forces committed to looking after the security of the Tour.

The Tour’s Security Statistics

According to the Tour website, there are 300 law enforcement officers seconded permanently for the duration of the race, with a further 28,000 officers and firefighters deployed along the route.

Other measures include seven ambulances, two medical cars, and a medical motorcycle, with 10 doctors and seven nurses.

In view of the potential for disruption, police said they would be increasing the number of outriders ahead of the race to prevent protesters from blocking the route.

Reportedly a gendarmerie captain told the Tour’s 21 team managers: ‘The two motorbikes will work as a duo. Our goal is to be able to bring an immediate response and avoid the race being stopped.’

Last year’s race saw disruption from French climate change activists, Dernière Rénovation, who warned they would target the 2023 edition also. The group use similar tactics to the Just Stop Oil organisation.

After four stages, British rider Adam Yates holds a 6-second lead over his brother Simon and teammate Tajej Pogacar.

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.