Safety concerns for Tour de France
Tour de France is a world famous event and now with the dark shadows of terrorism reaching out in every direction, there are understandable concerns for its safety. The recent terrorist attacks in Paris has drawn attention to the obvious fears that the riders should certainly think about their safety as well as those thousands of people they race in front of. Some of those routes are without barriers, and it means that both crowds and riders have no protection. Terrorist attacks at the Stade de France football stadium show that terrorists look for larger gatherings and can easily target major sports events that have a large fan following.
Tour de France is a big international event that is watched by the whole world. However, it is certainly getting more dangerous every year. All one needs to do is browse the data of the past couple of years. The event has already been quite eventful this year with significant crashes and injuries. The race has been poked at for being the ‘Tour de Carnage’ while others refer to it as the ‘curse of the yellow jersey’.
Many races in Germany got canceled because the routes picked by the authorities had the higher risk of a potential attack. For example, the Frankfurt Grand Prix, or the annual May Day Eschborn-Frankfurt got canceled after a married couple was picked up by the German police who planned an attack on the race. The officers found a bomb, a firearm, ammunition and some chemicals with the Islamist extremists. Those incidents are enough to indicate that one cannot ignore a possible threat to the population.
It is natural for the riders as well as organizers to think about the safety of the riders, what with the rising vulnerability of such events and participants against the terrorism. Moreover, as the event takes place out in the open on the side of the road, it is an easy target. And, if one has to think regarding every possible detail and follow the route by step, the efforts are only going to kill the sport. Still, the authorities must leave no stones unturned to make sure that the course is clear and safe.
The final stage of the Tour de France gets hosted at the Champs Elysees circuit. One can expect huge crowds to cheer their favorite riders. It is common to see some violence among fans as they get occasionally aggressive with riders. However, most fans are there to cheer all the riders. About 12 million people watch the Tour de France on the roads. Those are huge and attractive numbers for the terrorists.
The Tour de France is hectic in the first week, and there are inevitable crashes that often happen in the first few stages. Bikers make sure that their bikes are in top condition. The race is certainly getting more dangerous every year, and not just for the riders, but for the spectators lined in thousand along the routes.