^

Freeman Cebu Sports

Terrorism & the Tour

ALLEZ - Jose Vicente Araneta - The Freeman

Only on two occasions did terrorism occurred during the Tour de France but it never affected the race.

In 1992, on the eve of the prologue in San Sebastian, Spain, where the Tour started that year,  a car bomb was exploded. In 2007, explosive devices were placed along there race route during a stage in Spain. Both attacks were courtesy of the ETA, a Basque separatist organization in Northern Spain.

Other than that, if you consider that punch Eddy Merckx received in the 1975 Tour, or the punch the Richie Porte allegedly took last July, or the tacks thrown along the roads as recently as two years ago, the couple of incidents was it. The worst attack on a cyclist during the Tour was in 2009 when three-time world champion Oscar Freire legs was was shot by an unknown assailant with a BB gun.

In bicycle road races, there is sacred and unwritten rule that while you can scream at the faces of riders, under no circumstances can you touch them.         Of course, this has been violated before. Lance Armstrong and Chris Froome had been spat on. There was also this tale of water spiked with live ants and kulikot being thrown to riders during the Marlboro Tour. Piss, even.

Considering what happened in Paris three weeks ago, how will the Tour de France organisers, ASO,  the organisers of the Tour de France, react? How will ASO prepare its race in relation to security issues? What about the fans?

If a football stadium can be attacked, then Tour, with its open and public nature, will be a security nightmare. I would be impossible to have a security similar to Formula 1. Fencing the whole 200km race route would be unthinkable, in fact, impossible, even in logistical terms.

With all due respect to those who were affected by the Paris attacks, and their families, I think that it’s a relief that it occurred during the cycling off season. If it had happened in the middle of summer, then it would have been catastrophic.

The final stage of the Tour is usually held along the most famous boulevard in the world, the Champs Elysees. With the Tour, its the two of the most popular icons  in France. Attacking them would be tantamount to attacking France itself, something the French will never allow.

On the positive side, I don’t think the French would simply stand pat, and I understand who their police works. In fact, its been said that if you are a terrorist, the worst place to get arrested would be in France. However, that doesn’t seem to faze the terrorists.

The only thing we can do, is to be vigilant. Keep our eyes and ears open. If you notice something out of the ordinary, call the police. If you see anything suspicious, call the police. Yes, call the police.

CHAMPS ELYSEES

EDDY MERCKX

LANCE ARMSTRONG AND CHRIS FROOME

MARLBORO TOUR

NBSP

NORTHERN SPAIN

OSCAR FREIRE

RICHIE PORTE

SAN SEBASTIAN

TOUR

WITH THE TOUR

Philstar
  • Latest
Latest
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

FORGOT PASSWORD?
SIGN IN
or sign in with