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Is Pro Cycling Vulnerable to Terrorist Attack?

Is Pro Cycling Vulnerable to Terrorist Attack?

Following last Friday’s devastating terrorist attacks in Paris, some pro cyclists like Michael Rogers, are concerned that a major cycling event such as the Tour de France could be vulnerable to a similar attack.

According to Rogers, given its unlimited accessibility and the countless millions of spectators that turned out to see the Tour de France each year, makes the French Grand Tour especially vulnerable to terrorist acts.

Rogers told the Sydney Morning Herald today: “You could only imagine the expense for the organisers to barrier the whole circuit for hundreds of kilometres, I don’t think that’s a feasible thing to do,” Rogers told the newspaper.

“Let’s see, let’s see, I think we have to take it step by step and we all have to understand that those possibilities are very difficult in cycling and it would absolutely kill the sport.”

Rogers, who has ridden in no fewer than 11 Tour de Frances, said: “It’s been in the back of my mind, events such as the Tour, a big international event where the whole world is watching.

“A lot of riders do think about it because we pass a lot of people by the side of the road and it’s quite easy for a potential attack.

“I hope the authorities are doing work in the background making sure the course is clear, but it’s certainly becoming an issue especially [when] this year in May one of the races in Germany was cancelled because authorities picked up on a potential attack.”

Spectators with the British flag run alongside Richie Porte of Australia, Christopher Froome of Britain, wearing the overall leader's yellow jersey, and Joaquim Rodriguez of Spain as they climb towards Alpe-d'Huez pass during the eighteenth stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 172.5 kilometers (107.8 miles) with start in Gap and finish in Alpe-d'Huez, France, Thursday July 18, 2013. (AP Photo/Bernard Papon, Pool)

An estimated 12 million people watch the Tour de France from the road side each year, which has always served to provided a rare and unique bond between the pros and their fans. And, riders like Rogers don’t want to see it change.     

“We have quite a beautiful view from the peloton where we see so many smiling faces and that’s a huge motivating factor for the riders as well,” Rogers said. “If you go back to the UK stages [of the Tour de France] last year there were literally millions of people out there and they all had smiles on their faces, so it was a special moment for the riders.”

“We have quite a beautiful view from the peloton where we see so many smiling faces and that’s a huge motivating factor for the riders as well,” he explained.

“If you go back to the UK stages [in the Yorkshire Grand Depart of the Tour de France] last year there were literally millions of people out there and they all had smiles on their face, so it was a special moment for the riders,” he added.

Earlier this year, one of the biggest one-day bike races in Germany was cancelled amid concerns it was being targeted by terrorists.

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