Following on from the terrorist attacks in Paris on Friday evening, the Australian rider Michael Rogers (Tinkoff-Saxo) has outlined his fears that bike races are also open to an attack.
He told The Sydney Morning Herald that the nature of the sport whereby races take place on open roads leaves it vulnerable.
“It’s been in the back of my mind, events such as the Tour [de France], a big international event where the whole world is watching,” Rogers said.
“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 [after] this year in May one of the races in Germany was cancelled because authorities picked up on a potential attack.”
Earlier this year, the Rund um den Finanzplatz Eschborn-Frankfurt was cancelled due to a terrorist threat. A couple were arrested by German police prior to the race in a town near Frankfurt on suspicion of planning a bomb attack on the race.
German media reported that the arrested pair were Salafists plotting to detonate a homemade bomb at a spot where the racing cyclists would have passed in a forest near Oberursel. A pipe bomb packed with nails, other explosives and at least one assault rifle were said to have been recovered from the couple’s home.
Rogers also spoke about the difficulty in making a race secure. “You could only imagine the expense for the organisers to barrier the whole circuit for hundreds of kilometres,” he said. “I don’t think that’s a feasible thing to do.”