tuesday 24 May 2016 at 23h28

In March, the 22 teams selected for participation in the Tour de France have been announced by Amaury Sport Organisation (A.S.O.), the organisor of the Tour.

This list was not surprising at that time because we found exactly the same teams as last year. Today, it has been announced that a 23rd team will be added to this selection ...


The terrorist threat: the Interior Ministry takes exceptional measures

Of course this is not really a 23rd cycling team which will be added to the start list of the Tour in addition to the 22 others. Indeed, we're talking here about the presence of the GIGN (the Groupe d'intervention de la Gendarmerie nationale, the French anti terrorism intervention team) which has been announced today among the special measures taken in the context of the terrorism threat present in France and thus in the Tour de France.

Bernard Cazeneuve, Interior Minister, did a speech this morning about the exceptional security measures to be taken in the Tour de France 2016, at the occasion of new workshops about these measures with the police and Gendarmerie and the organisation of the Tour. Cazeneuve will be present at the finish of the second stage of the Tour in Cherbourg, but it's not his presence which is at the origine of these exceptionnal security measures. Indeed, the Interior Minister reminded his public of the fact that France is confronted to a terrorist threat which remains very high and that facing an ennemy which is determined to hurt us at any moment, we have, at all times and at all occasions, be extremly vigilant. This is especially true for the Tour de France because this is a big event which drains lots of people (Cazeneuve mentioned 10 to 12 million spectators) and which has a huge audience on TV everywhere around the world (3.5 million TV viewers in 190 countries).

What's particular about the Tour de France, compared to other big events with unique security measures like for example the COP21 or the EURO2016, is that it takes place on public roads and that it covers more than 3,500 kilometers if we put all the stages one after another. In this context, Bernard Cazeneuve explained that the goal is to guarantee the security of the riders and the public in the most effective way, without taking away its festive atmosphere and taking in account the terrorist threat this goal can only be reached by taking even more security measures than usual, including most importantly:

The Garde Républicaine- at least 23,000 gendarmes and police officers (as a reminder, a gendarme is a law enforcement soldier while the police is not part of the army) along the roads in order to guarantee the security of the Tour de France; Cazeneuve added that verifications are currently ongoing to see whether we have to add even more, at some places
- as usual, the Tour de France will be escorted by 50 motor cyclists of the "Garde Républicaine"
- in addition, 12 permanent police officers will be with the riders all along the race
- for the first time this year, the Interior Ministry has asked the GIGN to be present in the Tour de France all along the race and to be ready intervene at any time if necessary; for Cazeneuve the goal is to have elements ready which are able to react in case of absolute urgency after a terrorist attack close to or on the roads of the race
- as usual, all actors of the civil security will also be ready to take care of the spectators all along the race route and the National federation of French fire fighters will be present in the technical zones in order to prevent accidents and to answer any emergency calls

The PoliceFinally, and that's something Pierre-Yves Thouault - Mister security in the Tour de France as the deputy director of cycling at A.S.O. - already announced in an interview for Metronews by my friend Guillaume Gorgeu, a security command post will be set up as requested by the organisor of the race, with the presence of representatives of the general directors of the Gendarmerie Nationale, of the Police Nationale, and of civil security but also a member of the prefects who will coordinate all the teams of the Interior Ministry and who will be the main contact for the prefects of the departments which will be visited by the Tour.

During his speech, Cazeneuve added that these security measures will of course continue on Spanish, Andorran and Swiss territory during the stages which will visit these countries, in collaboration with the local authorities and law enforcement entities.

Bernard Cazeneuve ended his speech assuring that the State of France will live up to all its obligations, counting on the devotion and the professionnalism of the security forces.

As a reminder, the "state of emergency" has been extended until the 26th of July in France, because of the EURO2016 and the Tour de France 2016.

And you, what do you think about the terrorist threat on the Tour de France? Do you think the security measures which have been announced today will be enough? Or would you have other ideas about additional measures?

door Thomas Vergouwen
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2 comments | 6905 views

this publication is published in: Tour de France | Tour de France 2016


There are 2 comments!
  1. Le fait de ne pas divilguer les itinéraires horaires et le parcours précis avant deux trois semaines avant le début du tour peut il jouer sur la sécurité? Pour éviter aux organisations terroristes de préparer leur truc?
    Il me semble qu'il y a encore quelques années, on cvonaissait déjà fin mai les itinéraires horaires, profil précis etc du tour.

    | benalaou | Saturday 28 May 2016 om 12h41

  2. Comme cette année @benalaou, les itinéraires et profils ont été diffusés à la presse cette semaine. Ils ne sont néanmoins pas encore en ligne sur le site du Tour.

    Ces éléments sont mis à disposition par A.S.O. "dans le but de préparer et d'illustrer (la) couverture rédactionnelle du Tour de France" et donc pas pour diffusion tels quels ...

    | Thomas Vergouwen | Saturday 28 May 2016 om 19h08

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