Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Brands

Tour Tidbits: Tour Security; Chatting with Cadel; Bernard who?

London bombings won’t change Tour securityNews of the terrorist bomb attacks in London shocked the Tour de France entourage - as it did the world. In memory of those killed and injured, the peloton will observe a minute's silence before the start of Friday's seventh stage, the 228.5km leg from Lunéville to Karlsruhe in Germany. While the terrorist alert level in France was escalated to the red on Thursday, it appears that security at the Tour de France is already quite high and there is little the Tour can do to make it tighter. While representatives of the Garde Republicaine

Don't miss a moment from Paris-Roubaix and Unbound Gravel, to the Giro d’Italia, Tour de France, Vuelta a España, and everything in between when you join Outside+.

By Rupert Guinness, Special to VeloNews

London bombings won’t change Tour security
News of the terrorist bomb attacks in London shocked the Tour de France entourage – as it did the world.

In memory of those killed and injured, the peloton will observe a minute’s silence before the start of Friday’s seventh stage, the 228.5km leg from Lunéville to Karlsruhe in Germany.

While the terrorist alert level in France was escalated to the red on Thursday, it appears that security at the Tour de France is already quite high and there is little the Tour can do to make it tighter.

While representatives of the Garde Republicaine assigned to the Tour declined to comment on security matters regarding the race, Tour director Jean Marie Leblanc said that there were no changes planned.

Leblanc pointed out that the Tour has lived with the threat of attacks and protests since its inception in 1903.

“It goes for three weeks, we can’t have at our disposition all the police (needed to guarantee total security). It is not possible. It is not like we are an sports event in a stadium and have police everywhere,” said Leblanc.

Lance Armstrong’s Discovery Channel team is neither planning on increasing its internal security measures, which have constantly been ironclad anyhow.

“We are confident with the way we have arranged security of the team,” said team spokesman Dan Osipow.

“It’s the same as we have done in the past three Tours. We don’t expect any additional problems.”

Discovery Channel has two bodyguards assigned to Armstrong throughout the Tour – one, Erwin Ballarta, is a martial artist and full-time security consultant, while the other, Serge Borlee, is a Belgian policeman who has worked with Armstrong since 1999.

“They help Lance get through the scrum at the start and the finishes every day,” said Osipow.

Armstrong has had to learn to live with the danger of attack. Last year, when he received death threats before the L’Alpe d’Huez time trial, a French special agent was even dispatched to follow him in the U.S. Postal team car.
Standard TdF Security Staffing:13,000 gendarmes45 Garde Republicaine9000 police staff and CRS3000 government officials from the Ministere de l’Equipement10 policemen for the Permanent Mission

Staying upright
We had a chance to speak with Australian Cadel Evans (Davitamon-Lotto), finally riding in his first Tour after a fourth broken collar bone in 20 months and fine-tuning his preparation in the Tour of Switzerland.

VeloNews: You guys didn’t do too bad in the team trial (11th, 2:32 behind Discovery).

Cadel Evans: We did alright. We rode flat out. We wanted to get top-10 but a couple of the teams had a good go. They are teams that put a lot more (preparation) into it than we had. We were a bit busy getting Pro Tour points at that time of the year rather than training for team time trial. It wasn’t great, but not bad.

VN: It is a hard discipline anyhow, even more so with the preparation needed.

CE: Yeah. Now you know teams have become more specialized in it you and you want to be competitive, it takes at least two training camps a year, which is easier said than done. There is a chance in January but then you don’t even know who is going to the Tour at that point. Then to find the time when they are all available – it hardly exists. It is probably the one time they can be home, too.

VN: How are you coming along in your first Tour?

CE: Its going okay…

VN: I guess this week it is a matter of staying out of trouble, safe and upright?

CE: The first day everyone was nervous but now with the wind and narrower roads and a bit of rain we are seeing the real first week Tour.

VN: What has been your job while the bunch sprints have been going on?

CE: Just to stay out of trouble. That’s all I do or day, stay out of trouble. I haven’t even seen the front this week…

VN: It’s over-rated, I’ve been told.

CE: The first week? Sh*t yeah!

There are falls, and there are falls…
Crashes were the talk of the press room after Thursday’s sixth stage to Nancy, but one innocuous bungle slipped through most peoples’ radar – and most probably much to the relief of the victim, Spaniard Garcia Acosta (IBA).

While we feel for the “headache” and bruised right shoulder Acosta was diagnosed in having in his fall, we can’t help but wonder how embarrassing it was for him to crash before the race.

How soon they forget – Take II
French cycling hero-turned-journalist Laurent Jalabert made the forgotten hero class by not being allowed in the Tour de France media buffet last week.

Well, he is not alone.

After Thursday’s stage six finish in Nancy, the “Panda” was joined by “the Badger” – five-time race winner Bernard Hinault.

Its probably a good thing le Blaireau – who works in external relations and as head of protocol for the Tour de France – doesn’t know it yet, but one Tour official didn’t even know who he was when asked about the whereabouts of Hinault.

“I don’t know who he is,” said the official whose identity, sex and position in the Tour hierarchy we won’t reveal out of common courtesy.