Cycling: Tour stage goes ahead after Nice attack

tour de france

Friday’s stage of the Tour de France has begun amid heightened security following Thursday’s attack in Nice.

At least 84 people died when a lorry struck a crowd marking Bastille Day in the southern French city.

Regional government officials said security measures would be increased and the day’s racing would be dedicated to the victims.

A minute’s silence was held before the first rider went out at 09:05 BST, and another will be held at the finish.

“We want this day to be a day of dignity as a tribute to the victims,” said race director Christian Prudhomme.

“We had a crisis meeting with the prefect of the Ardeche department and the gendarmerie. The stage is on. The race must continue.”

Stage 13 is a 37.5km (23.3 miles) individual time trial from Bourg-Saint-Andeol to La Caverne du Pont-d’Arc.

Chris Froome, who leads the race by 47 seconds from fellow Briton Adam Yates, will be the last rider out on the hilly stage.

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Before Friday’s stage, Froome, a two-time winner of the Tour de France,tweeted a picture of a French flag with the message: “Thoughts are with those affected by the horrific terror attack in Nice.”

France, which has just finished hosting Euro 2016, has been on high alert since November’s Paris attacks in which 130 people died.

A state of emergency in the country has been extended by three months.

Prime Minister Manuel Valls has declared three days of national mourning from Saturday.

At golf’s Open Championship at Royal Troon in Scotlamd, the French flag was flown at half mast, while players wore black ribbons as a mark of respect to victims of the attack in Nice.

Tour de France Twitter, posting a France flag in the shape of a heart
The Tour de France’s official Twitter account posted: “The heart of the Tour beats for Nice.”
The Open
The French flag was flown at half mast at Royal Troon
Clement Sordet
French golfer Clement Sordet was one of those to pay his respects
Romain Bardet
‘Be French, meet together, celebrate, love one another. And never give up. My thoughts are with Nice,’ tweeted French cyclist Romain Bardet

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