Tour de France to continue after Nice attack

NYONS, France — The Tour de France will continue as planned Friday, a day after the deadly attack in Nice.

France is reeling again after a large truck mowed through a crowd of revelers gathered for a Bastille Day fireworks display in the Riviera city of Nice, killing at least 80 people Thursday night. The attack, on France’s national holiday, followed attacks in November in Paris that killed 130.

Defending champion Chris Froome, the race’s current leader, tweeted a picture of the blue, white and red French flag Friday.

Froome was scheduled to compete in the race’s first time trial later Friday after organizers said the hilly 23-mile leg from Bourg-Saint-Andeol to La Caverne du Pont-D’Arc in the Ardeche region will go ahead despite the attack.

Tour director Christian Prudhomme said there will be a minute’s silence at the start of the stage, several hours drive from Nice. There will be another ceremony at the finish, with a moment of silence involving the yellow jersey, the best sprinter and the best climber.

“Today, we want to pay homage to the victims with dignity,” Prudhomme said. “We have been asking ourselves if the race should continue, and after consulting with authorities, we have decided that it should. The Tour de France will continue in a subdued and solemn manner.”

France has declared three days of national mourning after the attack in Nice.

The publicity caravan, which precedes the riders on the stage route every day handing out free gifts and souvenirs and blasting loud music, rode silently Friday.

Security had already been reinforced at the Tour this year, with France in a state of emergency since the Paris attacks. The three-week race is protected by an unprecedented force of 23,000 police officers, including SWAT-like intervention squads, while security guards perform bag checks and pat downs at the start and finish of every stage.

Bauke Mollema, who was involved in a crash with Froome in the final mile of Thursday’s Stage 12 at Mont Ventoux when a TV motorbike was forced to stop on the road because of fan congestion, said his “thoughts are with the people in Nice.”

Chris Froome keeps Tour lead after bizarre crash

Chris Froome was allowed to keep the yellow jersey after the Tour de France race jury ruled he lost his bike in unfair circumstances during a wacky conclusion to the 12th stage on Thursday.

  • Chris Froome: ‘Expect the unexpected at the Tour’

    As Briton Chris Froome and Australian Richie Porte closed in on the finish of Stage 12, the crowds left little room for anything to get through. Froome and Porte paid the price.

  • Froome was awarded the same time as Mollema after he was forced to wait for a replacement bike following the incident, a decision that left Mollema unhappy. But the Dutch rider put his rivalry with Froome aside.

    “I couldn’t sleep yet and now read about something more important than the Tour,” Mollema wrote on Twitter.

    French climber Romain Bardet also expressed sadness over the attack.

    “Being French, gathering, celebrating, loving each other,” he posted on social media. “And never giving up. I’m thinking about Nice.”

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