Paris - Some 23 000 police will be deployed for the
Tour de France, Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said Tuesday, as the
world's premier cycling race takes place under the post-attacks state of
For the first time, members of the elite
GIGN paramilitary police will be stationed along the route, "ready to
intervene at any moment if needed," Cazeneuve said after meeting with the
organisers near Paris.
The race takes place from July 2 to 24, and
this year covers a route of 3 519 kilometres.
"Everyone understands that this year
the Tour de France is taking place in a particular context," said
Cazeneuve, stressing that the "terrorist threat" remains "very
France introduced a state of emergency
following the November jihadist attacks in Paris that killed 130 people, giving
police greater powers of arrest and detention.
Last week, parliament confirmed a two-month
extension of the state of emergency to cover next month's Euro 2016 football
tournament as well as the Tour de France.
The race, which has been running nearly
continuously since 1903, draws up to 12 million spectators along the route.
"It doesn't just belong to the French.
It is... distributed in 190 countries, covered by 2,000 journalists and watched
by 3.5 billion TV viewers," Cazeneuve said.