The show must go on at the Tour de France.
The bicycle race started this morning despite a terrorist attack in Nice, France, that killed at least 84 people, including ten children. A Tunisian terrorist targeted Bastille Day revelers in the resort town.
France’s most famous sporting event takes place more than 100 miles away from the French Riviera in the Rhone Valley.
Despite the overflow of spectators, similar festive vibe, and international import of the Tour, organizers of the race pedal onward. They risk the small possibility of a copycat Nice nightmare rather than face a very real logistical nightmare that unleashes a cascading effect on the dates on the tour schedule that inconveniences travelers, journalists covering the race, and local officials.
The Tour organizers silenced the publicity caravan that arrives prior to the cyclists to honor the dead. They also instituted a moment of silence on the winners’ podium.
“Today, we want to pay homage to the victims with dignity,” race director Christian Prudhomme announced. “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.”
It’s more of a race than a party on Friday, and considering the problems stemming from the proximity of fans to cyclists this week that seems welcome to riders. Brit Chris Froome entered the stage still wearing the yellow jersey despite a bizarre collision on Thursday that forced him to briefly run the course and obtain a replacement bike.