At least 84 people were killed in Nice, France yesterday when an individual drove a truck into a crowd celebrating the Bastille Day fireworks. An additional 202 people were injured in the attack, 52 of whom are currently in critical condition. It was the third major terrorist attack France has suffered in the last 19 months, and French President François Hollande has since announced the country’s state of emergency will be extended by three months.
With the Tour De France still being in progress — it began on July 2nd and runs through to July 24th — an emergency meeting was held to determine whether or not Stage 13 would continue as planned. After discussing it with authorities, Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme announced on Friday morning that the show would go on with heightened security.
“Today, we want to pay homage to the victims with dignity,” Prudhomme said, while holding back tears. “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.”
A minute of silence was held before the race began and there was a ceremony at the end of the race featuring another minute of silence. No announcements were made over the PA system in respect of the victims, either, and no music was played throughout the event. 600 officers were mobilized at the start and finish line of the race — as well as along the route — to ensure everyone’s safety.
Chris Froome, who is currently in the lead, was one of many riders to speak out about the tragedy.
Thoughts are with those affected by the horrific terror attack in Nice pic.twitter.com/tM6IBN30xE
— Chris Froome (@chrisfroome) July 15, 2016
Je quitte malheureusement la route du Tour mais aujourd’hui il y a plus grave. Comment tuer des innocents sur la baie des anges. #IssaNissa
— PINOT Thibaut (@ThibautPinot) July 15, 2016
— Le Tour de France (@LeTour) July 15, 2016