Bigger security measures for this year’s Paris-Roubaix
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Friday, February 19, 2010

Bigger security measures for this year’s Paris-Roubaix

by Conal Andrews at 6:49 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Paris-Roubaix
 

Fears that the Carrefour de l’Arbre section of cobblestones could be excluded from Paris-Roubaix appear to be abating slightly, following reports of a system of stricter security measures for this year’s race.

As mentioned several days ago on VeloNation, local mayor Francis Delrue passed a bylaw prohibiting riders from using a 500 meter cobblestone section. He said that this was due to litter, trampled crops and unruly behaviour of some of the fans.

Last year, riders were spat upon by small sections of the spectators and also had beer thrown at them. Delrue said that he would lift the ban providing that measures were taken to avoid problems this year.

Now, according to Feltet.dk, it has been decided that there will be a significantly greater police presence at key points along the route, including officers on horseback. A surveillance helicopter will be in operation, and alcohol will be prohibited.

It suggests that any drink found could lead to the spectator in question being blocked from watching the race, thus implying police will have the power to search bags.

“There will be significantly enhanced security at Carrefour de l’Arbre, so we can get full crowds from Flanders,” said race director Jean Francois Pescheux. The expectation is that these measures will prompt Delrue to drop his bylaw.

The newspaper points out that this year’s Tour de France will travel over many of the same sections of cobbles, and so Paris-Roubaix will serve as a test-run for July’s race.

Rider security will be vitally important there, with day four of the Tour offering a big challenge to the general classification contenders.

Tom Boonen (Quick Step) won last year’s Paris-Roubaix, soloing to victory in the famous velodrome after Thor Hushovd (Cervélo) clipped some fans on a corner and fell.

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