• The 2016 Tour de France will have enhanced security measures in place along its 3500km course (Getty) (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
Tour de France organisers will strengthen its security with elite policing units employed to protect fans and riders.
Cycling Central

22 Jun 2016 - 2:07 PM  UPDATED 24 Jun 2016 - 1:28 PM

The Tour de France is the largest  open access sporting event each year with up to 12 million people lining the roads annually, and its that very openness which is giving organisers sleepless nights.

This year, due to the ongoing threat of terrorism in France, measures have been reinforced along the 3500km route of the 2 - 14 July race.

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The Tour will deploy 23000 gendarmes and police officers, with a crack squad from the elite special forces (National Gendarmerie Intervention Group) brought in for added security.

"It's our collective responsibility to ensure the safety of the spectators of the Tour de France," Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said on Tuesday.

France has been under a state of emergency since the last Paris attacks on 13 November that left 130 people dead in the French capital.

"Everyone understands that this year the Tour de France is taking place in a particular context," Cazeneuve said.