Tour de France 2014: The Motorcycle Police
Posted at 02:00:00 PM
File under Racing France
Author: Mike Werner
Location: Normandy, France
We're almost getting towards the end of the famous Tour de France bicycle race for 2014, and I know many motorcycle riders, myself included, like watching the TdF (Tour de France, or also known as the "Tour"), not only for the cyclist's inhuman efforts, but also the 100's of motorcycles that ride with the Tour.
Often it would seem that there are more motorcycles than cyclists, and in truth, it's about even.
One such group of motorcycles play a very important role for the Tour; the motorcycle police. There are always a lot of cops on the TdF, this year about 11,000 (not all at the same time, but in each stage, 100's of cops are deployed alongside the roads, bridges, intersections, etc. After the tour passes, they go and do their normal duties and no longer are involved in the Tour).
The first motorcycle cops arrive, racing forwards to signal intersections for the cyclists
There are this year 35 motorcycle cops, coming from the Republican Guard (the elite VIP protection service), providing security for the Tour, from the very start (the publicity caravan) to the very end. 12 motorcycle cops regulate the traffic for the caravan which spreads out for 12 kilometers, while 23 provide the escort service for the cyclists.
The arrival of the break-away group of three cyclists
You will often see a motorcycle cops at roundabouts waving a flag, signalling to the cyclists that they can go left and right. When the last cyclist has passed, the cop takes his motorcycle and speeds alongside the cyclists, support cars and journalists to leapfrog to the next "danger" point. Five cops do the leapfrogging so that there is always a good coverage.
A steady stream, some 80 police motorcycles, would pass by
The cyclists trust the Gendarmes implicitly, often following their path in the steep downhills, knowing that the cops will have take the right track and angle.
Cops waving to the public
You can read more about the Tour de France, its caravan and everything around it in the related articles below.
A continuous stream of police motorcycles
|Read related articles|
|Monday, July 9, 2012 - A Day At The Tour de France As A Spectator With A Camera|
World's most famous bicycle race, the Tour de France, was going to pass for the first time ever very close to my house in Normandy, and as luck was going to have it, I was going to be home, not traipsing somewhere making photos. So I decided to see what the "Tour" was all about. Having seen it on TV, I knew it was about fast bicycles, lots of motorcycles and lots of accidents.
I took many photos, and have been culling ever since. Here are 157 photos, way too much for this part of the site, so I had to move it to a section that would not bother regular readers.
I've divided the day into three sections, The Beginning - the pre-event, several hours of wait before it started, The Caravan - the famous very long publicity caravan and The Race - the actual bicycle race.
After each section is a link to another site with high resolution photos of the day.
|Thursday, July 5, 2012 - Tour de France 2012 - The Motorcycles|
As luck would have had it, the 2012 Tour de France passed along my house by some 500 meters, enough for me to have a look. Some 6 hours were spent there, 3,000 photos taken, and now many hours of sorting, editing and publishing. It'll take a long time to show you what it looks like being a "spectator" alongside the road of the Tour, so to keep you busy, here's just "some" of the motorcycles that can be found.
There are some 200 bicycles in the race, and at least the same number of motorcycles, maybe even more. I've divided up the motorcycles per category; police, official and press.
|Monday, July 11, 2011 - Tour de France To Reduce Motorcycles In 2012|
After last week's motorcycle taking out a cyclist in the 2011 Tour de France, ASO (the organizers) announced not only suspending the motorcycle rider, but that they plan to reduce the number of motorcycles in next year's race.
But then Sunday, a TV car took out 2 cyclists who were riding up front (see the video), one of them a favorite. The diver got suspended too (despite the fact that it was the race steward's fault), but will they no also reduce the number of cars?
|Wednesday, July 7, 2010 - France: Tour de France 2010 - Motorcycle and Some Figures|
A closer look at the impressive Tour de France; the incredible, money-generating, publicity caravan, and some of the motorcycles.