Paris -- The Tour de France cycling race on Tuesday was briefly interrupted after French farmers tried to block the road.
Just a few miles after the start of the race between Carcassonne and Bagnères-de-Luchon, in the southwest of France, local French farmers demonstrating against a decrease in their financial support tried to block the Tour de France by loading bales of hay on the road.
French police forces dispersed the demonstration by throwing tear gas before riders arrived, according to Tour de France broadcaster France Televisions. Riders had to slow down when they reached the scene and footage shows them rubbing their eyes after passing through the demonstration.
Around 23,000 French police officers are deployed this year to ensure the safety of the cycling event, according to a statement published by the French interior ministry earlier this month. In addition, since 2016, French anti-terror police have been mobilized to reinforce security during the three-week long cycling race.
In July 2016, a man deliberately drove his truck into crowds of people celebrating Bastille Day in Nice, killing 85 people. This attack demonstrated the vulnerability of crowds during outdoor celebrations and led to increased security for these types of events.