Tour de France stage goes ahead amid tight security

A minute's silence was to be held both at the start and finish lines while the publicity caravan that precedes the Tour along each stage route will be silent in memory of the terror attack victims. Some 600 security forces have been deployed on the 37km-long route.

Friday's 13th stage of the Tour de France went ahead despite the terror attack which killed at least 84 people in Nice on Thursday night.   -  Getty Images

The Tour de France's 13th stage got underway under tightened security on Friday after riders had observed a minute's silence in tribute to the scores of victims of the Bastille Day attack in the southern French city of Nice.

A gunman at the wheel of a heavy truck ploughed into a crowd celebrating Bastille Day in Nice late on Thursday, killing at least 84 people and injuring scores more in what President Francois Hollande called a terrorist act.

The stage began at 0805 GMT, later than scheduled after race organisers debated whether it should be cancelled.

Some 600 security forces have been deployed on the 37km-long stage 13 route from Bourg Saint Andeol to La Caverne du Pont d'Arc, in the Ardeche region some three hours' drive northwest of Nice.

“We had a crisis meeting with the prefect of the Ardeche department and the gendarmerie. The stage is on,” said race director Christian Prudhomme.

“We want this day to be a day of dignity as a tribute to the victims. We asked ourselves (whether the stage should be cancelled) but we think, after agreeing with authorities, that the race must continue.”

The prefecture of the Ardeche department said security was being reinforced along Friday's route.

Leader Chris Froome will be the last man on the road, and another minute's silence will be held at the finishing line, Prudhomme said.