Riders, teams, officials and race organisers were shocked by news that Rund um den Finanzplatz Eschborn-Frankfurt was the possible target of a a terrorist attack, and were understanding of the decision to cancel the race.
Police arrested a married couple in Oberursel, Germany, near Frankfurt, and found large quantities of ammunition, chemicals used for making bombs, and weapons in their home, as well as a "functional pipe bomb." The man was said to have been seen along the proposed route of the race, which passed through Oberursel. The police subsequently cancelled the race, saying the situation was still unexplained and public safety was possibly endangererd.
Bernd Moos-Achenbach, race manager, said, "I am terribly sorry, but the danger – including the possibility of copycats – is simply too high."
Rudolf Scharping, head of the German cycling federation, told faz.net, "Of course is a huge blow to the sport, the fans and the many volunteers. But because of the potential danger it is an understandable decision".
John Degenkolb (Giant-Shimano), who lives in Frankfurt and was one of the favourites to win the race, said that hearing the news was "like being hit by a hammer. I am speechless. It is terrifying to see that individuals can exercise so much power that such a decision must be made." He was optimistic, however, for the race’s future. "It will live on. I am sure of that."
Former world champion Tony Martin (Etixx-QuickStep) put the happenings in perspective: "Today’s results from here in Romandie are really not important, in light of the news out of Frankfurt. I am horrified and shocked, that the race and especially the riders, staff and fans could have been the victims of a terrorist attack. I am sorry for everyone who was to have started there. The pros, the amateurs, everyone who had gotten ready and was looking forward to it. My family and friends wanted to attend it too. But of course safety is most important.”
Other German riders reacted on Twitter, and a selection of their comments is published below:
Fabian Wegmann (Cult Energy): “No @EschbornFFM tomorrow! F**k the terrorists!!!!"
Christian Knees (Sky): "#sad but safety first, race in Frankfurt is canceled."
Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal): " So sad to hear that one of the best races in Germany got cancelled...what is wrong in the world??? #peace ???"
Marcel Kittel (Giant-Alpecin): "Really sad to hear that @EschbornFFM had to be cancelled! Hard to believe that people on this world would try to attack a bike race."
Johannes Fröhlinger (Giant-Alpecin): "No @EschbornFFM tomorrow because of terrorism danger. Sad news for a great event, german cycling and our whole society #terroristgohome"
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