A threat by Corsican separatists to try and block the passage of today’s Stage 3 of the Tour de France has been withdrawn following the release from police custody of two men who had been in police custody for spraying slogans on the road ahead of Saturday’s opening stage.
Antone Simoni and Hugo Peter were among four people detained at the weekend for spraying on the road surface “a slogan of a nationalist nature” – in this case, the slogan of the banned guerrilla group, the FLNC (Corsican National Liberation Front).
A message posted yesterday on the Facebook page of the group Corsica Libera et Sulidarità said that unless the pair were freed by the end of Sunday, “the Tour de France will not pass on Monday” - threatening disruption to roday's stage, whoch passes along the island's spectacular east coast (pictured).
However, a post on the group’s Twitter feed this morning said that the two had been released, adding, “The Tour de France can therefore continue.”
Like other high profile sporting events, the Tour regularly attracts its share of protests – campaigners against same-sex marriage being one example this year – and the race’s absence from Corsica until this year has in part been attributed to the perceived threat of action by separatists.
Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.