Israel-Premier Tech, the team with which Chris Froome will ride the 2022 Tour de France, has been given a 24/7 police presence since it arrived in Copenhagen for the Grand Départ.
According to a member of support staff from one of the teams staying at the same hotel, the additional police presence is a matter of security for the team.
Eight police officers and three police cars were stationed at the hotel on Thursday afternoon, the day before the race begins with the stage one time trial, with officers saying “all is ok” and not wishing to provide any further statement.
Israel-Premier Tech confirmed to CyclingTips the police presence is due to the team being at the hotel and is related to the terrorist attack at the Great Synagogue in the Danish capital seven years ago.
“In Denmark, after the terrorist attack outside the Great Synagogue in Copenhagen in 2015, the police are always present when an Israeli delegation, like the Israel-Premier Teach team, is staying in Copenhagen,” the team told Cycling Tips. “It’s not by request of the team, but just default by Danish police.”
Israel-Premier Tech, financed by Israeli-Canadian billionaire Sylvan Adams, was founded with the goal of seeing an Israeli team ride at the Tour de France. This year, alongside four-time winner Chris Froome and the likes of Michael Woods and Jakob Fuglsang, Israel’s Guy Niv was a late addition to the line-up after the South African Daryl Impey tested positive for COVID-19.
The WorldTour team has previously been the subject of protests against Israel, most recently at the Route d’Occitanie in France earlier this month. The ‘Collectif Palestine Vaincra’ held a banner at the roadside as the team’s riders passed by, which read: “Boycott Israel: Against Colonialism, Racism and Apartheid” while also waving the Palestinian flag.
Additional reporting by Ronan Mc Laughlin