Cyclists have taken to the streets of Sarajevo in their thousands to commemorate the centenary next Saturday June 28 of the assassination in the city of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, an event that gave rise to the First World War.
The mass participation ride was sponsored by Tour de France organisers ASO, and preceded the Sarajevo Grand Prix, which saw 140 elite cyclists participate on a route that took in a number of locations of fighting during the Bosnian War of 1992-95, reports the BBC.
Among those taking part in the recreational ride was the French ambassador to Bosnia-Herzegovina, Roland Gilles and his partner, Claudia Carceroni de Carvalho, who has won national championships in Brazil and France and multiple masters world titles.
Speaking to Reuters, Tour de France race director Christian Prudhomme said the ride "is an event which gathers and unites the people, and the message we are sending from here is the message of peace and unity.”
The agency added that it is the only event commemorating the outbreak of World War One to have been organised jointly by Bosnia-Herzegovina’s two main regions, divided largely across ethnic lines.
Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.
Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.
Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.
The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.