Cyclists take to streets of Sarajevo to mark centenary of assassination that sparked WWI
ASO sponsor mass participation ride aimed at underlining "message of peace and unity"
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.