Police in Germany have thwarted what they claim is a planned terrorist attack against one of the country’s biggest one-day bike races, due to be held in Frankfurt tomorrow.
The event, nowadays called the Rund um den Finanzplatz Eschborn-Frankfurt and traditionally held each May Day, has been cancelled, organisers confirmed this evening.
In a statement, they said that the Hessian State Office of Criminal Investigation had ordered the cancellation of the race due to the uncertainty of the situation after two people were arrested this morning in Oberursel.
According to a report on Sky Sports News, the people arrested were a 35-year-old man who has dual German and Turkish citizenship, and his 34-year-old wife.
The man was arrested after buying, under an assumed name, large quantities of chemicals that can be used for explosives, and had also been seen scouting the route of the race.
Officers say that there was “a solid suspicion that the people [arrested] had planned and prepared an attack.”
They added that objects confirming those suspicions were subsequently seized, including “an apparently functional pipe bomb and about 100 rounds of ammunition,” plus various other materials and chemicals that could be used for making explosive devices.
It is not currently known whether the pair had any accomplices, or if any other explosive devices remain to be found, and police are continuing their inquiries on both issues.
Law enforcement officials are believed to have been fearful of a repeat of the attack on the Boston Marathon in the United States two years ago, when two home-made bombs killed three people and injured more than 250 others.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.