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Tour de France draws huge crowds in Brussels, no arrests
A million spectators and no reported arrests. This weekend's Tour de France action in Brussels went by without incident, police said on Sunday.
According to police figures, 500,000 people lined the city's streets to see Sunday's time trial. Mike Teunissen kept the yellow jersey for a second day after his team, the Netherlands' Jumbo-Visma, won the 27.6km stage from the Royal Palace to the Atomium in 28 minutes 58 seconds.
About 500,000 spectators in Brussels had already turned out on Saturday for the race launch - a 192km ride from the Belgian capital to Charleroi and back. The Grand-Place alone attracted 100,000 fans.
On both days, some 1,200 Brussels police officers were out on duty. Parking was banned along the route of the race - and about 250 cars were towed away.
"There were some things we had not expected," said a police spokeswoman. "For example, on Saturday there was a funeral at Notre-Dame-de-Laeken church, followed a few hours later by a wedding."
Road access to the church was blocked because the Tour de France finish line was just up the road at the Royal Domain. "We tried to find solutions," the spokeswoman added. "I think the bride and groom will keep an unforgettable memory of their marriage being disrupted by the Tour de France."
Monday is Belgium's last day of Tour de France activity, with the 215km stage starting in Binche before heading into France itself.
Photo: Yorick Jansens/Belga