German race Eschborn-Frankfurt cancelled after terror threat

The annual Frankfurt race was called off after a suspected Islamist extremist and his wife were arrested by local authorities

Alexander Kristoff wins the 2014 Eschborn - Frankfurt from John Degenkolb
(Image credit: Watson)

The annual German May Day race, Eschborn-Frankfurt was cancelled by local authorities on Thursday after the discovery of bomb making materials were found in a house near the route.

A suspected Islamist extremist and his wife were arrested by officers who found a bomb, a firearm, ammunition, and chemicals that could be used for explosives in their home, according to the Associated Press. 

The Hesse state crime office released a statement on Thursday evening stating that the UCI 1.HC race had to be abandoned due to “indications of a possible threat to the population,” with security officials claiming they stopped a potentially 'Boston Marathon-style terror attack'.

The race, which was set for Friday, was meant to pass through Oberursel where the couple lived, and had a field of around 200 riders ready to race, including 2015 Paris-Roubaix winner John Degenkolb (Giant-Alpecin) who was to return from a mid-season break at the race.

German Etixx - Quick-Step rider Tony Martin, who is currently at the Tour de Romandie, was just one of many riders to take to social media to express their dismay at the news, taking to Facebook to respond to the situation.

"Today's outcome from the Romandie is really beside the point given the news from Frankfurt," the three-time world time trial champion said.

"I am appalled and shocked that the race and especially the riders, managers, and fans could have been targets of a terrorist attack.

"Sorry for all, who wanted to start. The professionals, like everyone, for those who had prepared and were looking forward to it. Also to my friends and family who wanted to be here. But of course going on security. And it is so sad for everyone involved, it's good to know that the security apparatus is working."

Richard Windsor

Richard began working with Cycling Weekly in 2013 alongside the then web editor, Nigel Wynn. Taking over as digital editor or Cycling Weekly and mbr in 2014, Richard coordinates site content and strategy with the team.