Punches, marches, banners and engine oil: 100 years of bike race protests

The Etoile de Bessèges is just the latest in a long line of races to have gone up against protesters

French farmers on their way to Paris to protest
'We will not perish in silence', insists the placard
(Image credit: Getty Images / Alain Jocard)

Protesters have been at it again, this time at the Etoile de Bessèges in the south of France, where action by disgruntled farmers prompted the cancellation of Wednesday's first stage.

The threat of protest that caused the cancellation was part of an ongoing nationwide action, with farmers using tractor blockades to protest against EU regulations and demand better prices for their produce. 

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After cutting his teeth on local and national newspapers, James began at Cycling Weekly as a sub-editor in 2000 when the current office was literally all fields. 

Eventually becoming chief sub-editor, in 2016 he switched to the job of full-time writer, and covers news, racing and features.

A lifelong cyclist and cycling fan, James's racing days (and most of his fitness) are now behind him. But he still rides regularly, both on the road and on the gravelly stuff.