CAMBRAI: Tour de France riders from the Australian Orica-GreenEdge team will wear commemorative World War I armbands on Wednesday’s fifth stage.
The 189.5km stage from Arras to Amiens in northern France will take the peloton through several key battlefield sites from the First World War.
Amongst those are Bullecourt, Pozieres, Peronne and Villers-Bretonneux — all of which are included in the Australian Remembrance Trail along the Western Front that was developed by the Australian Department of Veterans’ Affairs.
“When the route was announced for the 2015 Tour de France we knew stage five was going to be of huge historical importance to us as an Australian team,” Orica general manager Shayne Bannan said.
“We are really pleased that together with the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, the Australian Embassy in France, and with the support of (Tour organisers) ASO, we are able to wear these commemorative armbands to honour our Anzacs and thank them, even if just in a small way, for their sacrifice towards our future.”
Some 295,000 Australians fought on European battlefields during World War I and 46,000 died there.