Dutch police threaten to disrupt Tour de France in pay row
Dutch police are threatening to disrupt the opening stages of the Tour de France as part of industrial action for better pay.
They say they will block the route of the race's second stage on 5 July, and hold their own race the day before.
Police unions have been locked in a pay dispute with the Dutch government for months.
The opening stages of the race are known as the Grand Depart and often take place outside France.
The Dutch police say they intend to block a bridge near Rotterdam until all riders are briefly forced to come to a halt.
They intend to carry out traffic checks on the convoy of support vehicles that precede the riders, thus stopping the race.
"The checks will stop when it's clear from live broadcasts in several European countries that the Tour de France cyclists have stopped because police are taking action for better working conditions," the police union said in a statement.
The Tour begins in Utrecht on 4 July. Officers plan to carry out their own symbolic bike ride along the opening stage an hour before the official race begins.
The country's police officers have previously targeted sporting events to highlight their pay dispute. Last month a Dutch first division football game was cancelled after police said they could not guarantee its security.