September 09, 2000 06:35am
Spain Prostitutes May Disrupt Cyclists' Time Trial
(MADRID) -- Organizers of the Tour of Spain are concerned prostitutes on the route of the final stage in Madrid could disrupt the finish, according to a report in Spanish newspaper El Pais Friday.
The Tour is due to end with a 38-km individual time trial around Madrid on 17 September, with the route involving a circuit of the city's biggest park, the Casa de Campo.
It is here on the roads that criss-cross the park that several hundred prostitutes ply their trade.
Madrid's local authorities and Unipublic, the organizers of the Tour, are concerned about the image of the city that could be projected by large numbers of prostitutes lining the route.
``They could upset the concentration of the competitors and give a negative image of Madrid as the race will be televised all over Spain,'' a municipal spokesman told El Pais.
A spokesman from Unipublic confirmed the organizers' concerns. ``Seeing prostitutes along the length of the route isn't exactly showing the best side of Madrid, especially if they aren't wearing many clothes.''
The prostitutes said they believed that there would be little disruption to the event.
``In any case at the time of day when the race is going to be held there aren't many clients,'' one prostitute told the paper.