Monday, 20 August, 2018

Tour de France Stopped After Police Spray Riders With Chemicals

On Tour with Matt Stephens Up close with Team Sky’s spare bikes Cycling > Tour de FranceVIDEO- On Tour with Matt Stephens Up close with Team Sky’s spare bikes
Edward Snyder | 24 July, 2018, 20:28

Police purportedly used tear gas or pepper spray to disperse the protesters - accidentally spraying some of the competing cyclists in the process.

Farmers rolled large hay bales into the road 29 kilometres into Tuesday's stage from Carcassonne to Bagneres-de-Luchon.

Stage 16 finishes in Luchon and Team Sky will be forced to work with the break expected to take time to form before the race reaches the first climb. Froome was treated with eye drops and Sagan poured water over his face to clean his eyes.

What this clearly reiterates is that, although he's had a run-in with authorities because of a doping product, Froome - who was exonerated for the Salbutamol case - is the best GC rider of his generation.

"With the headwind, the gas came back to the peloton. We just concentrate on the last week", said Thomas.

"As long as there is a Team Sky rider on the top step of the podium in Paris, I'm happy", Froome said as he and Thomas faced media on the race's second and final rest day in Carcassonne.

Tour director Christian Prudhomme condemned the farmers' action and demanded more respect for riders.




"No honestly, I'm not thinking about that", Thomas said. "The riders' job is extremely risky, they are taking risks every day, people should not block the road, no matter what causes they are fighting for". "The race is temporarily neutralized".

"For me this is the highlight of my career, it's a massive honour and privilege to be wearing the jersey and have such an incredible race so far", he said. "You try and be as fresh as possible going into that day".

As protesting farmers attempted to block the road with hay bales, over-zealous gendarmes resorted to some heavy-handed methods - to the detriment of both the perpetrators and the peloton.

The incident overshadowed a day in which Geraint Thomas comfortably retained the yellow jersey as Magnus Cort Nielsen won his first career Tour stage, outsprinting Jon Izagirre of Bahrain-Merida and Bauke Mollema of Trek-Segefredo to deliver back-to-back wins for Astana.

The Tour threatened to bar Froome until that ruling, which still upset French fans.

World cycling chief David Lappartient called on Team Sky boss Dave Brailsford to stop fanning the flames after the Englishman blamed abuse of his team and riders on a "French cultural thing". He was cleared only just before the Tour.

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