Tour de France Restarts After Farmers' Protest

Updated: 24 July 2018 17:36 IST

Tour de France stage 16 was briefly halted when police used tear gas near the peloton to break up a protest by farmers.

Tour de France Restarts After Farmers
Police used tear gas near the peloton to break up a protest by farmers. © AFP

The Tour de France 16th stage re-started on Tuesday after a brief halt when police used tear gas near the peloton to break up a protest by farmers. Bales of hay blocked the road 26 kilometres (16 miles) into the day's ride from Carcassone as farmers demonstrated against a cut in state aid. Among the riders affected by the tear gas was Team Sky's overall leader Geraint Thomas, who was pictured rubbing his nose following the incident. Television images showed Tour de France medical officers handing out eye drops to riders including green jersey points leader Peter Sagan.

The 218km stage with a finish in Bagneres-de-Luchon and featuring two first category climbs in the Pyrenees restarted at 12:36 pm (1036 GMT) after an interruption lasting around 10 minutes.

This year's Tour de France has been marked by a series of incidents on the sidelines of the race including abuse directed at Team Sky and four-time champion Chris Froome.

Amid a general feeling of suspicion surrounding Sky and their sheer domination of the race, Froome has been spat at and manhandled, Thomas has been booed off the podium and some of Sky's staff have also faced abuse.

Meanwhile, defending champion Chris Froome on Monday said he is ready to sacrifice a record-equalling fifth Tour de France victory if it helps Sky teammate Geraint Thomas claim his maiden yellow jersey

Four-time champion Froome can pull level with the likes of former five-time winners Jacques Anquetil, Bernard Hinault, Eddy Merckx and Miguel Indurain if he triumphs on the Champs Elysees next Sunday. 

The feat would also see the Kenyan-born Briton, who won the 2017 Tour of Spain and this year's Giro d'Italia, become the first rider since deceased Italian Marco Pantani, in 1998, to claim a Giro-Tour double in the same calendar year.

But Froome, who was 1min 39sec behind Thomas in the overall standings before the start of stage 16, said he would be happy to forego all the glory if it means Thomas wins the race for Sky.

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Topics : Cycling
Highlights
  • Tour de France halted briefly during stage 16
  • Tour de France restarts after former protest
  • Police used tear gas to break up a protest by farmers
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