Published: Wed, July 25, 2018
Sport | By Ruben Hill

Tour de France halted after police pepper spray affects riders

Tour de France halted after police pepper spray affects riders

Philippe Gilbert amazingly got back on his bike after this terrifying crash over a wall on Stage 16 of the 2018 Tour de France.

Police officers used tear gas to disperse the protesters ― and physically carried others away ― but some of the chemicals ended up getting blasted downwind into athletes' faces, Reuters reported.

The Tour de France is the world's biggest and most iconic cycling race.

Four-time champion Chris Froome was among the riders who were inadvertently hit with the gas after a farmers' protest interrupted the stage on Tuesday night.

This means Tom Dumoulin moves into second place to split the two Sky riders, Thomas and Froome, on the podium.

Mitchelton-Scott's Yates led on the descent into Bagneres-de-Luchon after attacking three kilometres before the summit of the Col du Portillon, cresting the mountain with a 22-second advantage.

Stephane Mahe/Reuters Team Sky rider Geraint Thomas of Britain, wearing the overall leader's yellow jersey, cleans his eyes.

Immediately after the F1-style start riders head straight into the mountains as they make their ascent up the Col de Peyresourde (1,569 metres).

Britain's Geraint Thomas solidified his position in the yellow jersey during the 17th stage
PETER DEJONG AP Britain's Geraint Thomas solidified his position in the yellow jersey during the 17th stage

"I want to say that I'm happy to be here after that tough moment", he said.

Although he was helped back onto his bike to finish the stage, won by French teammate Julian Alaphilippe, Gilbert emerged from the X-ray truck suffering from his endeavours.

"We are not going to lock the riders in a stadium or a tennis court", Tour director Christian Prudhomme said.

"I crashed and it was all my fault". I took a lot of risks.

Quintana's victory came despite two early mechanicals on a 65km stage - the shortest road stage in the Tour for over 30 years - that was created to be explosive from the start.

"I was not affected because I was not in the first 10 of the group", he said.

With the roads still slightly damp from an earlier brief downpour, Yates' wheels slipped from beneath him and he never quite regained his confidence and composure as his 25-second lead evaporated.

Stage 17 is a 65 km trek from Bagneres-de-Luchon to Saint-Lary-Soulan on Wednesday.

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