Published: Wed, July 25, 2018
Sport | By Patty Hardy

Tour de France halted; riders inadvertently tear-gassed

Tour de France halted; riders inadvertently tear-gassed

It's not the first time protests have affected this year's Tour, though they had previously been aimed at Team Sky and its rider Chris Froome.

It was on the same descent that Italian Fabio Casartelli crashed and died in the 1995 Tour de France. "I've took more risks on more technical descents before and never had any problems".

According to French media, the small group of farmers from the local Ariege department made the intervention to protest the reduction of European Union funding.

Froome, who remained in second place overall, 1 minute, 39 seconds behind Sky teammate Thomas, said the effects of the gas did not last long.

"A stage a little atypical in the Tour de France because it will be extremely short", Philippe Mauduit, sports director of UAE Team Emirates, told the Tour de France's official website.

"Do not add to danger for the cyclists", Prudhomme said.

As the Tour reached the mountains of the Pyrenees, Philippe Gilbert and Alaphilippe led on the ascent to Col de Portet-d'Aspet.

"Four-time champion Chris Froome is among several riders who have had their eyes treated for tear gas or pepper spray sprayed on the peloton when a farmer's protest interrupted the 16th stage of the Tour de France".

Bales of hay blocked the road 26 kilometres (16 miles) into the day's ride from Carcassonne as farmers demonstrated against a cut in state aid. "People should not block the road, no matter what causes they are fighting for".

Kangert was reeled in by King of the Mountain leader Julian Alaphilippe in the first climb of the day to Montée de Peyragudes, but held on to reach the top ahead of the Frenchman. "But I ended up more or less OK".

"You never know what's coming up on some of these corners", Yates said.

Yates was quickly back on his bike, and followed home Bahrain-Merida's Gorka Izagirre to finish third.

Stage 17 is a 65 km trek from Bagneres-de-Luchon to Saint-Lary-Soulan on Wednesday. "That last climb is possibly the toughest climb in the Tour - 16 kilometres, 2,200 meters [altitude]".

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