Controversial defending champion's repeat chances collapse in key Tour de France stage

Tour de France halted after riders hit by pepper spray fired by police

Tour de France halted after riders hit by pepper spray fired by police

"That was a hard crash but, fortunately, I haven't broken anything and I feel confident about the last four stages of Le Tour de France", the man now wearing the sprinters' green jersey later posted on Facebook. Froome prevailed in both. Primoz Roglic tried to attack behind Quintana but was reeled back into the peleton by Thomas' teammate Froome. Either way, he rode the.

The incident came a day after police used tear gas to disperse a farmers' protest that had blocked the road with bales of hay.

It was the Colombian's first stage win of this year's Tour.

He lost 52 seconds to his Sky team-mate, who will surely now be confirmed as their No 1 rider despite the team's previous insistences that they would share their load equally - Froome has slipped to third, two minutes and 31 seconds off the lead compared to Dumoulin, who is just under two minutes away. No, but the first attack of Roglic, I saw that Froome was in difficulty, but I didn't know if it was a bluff or not.

Froome argued the policeman before getting back on his bike.

Thomas, who has never previously been in a position to win a grand tour, is keeping his feet on the ground.

Tour de France halted after riders hit by pepper spray fired by police
Tour de France stopped after pepper spray hits riders during roadside protest

"Yeah, like I've said, I've won the last three Grand Tours now and Geraint has ridden an absolutely faultless race this year, so he fully deserves to be in the yellow jersey and fingers crossed he finishes it off and gets the job done to Paris".

Back in the peleton, Quintana, who started the day eighth in general classification, attacked on the climb and was able to catch up with MoviStar teammate Alejandro Valverde. From the Pyrenees to Paris there should be no more rivalry at Team Sky, no more leadership puzzles for the concluding days in this race.

Sagan made it to the finish with his jersey torn and said he had only injured his backside.

The template for Froome's defaillance, as the French would label his moment of weakness, was set on the second climb, the Col de Val Louron-Azet, when Romain Bardet's AG2R set such a high pace that they exploded the group of favourites while also riding so hard that the team's own leader was plunged into crisis.

Froome's struggles, however, gave him the confidence to power on. "For me, so far, it has not been possible to gain time on him".

Before that, Gilbert posted a video online explaining why he would be unable to finish the race.

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