Tour De France Briefly Halted After Riders Are Pepper-Sprayed Amid Protest

Tour De France Briefly Halted After Riders Are Pepper-Sprayed Amid Protest

The pack of riders wait for the stage to resume, after tear gas was used during a farmers' protest, during the Tour de France cycling race, between Carcassonne and Bagneres-de-Luchon, southwestern France, July 24, 2018.

Froome finished one minute, 35 seconds behind stage victor Nairo Quintana.

Chris Froome's bad day continued after Stage 17 of the Tour de France when he crashed while riding down to his team bus after being mistaken for a fan by police, Team Sky said on Wednesday.

His team mate Chris Froome, who was hoping to hold all three Grand Tour titles at the same time, the Tour, Giro d'Italia and Vuelta a Espana, cracked on the final ascent up the Col de Portet and finished 1:35 down on the stage victor. "That gave me confidence because I knew if Froomey suffered, everyone suffered". "I plan two, maybe three years ahead, looking for who might be the next Chris Froome".

Froome had put a black raincoat over his racing uniform on a day when he cracked on the final climb to Col du Portet, drastically decreasing his chances of a record-tying fifth title.

Team Sky leader Froome, a four-time champion, finished the stage in eighth place at 1min 35sec behind Colombian victor Nairo Quintana and 48secs behind teammate and overall leader Geraint Thomas.

Nairo Quintana won stage 17 with a fine solo attack
Nairo Quintana won stage 17 with a fine solo attack

Thomas crossed the line third on the Col du Portet in the Pyrenees behind stage-winner Nairo Quintana and Dan Martin, but jumped clear of general-classification rivals Tom Dumoulin and Primoz Roglic in the closing metres of a devastating climb to claim a handful of bonus seconds.

Belgian classics specialist Greg Van Avermaet said race organizers made a good decision by neutralizing the stage, allowing the peloton to resume competing after three kilometers. A check-up in hospital revealed he'd actually broken his kneecap in the crash and would not be able to play any further part in this year's Tour.

"But there were a lot of stones, and while I lay there, I thought: 'I broke everything.' I didn't dare move at first". We've just got to look after him now.

With that in mind, Thomas even pushed for a four-second time bonus allocated to the rider taking third place in the stage. "For me, it's not possible to get time on him, that's it".

"I planned to go earlier, but it's okay saying to attack early but with so much wind on those early climbs it wasn't worth it".

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