Tour De France Paused After Cyclists Accidentally Hit With Police Tear Gas

French farmers bring Tour de France to standstill with protest

Thomas held an overnight lead of 1 minute 39 seconds on compatriot Chris Froome, but took it to 2:31 after the four-time champion crossed the finish 1:36 behind Quintana and almost a minute off Thomas.

Quintana, a three-time podium finisher in the Tour, finished 28 seconds ahead of Irish rider Dan Martin, while Thomas crossed third, 47 seconds back.

"Briton Geraint Thomas, who is in the leader's yellow jersey, four-time victor and team-mate Chris Froome, and world champion Peter Sagan of Slovakia were among those affected", the BBC notes.

Four-time champion Chris Froome was among riders whose eyes needed treatment for tear gas when a farmers' protest interrupted the 16th stage of the Tour de France on Tuesday.

Should he gain time on Thomas, the world time trial champion could still pip the Team Sky duo in Saturday's solo effort against the clock.

"I've felt really good in the last two or three days, that's a really good sign".

In the end it was British rider Yates who won the climb to Col du Portillon, and looked set to win his first Tour stage.

"I hope he's okay after what happened", said Alaphilippe.Stage 17 features the only remaining summit finish on the race and, at 65km long, Thomas is expecting fireworks from the word go."It will be a tough day, a good two hours of climbing", said Thomas."There's no point in going too hard too soon because the last climb is very hard".

"The Tour is promoted as the world's greatest annual worldwide sporting event and if that's what you want to host and if you want the best riders in the world to come to your country to take part, then maybe treat them with a little more respect", he said.

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Tour de France riders delayed after being sprayed with chemical during farmers' protest

No danger then of this being a repeat of the uneasy relationship between Froome and Sir Bradley Wiggins during the latter's victory in the 2012 Tour.

"It was just about defending that lead", said Thomas.

It was just another bump in the road for Froome, who said after Stage 17 that he'll ride in support of teammate and overall leader Geraint Thomas.

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

"He was the better guy on the day and I am pretty proud of how the I rode and how the team rode".

Several hay bales were thrown across the road in front of the oncoming riders, causing the race to be halted.

Thomas, chasing his first Tour win, leads Froome by 1 minute, 39 seconds overall.

The race was stopped for 15 minutes after the incident, which came 29 kilometres into the 218km stage from Carcassonne to Bagneres-de-Luchon. "[But] people should respect the riders and respect the race".

This summer Geraint Thomas is leading, which I'm sure you all knew because since the World Cup finished you've had nothing else in your life.

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