Yesterday's Tour de France Crashes

Yesterday's Tour de France Crashes

The Tour de France was stopped during stage 16 after it appeared the riders were sprayed with a substance.

The stage between Carcassonne and Bagneres-de-Luchon had to be neutralised after an attempted protest by local farmers brought a swift reaction from local police.

Another freaky day in this most extraordinary of races ended with Tour director Christian Prudhomme appealing once again for calm after half the peloton found itself "choking" on pepper spray, which had blown into its path as police attempted to clear protesting French farmers from the route.

Yellow jersey holder Geraint Thomas was also pictured dousing his face in water.

The stage resumed after a 15-minute interruption and Alaphilippe stayed with the breakaway group until the last climb to the Col du Portillon.

The race continued after the brief hiatus, Reuters says.

Famers' protests are common on the Tour but this incident is the latest in a number of security breaches to affect this year's competition.

Thomas wins 12th stage
Alejandro Valverde of Movistar is third overall, 3 minutes and 10 seconds adrift, while Froome trails by 3 minutes and 21 seconds. Here, we take a look at five key questions ahead of the second week of the race. "Have a bit of decency".

The 218-kilometer stage from Carcassone to Bagnères-de-Luchon in the southwest of France was the first to hit the Pyrenees mountains, and was packed full of incidents.

Geraint Thomas retains his lead at the top of the overall leaderboard, with fellow Briton and Team Sky rider Froome 1 minute and 39 seconds behind.

Do not add to danger for the cyclists. "Leave the road to the riders, respect them". I took a lot of risks.

Stage 16 was eventually won by Quick-Step's French rider Julian Alaphilippe, who profited from Adam Yates' fall on the final descent to claim his second stage win of Le Tour 2018. I went all out for 220 kilometres today. Froome is in second place and Tom Dumoulin is in third place.

Alaphilippe, who was already gaining ground on Yates, quickly passed the British rider and had time to celebrate before the finish, smiling at the crowd and shaking his head in disbelief.

Downhills were tricky and former world champion Philippe Gilbert went spectacularly over a low stone wall in the descent from the Col du Portet d'Aspet.

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