Tour De France: Julian Alaphilippe takes 16th stage after peloton tear gassed

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

They were caused by the liberal use of tear gas by members of the gendarmerie who were attempting to disperse a bunch of angry French farmers.

Team Sky's Geraint Thomas continues to lead by one minute and 39 seconds from team-mate Chris Froome, with Team Sunweb's Tom Dumoulin a further 11 seconds behind.

Video footage of the incident appeared to show liquid being blown back into the advancing peloton after being sprayed by an officer from France's national gendarmerie against a protestor.

General director of the Tour de France Christian Prudhomme said: 'The finish will be brand new.

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 Tour de France is not something people in Britain ever used to take much notice of until Mark Cavendish started winning loads of stages, then Bradley Wiggins won the whole thing and Chris Froome won it three times- now we can't get enough of the damn thing!

Just a few miles after the start of the race between Carcassonne and Bagnères-de-Luchon, in the southwest of France, local French farmers demonstrating against a decrease in their financial support tried to block the Tour de France by loading bales of hay on the road.

More news: Raab hits out at 'irresponsible' EU ahead of fresh Brexit talks

The incident occurred when the 36-year-old was descending the Col de Portet-d'Aspet - the hill which claimed the life of Italian rider Fabio Casartelli in 1995.

"I want to say that I'm happy to be here after that tough moment", he said.

Gilbert clamored back onto the roadway and was attended to by Tour doctors and Quick-Step officials.

"The road should remain free, we are not going to lock the riders in a stadium or on a tennis court", he said.

Quintana's victory came despite two early mechanicals on a 65km stage - the shortest road stage in the Tour for over 30 years - that was created to be explosive from the start.

Spanish rider Gorka Izaguirre finished second, 15 seconds behind, and Yates crossed third with the same time.

With 2.5 km to go, Roglic attacked for the second time but was quickly shut down by Thomas.

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