Tour de France: Stage 14 highlights

French farmers bring Tour de France to standstill with protest

Froome was treated with eye drops and Sagan poured water over his face to clean his eyes.

Geraint Thomas has predicted that Wednesday's short but spiky 17th stage of the Tour de France will be "massively decisive" in determining the fate of this year's yellow jersey after surviving a day of chaos during which he was the inadvertent victim of a police pepper spray. But as long as me and Froome don't race against each other, that's the main thing.

Lappartient spoke to Reuters in Carcassonne before the start of the 16th stage of the Tour, which was briefly brought to a halt as bales of hay were thrown on to the road by protesting farmers and police tear gas blew into the faces of some of the riders.

Attitudes toward Sky soured when Froome was involved in an asthma drug case stemming from last year's Spanish Vuelta-even though he was cleared of wrongdoing just days before the Tour started.

Sky's bid to "remain dignified" was not helped by one of their own over the weekend, when Italian rider Gianni Moscon was disqualified from the race for striking Frenchman Elie Gesbert of Fortuneo-Samsic just 800 metres into Sunday's stage. He holds all three Grand Tour titles after following his fourth Tour win past year with victory in La Vuelta and the Giro d'Italia, and has his sights set on a rare Giro-Tour double. "They come from everywhere, and I don't think it is healthy to make it about nationalities", said Lappartient. We got the information over the race radio of the type of protest that the boys had to ride through.

French police forces dispersed the demonstration by throwing tear gas before riders arrived, according to Tour de France broadcaster France Televisions.

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Tour director Christian Prudhomme condemned the farmers' action and demanded more respect for riders. We're trying not to react. "The riders' job is extremely unsafe, they are taking risks every day, people should not block the road, no matter what causes they are fighting for". The race will resume shortly." and "185 km.

Tomorrow the Tour de France mountain stage with a mountain finish on the second category Cote de La Croix Neuve, with a length of 3 kilometers with an average gradient of 10.1%.

This Tour has been marred by incidents. They may also have to deal with hostility from race fans, a handful of whom have spat, slapped and jeered Team Sky as they've cycled through France.

'I don't know how people are going to react but it's not going to calm people down, ' Brailsford added.

Marco Bertorello / AFP/Getty Images Protesters attempted to use a flock of sheep and bales of hay to block to Tour de France route on Tuesday.

Thomas remained 1 minute, 39 seconds ahead of four-time champion Froome, with Dumoulin 1:50 back.

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