Tour de France boss slams protesters after tear gas halts race

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

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

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

The gas was used to disperse the protesters, but it ended up blowing in the direction of the peloton, which led to the race being stopped at the 187km-to-go point.

Geraint Thomas in the yellow jersey, second-placed Chris Froome and third-placed Tom Dumoulin all crossed together almost nine minutes behind.

Tour de France cyclist Philippe Gilbert shook off a terrifying fall that launched him over the side of a stone wall in what was a hectic day at the race on Tuesday.

There was a delay of nearly 15 minutes and some riders sought medical treatment, after they were hit with tear gas by the police, the BBC reports.

The Tour de France Twitter account tweeted a warning to protesters after the delay, saying that if you don't respect the riders you risk a fine and three years of imprisonment.

Police were said to be arresting some protesters after farmers threw hay bales across the road before the peloton's arrival.

Wearing the yellow jersey, Geraint Thomas started in "pole position" in a Formula One-like grid format that is being used in the Tour for the first time in Stage 17's sprint through the Pyrenees.

Hummingbird folding e-bike

Immediately after the F1-style start riders head straight into the mountains as they make their ascent up the Col de Peyresourde (1,569 metres).

"I was not affected because I was not in the first 10 of the group", he said.

Gilbert, the 2012 world champion and a Quick-Step teammate of Alaphilippe, appeared to avoid major injuries and was treated for some scrapes on his left arm after getting back on his bike.

"I crashed and it was all my fault".

Yates was quickly back on his bike, and followed home Bahrain-Merida's Gorka Izagirre to finish third.

"We are not going to lock the riders in a stadium or a tennis court", Tour director Christian Prudhomme said.

"When you come so close to winning a stage of the Tour it's pretty devastating."

IS claims deadly Toronto attack: propaganda agency
Toronto Mayor John Tory said the shooting on Sunday shows that there is "evidence of a gun problem" in the city. The motive behind the shooting is not yet clear and police have said they will not speculate.

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