Julian Alaphilippe takes wild 16th stage

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

The former Tour of Flanders and Liege-Bastogne-Liege victor was helped back up on to the road and given first aid before resuming the stage in the company of a group of frontrunners.

A Frenchman, Alaphilippe also won the 10th stage and is wearing the polka-dot jersey of the mountains classification leader.

Thomas now commands a lead of two minutes and 30 seconds over Froome, the 2017 Tour de France victor, with only four stages to go.

The short-but-challenging 65km 17th stage begins today, taking the riders from Bagnères-de-Luchon to Saint-Lary-Soulan, including many hard ascents.

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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.

Belgian cyclist Philippe Gilbert posted an image online of his leg following the race, and we mean it when we say it is truly disgusting.

Bales of hay blocked the road 26 kilometres (16 miles) into the day's ride from Carcassonne as farmers demonstrated against a cut in state aid. Riders had to slow down when they reached the scene and footage shows them rubbing their eyes after passing through the demonstration. I'm sad for Yates who crashed but it could have happened to me.

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. "The riders' job is extremely risky, they are taking risks every day, people should not block the road, no matter what causes they are fighting for".

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Nonetheless, last week Froome and other Team Sky riders were targeted by a flare, while the four-time champion was reportedly spat at and pushed by road-side spectators.

His team said that after further tests at a hospital in Toulouse, the fracture was discovered, meaning he had to pull out of the race. "There was a bit of downforce or something and I came down, that's all there is to it".

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

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