Gutsy Gilbert survives spectacular crash on Tour

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Tour organizers said police used tear gas to disperse the protesters as the peloton approached. "That last climb is possibly the toughest climb in the Tour - 16 kilometres, 2,200 meters [altitude]". - The race was halted for several minutes on July 24 after tear gas was used as protesting farmers attempted to block the route.

Four-time champion Chris Froome was among the riders who were inadvertently hit with the gas after a farmers' protest interrupted the stage on Tuesday night.

"Tactically, we did well, but I crashed and it was all my fault".

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

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.

Now here was a something that really was particular to French culture - the French love a protest, let's be honest, and particularly so during a Tour de France - but it was not directed at his riders.

Britain's Chris Froome talks to his team after loosing contact with the group of leaders as they climb Col du Portet pass during the seventeenth stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 65 kilometers with start in Bagneres-de-Luchon

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.

Riders were seen pouring water into their eyes amid chaotic scenes during stage 16 on Tuesday, after police took action against farmers protesting along the route using bales of hay and tractors.

Remarkably, he bravely re-mounted his bike and continued the race to complete the dramatic stage.

He was gaining time in the descent when Yates went down.

Thomas crossed the line third on the Col du Portet in the Pyrenees behind stage-winner Nairo Quintana and Dan Martin, but jumped clear of general-classification rivals Tom Dumoulin and Primoz Roglic in the closing metres of a devastating climb to claim a handful of bonus seconds. He leads Norway's Alexander Kristoff by 282 points with 270 still up for grabs, meaning he will be guanateed to win it providing he makes it to Paris.

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