Tour chaos: Stage 16 halted as riders sprayed in eyes

Sagan completes hat-trick with Stage 13 win in Valence

"The way I see it is I would rather be in this jersey and having the race of my life and getting booed or whatever than maybe being 30th and dropped at the first climb of the day and everyone cheering me", Thomas added.

"Gianni is desperately disappointed in his behaviour and knows that he has let himself, the team and the race down".

This Tour has been marred by incidents.

Such efforts were 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.

A communique from race commissaires said Moscon had been disqualified for "particularly serious aggression".

Froome still believes he can emulate the great Eddy Merckx and win his fourth consecutive Tour title but Thomas has been the form rider thus far.

World cycling chief David Lappartient called on Team Sky boss Dave Brailsford to stop fanning the flames after the Englishman blamed abuse of his team and riders on a "French cultural thing". Chris Froome (Team Sky) +1:39 3.

Britain's Geraint Thomas, fresh from winning two stages in the Alps, remained in the leader's yellow jersey.

A gendarme (L) sprays tear gas at protesters (R, some hidden) as other gendarmes remove haystacks from the route, during a farmers' protest who attempted to block the stage's route, during the 16th stage of the 105th edition of the Tour de France cycling race, between Carcassonne and Bagneres-de-Luchon, southwestern France, on July 24, 2018.

Manchester City vs. Borussia Dortmund - Football Match Report
However, just before the half-hour mark, Dortmund went ahead from the penalty spot. He was ready to play 15-20 minutes but no more than that.

"He was feeling really good yesterday and he was looking for the stage victory", Slongo said. "But here I have won two mountain stages back to back, which is nuts for me, so I've got more confidence and belief".

But Froome, now 1min 39sec behind Thomas in the overall standings going into three consecutive days in the Pyrenees, said he would be happy to forego all the glory if it means Thomas wins the race for Sky. We're trying to stay in a mindset where we're not distracted by it.

"But that's no reason to hit out at the French public".

Froome was more evasive when asked if he would attack Thomas if in a position to do so.

Mitchelton-Scott's Luke Durbridge used Twitter to describe some of the behaviour on Saturday as "disgraceful" - comments which were appreciated by the four-time Tour victor.

The race will resume shortly." and "185 km. "A lot of guys are speaking out about it now, the riders are sick and exhausted of it".

Twenty-four hours after four-time victor Chris Froome was slapped and apparently spat at by elements within the massed crowds on Alpe d'Huez, there was fresh trouble when a spectator threw the flare around 16 and a half kilometres before the finish of the 169.5km stage from Bourg d'Oisans.

"It wasn't exactly a rest day but for sure it was a lot easier than the last three days", he said.

Were Froome to win a fifth yellow jersey it would have to be the result of a bad day from Thomas or by distancing Tom Dumoulin.

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