Published: Tue, July 24, 2018
Sport | By Tony Jimenez

Tour de France stage interrupted by farmers' protest

Tour de France stage interrupted by farmers' protest

"I much prefer the attitude of Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas, whose reactions have been a lot more calm".

Riders including race leader Geraint Thomas were seen pouring water into their eyes after the incident, which resulted in a delay of around 15 minutes.

The climb up one of the Tour's iconic climbs promises to be a signature moment for Bernal, who at 21-years-old is the youngest of the 176 riders to start the Tour and yet already appears to have the making of a victor.

"Froomey is the leader".

The original plan was for Bernal to pull for five kilometers of the demanding ascent.

Asked about Copeland's comments, Froome said: "It's a pretty sad situation if that is correct".

"He's got an awesome engine". Froome was initially barred from starting his title defence by organisers because of the suspicion surrounding his "adverse analytical finding" for the asthma drug salbutamol at the Tour of Spain a year ago.

Three big stages in the Pyrenees await - Tuesday's run to Bagneres du Luchon, Wednesday's potentially explosive 65km dash to the summit of the Col du Portet, and Friday's brutal stage to Laruns, which includes three-quarters of the so-called "Circle of Death" - the Aspin, Tourmalet and Aubisque.

"The way I see it, I'd rather be in this jersey having the race of my life and getting booed than being 30th and dropped on the first climb and everyone cheering me on". It was very cold and raining, and it was a very hard race. I've never experienced this before. This is just part of the Tour de France.

Thomas, while not saying he will race against Froome, has made it clear that he is not going to relinquish his shot of winning a first Grand Tour.

And with a downhill finish, it is likely to entice the dozens of riders who have yet to join a breakaway, let alone win a stage.

Sprinters Fernando Gaviria of Colombia and Dylan Groenewegen of the Netherlands, winners of two stages each, abandoned the race during Thursday's stage ending atop the iconic Alpe d'Huez, exhausted after an opening block of racing in extreme heat.

He now sits 22nd overall after 15 stages. "The Spanish, fantastic. It just seems to be a French thing".

Brailsford said: "Chris's case was open when we raced in Italy". Team Sky manager Dave Brailsford gives a press conference on the second rest day.

"It's the same as what we saw with US Postal", Chiotti told the Midi Libre newspaper Sunday. "It reminds me of when the Italians used to say they were successful due to their diet, before they all got caught (doping)".

Bernal, however, is keeping his feet, if not on the round, then at least firmly on the pedals.

Thomas claims he is taking the challenge "day by day" safe in the knowledge that, "If something happens to me, we still have him (Froome) in the race". "I have to be a bit closer to Paris before I start doing a wheelie".

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