Fanjeaux - The
Tour de France 16th stage re-started on Tuesday after a brief halt when
national gendarmes used tear gas near the peloton to break up a protest
Bales of hay blocked the road 26km into the day's
ride from Carcassonne as farmers demonstrated against a cut in state
Among the riders affected by the tear gas was Team Sky's overall
leader Geraint Thomas, who was pictured rubbing his nose following the
Video footage of the incident appeared to show liquid being blown
back into the advancing peloton after being sprayed by an officer from
France's national gendarmerie against a protestor.
Television images showed Tour de France medical officers handing out
eye drops to riders including green jersey points leader Peter Sagan.
The 218km stage with a finish in Bagneres-de-Luchon and featuring two
first category climbs in the Pyrenees restarted at 12:36 after an interruption lasting around quarter of an hour.
"After a 15 minute-long interruption caused by protesters, the race
is back on," organisers said in a brief statement on leTour.fr.
This year's Tour de France has been marked by a series of incidents
on the sidelines of the race including abuse directed at Team Sky and
four-time champion Chris Froome.
Amid a general feeling of suspicion surrounding Sky and their sheer
domination of the race, Froome has been spat at and manhandled, Thomas
has been booed off the podium and some of Sky's staff have also faced