Tour De France Briefly Halted After Riders Are Pepper-Sprayed Amid Protest

The Tour de France took an eye-watering turn on Tuesday when a protest by farmers led to several cyclists unwittingly get pepper spraying from police blown into their eyes.

The riders were peddling along stage 16 of the race when the route from Carcassonne to Bagneres-de-Luchon was find blocked with bales of hay.

Stephane Mahe/ Reuters The protesters blocked the cyclists’ route with bales of hay. After a 15 -minute break, the race resumed.

Police policemen use tear gas to disperse the protesters — and physically carried others away — but some of the chemicals objective up get explosion downwind into athletes’ faces, Reuters reported.

Stephane Mahe/ Reuters Team Sky rider Geraint Thomas of Britain, wearing the overall leader’s yellow jersey, cleans his eyes.

Those riders included Geraint Thomas( wearing the overall leader’s yellow jersey) and world champ Pete Sagan, who were seen clean their faces with bottles of water.

Four-time race champion Chris Froome was also seen putting teardrops in his eyes.

Stephane Mahe/ Reuters BOR-AHansgrohe squad rider Pawel Poljanski of Poland cleans his eyes after police employed pepper spray to disperse the crowd.

Stephane Mahe/ Reuters Daniel Felipe Martinez of Colombia, who’s riding for team EF Education First – Drapac p/ b Cannondale, cleans his eyes after the protest.

The farmers were causing a scene to bring attention to a cut in state aid, according to Sky News.

The race resumed shortly after without further issue.

“After a 15 minute-long interruption caused by protesters, the race is back on, ” the tour’s Twitter pageannounced.

The Tour de France, which began on July 7, will finish in Paris on Sunday.

Stephane Mahe/ Reuters Police officers carry a protester off the road on Tuesday as cyclists with the Tour de France pass.

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