Pepper Spray, Protesters and Crashes Make for an Exciting Stage 16

Woah. What a crazy day at the Tour de France.  A protest by local farmers resulted in a 15-minute neutralization on Stage 16 after a police officer used pepper spray on protestors. Said pepper spray then blew into the peloton. Oops.

Luckily no breakaway had been formed at that point in the race, and race officials called for a neutralization so that riders could recover.

Then Philippe Gilbert (Quick-Step Floors) managed to avoid serious injury after a dramatic crash over a stone wall during a high-speed descent. He disappeared for a good 4 or 5 minutes before clamoring back onto the roadway. After a little TLC from  Tour doctors and Quick-Step officials, Gilbert gave a thumbs up to the TV cameras and climbed back on his bike.

The descent is the same pass where Fabio Carsartelli crashed and died in 1995.

Then there was heartbreak for Adam Yates, who failed to hold onto the lead after a nasty crash on the final descent.

Overall, an absolute barn burner of a stage deserving of a solid 10/10 for entertainment alone. And all of this on the heels of what promises to be an incredible 17th stage. Just a reminder, stage 17 is only 65km (40 miles) with three tough climbs, there will be fireworks tomorrow.


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