Published: Sat, July 21, 2018
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Third Tour de France stage win for Sagan as Thomas retains lead

Third Tour de France stage win for Sagan as Thomas retains lead

Nobody came to any harm.

While dramatic visuals of racers speeding through cordons of closely packed fans is one of the Tour's selling points, it now seems to be getting out of hand.

Nibali's accident occurred in a cloud of yellow smoke set off by spectators, with two police motorbikes not much more than a couple bike lengths in front of the stage leaders.

"We need to restore calm and respect all the riders", Prudhomme said.

"It did worse than wind Merckx: It ruptured the fragile pact, the bond of trust that exists between the riders and the public", Bicycling.com's Richard Moore wrote in 2015.

As for the jeers directed toward him and Froome by fans skeptical of Froome's clearance from doping allegations days before the start of the Tour, he said it was part of being in the spotlight.

After overzealous fans marred Thomas' win on Thursday atop the Alpe d'Huez, the otherwise complete calm of Friday's leg was briefly disturbed by a man on the roadside who tossed a smoke bomb into the centre of the peloton as it passed by with 16 kilometres left.

Still, that did not stop one spectator from placing an aggressive hand on Froome's back in a gesture that the rider did not appreciate.


"It's a paradox that Nibali, who has nothing to do with Team Sky, ended up on the tarmac".

Thomas, a former Olympic champion in track cycling, was dramatically booed off the podium on Thursday after claiming his second successive stage win in the high Alps to reinforce his overall lead.

"As a Frenchman, I'm ashamed", Sky sports director Nicolas Portal said.
Primoz Roglic was fourth at 2:46, and Romain Bardet was fifth at 3:07 back.

"He was feeling really good yesterday and he was looking for the stage victory", Slongo said.

"It wasn't exactly a rest day but for sure it was a lot easier than the last three days", he said. The rider was able to attack on the early slopes of Alpe d'Huez, but was caught up in a crash around 4km from the summit.

Fans camping out on Huez for weeks before the race create a raucous atmosphere. Prudhomme singled out selfie-taking fans - suggesting that officials could ban them from running behind the riders during the mountain stages - and those who lit flares along the course. They make the riders breathe in noxious air and they blind them.

In the end it was Sagan, the wearer of the green jersey, who was fastest, winning his third stage of this year's Tour.

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