Tour de France 2018: Geraint Thomas and riders caught up in police tear gas amid chaos
A protest by local farmers brought stage 16 of the Tour de France to a halt on Tuesday as French and British media reported that bales of hay were thrown on to the road on the route from Carcassonne to Bagneres-de-Luchon.
A gendarme (L) sprays tear gas at protesters (R) as other gendarmes remove haystacks from the route, during a farmers' protest who attempted to block the stage's route, during the 16th stage of the 105th edition of the Tour de France cycling race.
As the race was stopped, TV footage showed riders visibly shaken with some competitors using water to wash out their eyes while others sought out their team cars for medical assistance.
The race resumed after the brief hiatus with images emerging of an irate policeman using tear gas against the local protesting farmers, who are apparently unhappy about a cut in state aid.
It is not the first time that protesters have interrupted a prominent race, the most memorable incident happening in the 1984 Paris-Nice, when French great Bernard Hinault punched one of the demonstrators.