Protests by farmers from the Ariège and the Aude disrupted the famous cycling race yesterday (Tuesday July 24), between Carcassonne and Bagnères-de-Luchon, with the 230km stage stopped for over 15 minutes as bales of hay, farmers and sheep blocked the roads.
It happened during a protest by French farmers when a bunch of hay bales was thrown across the road just before the peloton arrived.
Riders were also allegedly sprayed in the eyes with tear gas (some reports called the substance "pepper spray") during the commotion.
Jeff Pachoud / AFP/Getty Images Great Britain's Geraint Thomas, right, wearing the leader's yellow jersey, and other riders wait for the race to resume.
The 218km stage with a finish in Bagneres-de-Luchon and featuring two first category climbs in the Pyrenees restarted at 12.36 pm (10.36 am GMT) after an interruption lasting around quarter of an hour.
The Tour de France cycling race on Tuesday was briefly interrupted after French farmers tried to block the road.
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The Tour de France Twitter account tweeted a warning to protesters after the delay, saying that if you don't respect the riders you risk a fine and three years of imprisonment.
Geraint Thomas in the yellow jersey, second-placed Chris Froome and third-placed Tom Dumoulin all crossed together almost nine minutes behind.
"We are not going to lock the riders in a stadium or a tennis court", Tour director Christian Prudhomme said. Riders had to slow down when they reached the scene and footage shows them rubbing their eyes after passing through the demonstration.
Downhills were tricky and former world champion Philippe Gilbert went spectacularly over a low stone wall in the descent from the Col du Portet d'Aspet.
He was gaining time in the descent when Yates went down.
Spanish rider Gorka Izaguirre finished second, 15 seconds behind, and Yates crossed third with the same time. "I think we're all grateful for temporary neutralization and to clear, to have a couple of (kilometers) to clear our eyes, nose out, then the racing continued again".