Philippe Gilbert has posted a picture of severe swelling around his broken knee cap following a race-ending crash at stage 16 of the Tour de France.
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Paris - Defending champion Chris Froome nearly crashed out of the Tour de France - after being knocked off his bike when an overzealous policeman mistook him for a fan on stage 17 Wednesday.
Froome remained second in the general classification, 1 minute, 39 seconds behind Sky teammate Thomas.
Bales of hay blocked the road 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) into the 218-kilometer stage from Carcassonne to Bagneres-de-Luchon.
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Wearing the yellow jersey, Geraint Thomas started in "pole position" in a Formula One-like grid format that is being used in the Tour for the first time in Stage 17's sprint through the Pyrenees.
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It will be a stage with three climbs, 3,000 metres of positive elevation and is only 65 kilometres long!
"Tactically, we did well, but I crashed and it was all my fault".
The small group of farmers from the Ariege department were protesting the reduction of European Union funding, French media reported. "I've took more risks on more technical descents before and never had any problems".
"Do not add to danger for the cyclists", Prudhomme said.
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"This isn't how I wanted to finish my Tour and leaving it like this really hurts", Gilbert said.
"It's pure happiness after a day of suffering", said Alaphilippe, who tightened his grip on the polka dot jersey for the mountains classification.
"When you come so close to winning a stage of the Tour it's pretty devastating."
Froome is in second place and Tom Dumoulin is in third place.
Earlier in the stage, Alaphilippe's team mate Gilbert was also in the race lead on the descent of the Portet d'Aspet but fanged it too hot into a corner, crashing over a wall and into a ravine.
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