Ahead of the Tour, 33-year-old Froome had been under an anti-doping cloud after he was found to have more than the permissible level of asthma drug salbutamol in his urine at last September’s Vuelta a España.
After a nine-month investigation – during which Froome constantly protested his innocence – cycling’s governing body the UCI, on the advice of experts from the World Anti-Doping Agency, dropped the case just before the Tour began earlier in July.
Nonetheless, last week Froome and other Team Sky riders were targeted by a flare, while the four-time champion was reportedly spat at and pushed by road-side spectators.
Vincenzo Nibali, 2014 Tour winner, was also knocked off his bike by fans encroaching on the road and was forced to withdraw due to his injuries.
WTF? And I thought football fans were maniacs!
If I read the article right though, the farmers were just exploiting the opportunity for press and not protesting the race per se.
Yes, a traditional tactic for protests, to insert one’s self into a major event where you know the press will be to get your message out.
Point taken. While the outcome was a bit calamitous, I have a lot more sympathy for the farmers staging a protest at a world-famous event than the cycling fans who tried to shoot an asthmatic cyclist with a flare.
When I initially read the headline, I wondered what the motive was. The Twitter thread is unsurprisingly rife with people who didn’t read the article proper and thus think the farmers were against cyclist.
C’est la Twitter.
Yeah, and it was the cops who sprayed the tear gas, too, not the protesters.
I hope the cyclists sue for any medical treatment they may have needed, and I hope the people in charge of the event drag the police for such a stupid-ass decision.
The cops neglected to use the anti-protestor tear gas that would only affect demonstrators. Such negligence.
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