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Yellow jersey holder Geraint Thomas was also pictured dousing his face in water.

Moscon was also disqualified from last year's world championship road race after hanging on to a team auto.

With 99 seconds in hand, this is Thomas' Tour to lose.

It then settled for a few seasons.

At the 100th Tour in 2013, Froome proved why he deserved leadership status.

Thomas claims he is taking the challenge "day by day" safe in the knowledge that, "If something happens to me, we still have him (Froome) in the race".

The race was stopped completely while several riders received medical treatment from the doctor's auto at the rear of the peloton.

Here, Press Association Sport breaks down the Team Sky leadership "battle" and looks at where it might be settled.

Tom Dumoulin crossed second, two seconds behind Thomas, and Romain Bardet came third, three seconds back.

Chris Froome was among a group of riders whose eyes needed treatment when police intervened with tear gas to disperse farmers protesting funding cuts by disrupting the Tour de France on Tuesday.

Martin Truex Jr., who won last week at Kentucky, will start second in Sunday's race and Kyle Busch third.

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"Thankfully the effect didn't last long", Froome added. He would be allowed to start but his presence in the peloton has been received with considerable scorn from the public.

And the Spaniards believe "ego" and "ambition" could help them as well, as the British pair of Thomas and four-time champion Chris Froome bid to land the biggest prize in cycling. Still, all riders wearing a Team Sky outfit are often being jeered from the roadside. Sky's dominance of the Tour has been reminiscent of disgraced American Lance Armstrong's U.S. Postal team in the early 2000s and the French crowd has booed and jeered their riders this year.

A day later, the final day in the mountains is over 200.5 km. When Froome accelerated, I followed him, I was feeling good. "It was my first professional race and it was awful". He is, it would seem, also much more popular than the defending Tour champion. And that's when the statements began to change a little.

"As a Frenchman, I'm ashamed", Sky sports director Nicolas Portal said. "Then you have a team in the front". "We'll review the stage after today and see where we're at..."

"When we got there, we obviously saw some very aggressive farmers but I'm not actually sure what they were protesting".

"There's a lot of tough stages to do before we get to" the Champs Elysees, said Sagan. He holds all three Grand Tour titles after following his fourth Tour win a year ago with victory in La Vuelta and the Giro d'Italia, and has his sights set on a rare Giro-Tour double.

World cycling chief David Lappartient called on Team Sky boss Dave Brailsford to stop fanning the flames after the Englishman blamed abuse of his team and riders on a "French cultural thing". Christopher Froome (UK, Sky) - 1,393.

Froome needs to make time up on the world time trial champion somewhere, though, as he can not sit comfortably in second place with just an 11-second cushion given there is a race against the clock to come on stage 20.

The Tour is no ordinary sporting event and Team Sky is no ordinary team.

If there's such a day this week expect Froome to make his move.

Brailsford dismissed any concerns over the potential impact of Gianni Moscon's disqualification from the race for punching a fellow rider and re-iterated that his management team would decide on Moscon's future once the Tour was over.