SAINT-LARY-SOULAN, France — Chris Froome has crashed following the brutally difficult 17th stage of the Tour de France after police mistook him for a fan on the way down the mountain.
Team Sky told The Associated Press there was a misunderstanding and when police asked the rider to stop, that caused him to crash. Sky said Froome was not injured.
Froome had put a black raincoat over his racing uniform on a day when he cracked on the final climb to Col du Portet, drastically decreasing his chances of a record-tying fifth title.
The incident comes a day after police used tear gas to disperse a farmers' protest that had blocked the road with bales of hay. Froome was among a large group of riders whose eyes needed treatment due to the tear gas.
Froome has been a repeated target of fans in this Tour after he was cleared of doping five days before the race began. He had been racing under the cloud of a potential ban for using twice the permitted level of salbutamol during his victory at the Spanish Vuelta in September.
He said he has been repeatedly spat at since the race started, and spectators have punched him and tried to make him fall off his bike.