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The Tour de France descended into chaos on Tuesday as protestors blocked the leading group and caused the race to be suspended.
Alberto Bettiol was at the front of the leading pack with less than 40km to go when nine climate activists caused carnage, having lit red flares before positioning themselves in the middle of the road. The group, who were wearing t-shirts saying ‘Only 989 days left to save our future’, appeared to have glued their hands to the road and chained themselves together at the neck.
As race officials struggled to remove them, Bettiol had to swerve drastically to avoid any collision. Race director Christian Prudhomme was then forced into halting proceedings, with most of the peloton forced to wait around 10 minutes until they were able to get going again.
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But the opportunity to restart only came after police removed them from the road. A group called Derniere Renovation claimed responsibility for the act.
In a statement, they said: "Today, nine citizens supporting Last Renovation interrupted the 10th stage of the Tour de France between Morzine and Megeve at Magland to stop the mad race towards the annihilation of our society.
"We can no longer remain spectators of the ongoing climate disaster. We have 989 days left to save our future, our humanity. The finish line is a ravine and we are calling on our government to turn immediately."
The group added their goal was "to force legislation to drastically reduce France’s emissions." The incident isn't the first time the Tour has been disrupted by unsavoury scenes.
During stage five, Italian cyclist Daniel Oss broke his neck after colliding with a fan but still managed to complete the section. On the same day, Primoz Roglic had to pop his own shoulder back into its socket after smashing into a safety bale and dislocating it on the cobbles.
When things did get back underway on Tuesday, it was Magnus Cort who pipped Nicholas Schultz to the stage win. Tadej Pogacar remains the overall leader, with Geraint Thomas the highest-placed British cyclist in fourth.
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