Outside the Team Sky bus the morning after the Alpe d’Huez stage, it was clear the riders and the team hadn’t enjoyed the previous day as much as the fans.

With two climbs through some of the biggest crowds the Tour de France has ever seen, the riders spent most of the latter parts of the stage riding through a sea of people, with the close encounters.

“The crowds spoiled the stage a bit,” said team boss Sir Dave Brailsford. “Froomey got hit in the face with a high pressure water-pistol, he got slapped a bit, the whole team were getting hit by people on the climbs.”

“The lads didn’t really enjoy having to ride through it twice. There were just far, far too many people on the road.”

Shane Sutton, Sir Bradley Wiggin’s coach for the Tour last year who arrived on the race on Thursday, agreed: “Yesterday was a stupid stage – once up the climb would have given you the same result.”

“If you look at the demands they’re putting on people, in a sport that’s becoming cleaner, you think how the hell are these guys doing what they’re doing. Sometimes what they’re asked to do is borderline impossible.”

Geraint Thomas tweeted after the stage ‘Well that was insane! Thanks for the support. However please DON’T push me on my lower back! #painful’

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  • Alec

    Who was the zoomer at Brit Corner with the black calvin pants and a uk flag. What an idiot he was! Yeah it was nuts but good. Folk should control themselves.

  • gustavo gomez

    The sport was cleaned a while back and the riders rode 15 hrs on heavier uncomfortable bikes. Stop complaining.

  • Chris

    Its not the FANS that cause problems but the idiots who go to get their stupid mug on tv and those that are there to protest about something which has no connection to the Tour de France.

  • paul

    Should stop moaning, nothing serious happened, if they change to no spectators or barriers all the way it take away the spectacle of it. This is what they are paid to do so Brailsford MTFU.

  • fran

    sky stop crying,and ken evens your comments are insulting to cycling fans.Your lucky the times thart are in it. you can get so many fans loyal to cycling to get out there and support the riders, and the tour.I Know several lads that treaveled hundereds of miles on a shoe string .Them same lads spend most weekends marchhling club runs looking after cyclist etc.So none of them lads are drunks.Ask the sponcer,s if they would rather see empty roads.I Do agree twice was a bit much.

  • Ken Evans

    Hinault used to get a motorcycle escort from the French police wherever he went, it is a shame that in the 100th Tour, the Yellow Jersey isn’t given better protection ! (drunks)