The Tour de France took an eye-watering turn on Tuesday when a protest by farmers led to several cyclists inadvertently getting pepper spray from police blown into their eyes.
The riders were pedaling along stage 16 of the race when the route from Carcassonne to Bagneres-de-Luchon was found blocked with bales of hay.
Police officers used tear gas to disperse the protesters ― and physically carried others away ― but some of the chemicals ended up getting blasted downwind into athletes’ faces, Reuters reported.
Those riders included Geraint Thomas (wearing the overall leader’s yellow jersey) and world champion Pete Sagan, who were seen washing their faces with bottles of water.
Four-time race champion Chris Froome was also seen putting teardrops in his eyes.
The farmers were causing a scene to bring attention to a cut in state aid, according to Sky News.
The race resumed shortly after without further issue.
“After a 15 minute-long interruption caused by protesters, the race is back on,” the tour’s Twitter page announced.
The Tour de France, which began on July 7, will finish in Paris on Sunday.