ESPN reports a rather bizarre incident in the Tour de Annoying Country:

Lance Armstrong kept his overall lead in the Tour de France on Tuesday despite losing time after being stuck in a pack of riders blocked by street protesters.


The protest forced riders to stop after supporters of radical farmer Jose Bove ran into the road and blocked cyclists near Pourrieres, about 91 miles into the race.

Tour officials immediately ruled the protest was a “normal race incident,” meaning riders would have to suffer the penalties of being caught in the protest. However, Armstrong’s main rivals got caught in the pack as well, so his overall lead was not affected.

A day earlier on Bastille Day, away from the Tour, police arrested six protesters, including three carrying banners in support of Bove. He was jailed last month for destroying genetically modified crops and served about six weeks in jail in 2002 for ransacking a McDonald’s restaurant construction site.

Normal race incident?

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Big Lou from Brooklyn says:

    In France, thats a normal race incident …