CHRIS Froome was punched and spat at as the latest stage of the Tour de France turned ugly.
Fellow Brit Geraint Thomas retained the Yellow Jersey with his second consecutive victory, but Froome made the headlines for reason he’d rather not on a day marred by multiple ugly clashes with unruly fans which ultimately resulted in former champion Vincenzo Nibali suffering a broken vertebrae.
Froome’s incident could also have ended much worse than it did, The Sun reports.
“He was racing around the Alpe d’Huez circuit in the peloton one bystander rushed forward and appeared to aim a punch at him.
There were also reports he was spat at during the day’s racing, and one fan even mooned him.
Thomas won a thrilling mountain stage of the Tour de France to strengthen his grip on the Yellow Jersey.
#TDF2018 – One spectator tried to kick down Froome.
Bad security on the climb. pic.twitter.com/J1Hx02qyz2
— La Flamme Rouge (@laflammerouge16) July 19, 2018
A fan greeting Froome… pic.twitter.com/Q6NgZajwSD
— Josh Green (@Josh_pvfc) July 19, 2018
The Welshman clinched his second stage victory in a row at Alpe d’Huez with Froome a few seconds behind.
The Sky ace outsprinted team-mate Froome, as well as rivals Tom Dumoulin, Romain Bardet and Mikel Landa.
Thomas increased his gap over his fellow Brit on general classification to 1min 39sec, with Dumoulin still third chipping a few seconds off Froome.
Despite being heckled by fans on the stage winner’s podium for attacking when Nibali crashed, Thomas said he would never forget his stage win.
Thomas said: “Honestly I’m speechless. I don’t know what to say.
“There’s no chance in hell I thought I was going to win today. I was just following Dumoulin and Bardet attacking.
“There was a bit of bad luck for Nibali, I nearly rode over his back wheel. It’s just unbelievable.
“Can we just go to Paris now?
“I did say yesterday this race is made for me, after today that’s it, I can be happy for sure now.
“Maybe [I can keep the Yellow Jersey] the next few days. You never know how the body reacts and I’m still riding for Froomie, he’s still the man.
“The term legend gets used a lot but he’s probably the best ever.
“I’m just going to enjoy this. I just can’t believe it – Alpe d’Huez man!”