Tour de France: UCI calls for fans to respect riders on Alpine stages
Last Updated: 24/07/15 9:59am
The International Cycling Union (UCI) has called on supporters to show respect to riders over the rest of the Tour de France.
Friday sees the first of two big Alpine stages that will decide the winner of the yellow jersey, with Team Sky's Chris Froome holding a 3min 10sec lead over nearest challenger Nairo Quintana.
Froome has been victim of abuse from fans during the race, having a cup of urine thrown at him during stage 14 last weekend as well as being branded a doper.
That incident came soon after team-mate Richie Porte complained of being punched by a fan on the roadside during the 10th stage.
Saturday's stage finishes with the iconic climb of Alpe d'Huez and it is expected to attract one of the biggest, and most boisterous, crowds of the three-week long event.
A joint statement from the UCI and race organisers Amaury Sports Organisation (ASO) read: "The peloton of the 102nd edition of the Tour de France enters a decisive phase of the race as it enters the Alps, where the riders require optimal conditions in order to perform to their best before arriving in Paris on Sunday.
"UCI president Brian Cookson and Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme ask crowds along the roadside to respect every rider, and the integrity of the riders and in particular the Yellow Jersey.
"The UCI and ASO publicly regretted the aggressions suffered by the leader of the overall classification from some spectators during the 14th stage between Rodez and Mende, while at the same time thanking the large majority of the public which respects the athletes."
Follow every stage of the Tour de France with our daily live blogs, available on our apps and www.skysports.com