(AP) COL DU TOURMALET, France –The riders of the Tour de France have been disrupted by sheep running across their path on a hard climb up the Pyrenees mountains.
Television footage showed the sheep hesitating and then setting off together across the road as the peloton was ascending the hard climb of the Col du Soudor in heavy fog and rain.
No rider fell, but several were forced to brake hard and halt.
The sheep did not disrupt the leading group of seven riders or the 2008 champion Carlos Sastre, riding between the leading group and the peloton.
The 17th stage Thursday of 108 miles from Pau to the Col du Tourmalet is the Tour’s most prestigious. Alberto Contador leads the race by eight seconds ahead of Andy Schleck.