Tour director apologises to Yates over arch fall

Tour director apologises to Yates over arch fall

Young British cyclist Adam Yates received a personal apology from the Tour de France director on Saturday after he was knocked flying off his bike by a falling inflatable arch.

Yates, 23, suffered cuts to his face and needed two stitches in his chin after the inflatable arch indicating the final kilometre of Friday's seventh stage collapsed on top of him.

A spectator had inadvertently dislodged a pin at the base of the arch, which let the air out.

"I've got stitches in my chin and my legs are sore but I got pretty lucky," Yates had said.

Before Saturday's mountainous eighth stage in the Pyrenees, Tour director Christian Prudhomme visited Yates in his Orica team bus.

"I just wanted to say sorry to Adam Yates and to say thank you because he was very elegant in (what he said), and to shake hands with him," Prudhomme told reporters outside the Australian team's bus.

Yates was more concerned with his position in the overall standings.

He was on his own when the arch hit him as he'd attacked the peloton of favourites to try to gain some valuable seconds.

He was aiming to snare the white jersey for best young rider off Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe -- something he did successfully after race officials decided to stop the clock 3km from the finish due to many riders being held up by the fallen arch.

"It's not nice to take the white jersey like that but now I want to hold it as long as possible. We'll see what happens," said Yates.

The Briton moved up to second overall thanks to the time taken on the favourites.

He started Saturday's stage with a chance to take over the leader's yellow jersey from Belgian Greg Van Avermaet, who was widely expected to lose it on the mountainous terrain despite holding a 5min 50sec advantage.

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