By Julien Pretot
LAC DE PAYOLLE, France (Reuters) - The seventh stage of the Tour de France ended in farcical fashion on Friday when an inflatable arch, marking one kilometre to go, deflated and slowed down the bunch, sending Briton Adam Yates to the ground.
Yates got back on his bike and crossed the line with blood on his chin, several minutes behind the group of favourites he had attacked earlier.
"He was on his own when it happened, the arch fell in front of him and he did not have time to brake so he did a somersault and fell on his face," said his Orica-Bike Exchange sports director Lorenzo Lapage.
"The doctor is checking him...his shoulder is aching."
Yates, who was ahead of the peloton when the incident occurred, said: "I'm disappointed. There's not much you can do, I had no time to react.
"It's a good job it was just me on my own. It could have been a lot worse."
Yates lost considerable ground but he and the other riders in the bunch who were slowed did not lose any time, said race director Thierry Gouvenou.
"We took into account the times at the 3km mark," he told Reuters.
"Yates was seven seconds ahead of Julian Alaphilippe at the 3km mark so he takes the white jersey," Gouvenou added in reference to the category for best under-25 rider.
The Briton was six seconds adrift of previous white jersey holder Alaphilippe of France at the start of the stage.
(Editing by Ken Ferris and Tony Jimenez)