Meanwhile, Kenya's world marathon record-holder Brigid Kosgei's track debut ended in disappointment after losing the battle to The Dutch world 1,500m and 10,000m champion Sifan Hassan who went to break the World Hour record after she reached 18,930 meters as the hour elapsed, beating the existing mark of 18,517 meters set by Ethiopia's Dire Tune in 2008.
However, it was a day of mixed feelings for local fans because fellow Frenchman Thibaut Pinot fell on the second climb of the day and finished over 25 minutes behind Peters, whose hopes of becoming the first home rider to win the Tour since 1985 have diminished, as he sits around 19 minutes behind on the overall standings.
"They feel that what is happening with the U.S. Government could create a negative precedent internationally that could be replicated and would jeopardize the entire global anti-doping system."
The race continued in a fairly processional manner until lap 20, when Kevin Magnussen's Haas stopped just before the pit entrance, bringing out the safety car and bunching the pack up.
World championship leader Lewis Hamilton could only finish seventh after serving a time penalty for coming into the pitlane when it was closed, dropping him to the back of the field.
"The female Iranian players have to wear a hijab or a head cover. In the beginning, it was difficult because there were no leagues who accepted us. However, the Bulgarian federation opened its doors to Iranian women and confirmed our participation in their league," said Borhani.
Elsewhere, Fede Valverde will hope to continue his progression and will probably find himself playing more minutes than Luka Modric, while Toni Kroos and Casemiro remain very reliable in central midfield.
"It was a good day for the team as some favourites from the GC lost time too," said Van Aert.
"It is my first on-site competition of the year and I felt very excited. I have not thought too much about the result," said Huang, whose winning mark also equaled his career best set three years ago when winning the gold medal at the Chinese National Games in Tianjin.
Banka said his focus is "absolutely" on the welfare of athletes, and that the anti-doping system that "has served clean athletes" must be protected.
"In the end I did my thing and tried to stay with the best guys, and here we are," said the Mitchelton-Scott rider.