Froome deserves more respect – Bardet
|Tour de France: 1-23 July|
|Coverage: Live text commentary of every stage on the BBC Sport website. BBC Radio coverage on 5 live sports extra and/or website from 14:30 BST on every stage|
French rider Romain Bardet wants his country’s fans to show Tour de France rival Chris Froome more respect.
Bardet received passionate support on Sunday when the 15th stage passed through his local Auvergne region.
However, British race leader Froome suffered some jeers and insults.
“I heard that Froome was abused at times,” said Bardet. “I’m really sorry, he’s a champion who should be respected, who I respect as a rival and who doesn’t deserve that treatment.”
AG2R La Mondial’s Bardet was runner-up to Tour de France winner Froome last year and is currently 23 seconds behind the Team Sky rider in this year’s event.
Froome claimed he had urine thrown at him during the 2015 race and played down the most recent incidents.
“It’s to be expected if this is Romain Bardet’s home stage. It’s understandable that all the locals around here are supporting him – that’s bike racing,” he said.
“The support on the roads has been fantastic so far and I want to thank everybody – it’s been a great atmosphere.”
After Monday’s final rest day, there will be six further stages before the race finishes in Paris on Sunday.