- Associated Press - Monday, July 21, 2014

CARCASSONNE, France (AP) - The Tour de France paused for a day in this medieval fortress town just north of the Pyrenees mountains to give the 170 remaining riders a chance to rest up for the race’s final 912 kilometers (567 miles) beginning Tuesday.

Riders relaxed, ate, met with reporters and otherwise found ways to recover from the 2,752 kilometers (1,710 miles) that they’ve raced since the start on July 5 in Leeds, England. The last six stages include three heavy days of climbing in the Pyrenees and take in four lung-busting summits that are rated “beyond category” - the hardest they come.

Here are five things to know about the Tour de France on Monday:

VOECKLER VENTS: Tour riders have had enough with fans along the road stepping in their way and potentially causing dangerous accidents as the athletes whiz by. Europcar team veteran Thomas Voeckler let loose on one fan during Sunday’s stage, giving the bystander a dressing down he’s sure not to soon forget.

In a video of of the scene captured by a fan and posted on the website of French sports daily L’Equipe, Voeckler is seen braking to a stop along the roadside, then turning back and angrily shouting “Hey! Come here! Come!”

A voice off camera repeats “Sorry!” several times, to which Voeckler answers “Have you ever ridden a bike?” Then the popular French rider, famous for wearing the yellow jersey for 10 stages in both 2004 and 2011, slowly pushes off and accelerates back up the road.

Voeckler is currently in 53rd place, almost an hour and 42 minutes behind leader Vincenzo Nibali of Italy.

Earlier in the Tour, several similar incidents were captured by television cameras, when fans looking into their camera phones rather than watching the race caused a series of crashes and near misses. American rider Tejay van Garderen was knocked down and suffered minor knee injuries by one such fan on Stage 2. He later tweeted that selfie-taking fans demonstrated “a dangerous mix of vanity and stupidity.”

BELKIN’S LUCK CHANGING? Dutch team Belkin currently has two riders in the Tour’s top 10 overall and one stage win - a fairly successful Tour so far. However, its riders began the Tour under a cloud, with the knowledge that U.S. consumer electroncis manufacturer Belkin would drop its sponsorship of the team after this season.

Now it seems the team’s luck has changed, with reports that the team management has found sponsors to replace Belkin.

Team spokesman Leon Brouwer confirmed a report in Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf that Holland’s national lottery is in talks with Brand Loyalty, a Dutch speedskating team sponsor, to take over sponsorship of the team after Belkin leaves.

“There are talks, but nothing’s signed yet,” Brouwer said.

Belkin announced it was ending its sponsorship of the team last month.

The team had been known as Rabobank for many years until the Dutch bank dropped its sponsorship in 2012, citing professional cycling’s dismal history of doping scandals.

Belkin rider Lars Boom won the epic cobblestone stage between Ypres and Arenberg Porte du Hainaut on July 10, while teammates Bauke Mollema and Laurens Ten Dam sit in seventh and ninth place overall.

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