Today’s stage on Mont Ventoux was probably as insane a stage as we’ve ever seen. While the win was contested by a three man breakaway, the overall standings were being contested further down the mountain with the Yellow Jersey, Chris Froome with Richie Porte and Bauke Mollema. Suddenly there was a crash. The TV motorbike had slammed on the brakes and all three cyclists ploughed straight into it. The road was so full of people that, that seemingly another motorbike ahead of the TV motorbike was prevented from moving. This effectively caused a pile-up. With all three riders on the floor, a police motorbike behind ran over Chris Froome’s bike and broke the frame.
Mollema got away first, while Froome quickly realised his bike was broken and had nowhere to get another one. Porte was last to get away – he’d been at the bottom of the pile-up. But in the chaos, the riders behind had passed them, and now Mollema, and to a greater extent Porte and Froome had lost time, instead of gaining time.
The UCI jury eventually gave Porte and Froome the same time as Mollema – who himself had lost some time, but recovered fastest.
The crowds were clearly too deep, and too many idiots try to lean into the riders too much. There weren’t barriers at this point on the course – just 1.2km from the top – but the organisers had already had to cope with a weather problem. They’d shortened the stage since 100km/h winds were making it unsafe at the top of the mountain.
Much more including photos on Inrng, although frankly it’ll be on the national news tonight, so bizarre is the image of Chris Froome running up the mountain!
Quite why the crowd that had waited for Froome to maintain his Yellow Jersey were booing him, I really don’t understand.
In the meantime, why not listen to a little feature that I helped put together for The Cycling Podcast this week – my second.