Defending champion Chris Froome retained the overall leader’s yellow jersey on the Tour de France after an incident involving a motorbike left him without a bike in a farcical finale to the 12th stage on Thursday (14 July).
The Briton’s bike was broken in a pile-up close to the finish and the Team Sky rider began running up the slopes of the Mont Ventoux before grabbing a service bike which did not work.
“The motorbike slammed on brakes I think, the road was blocked in front and the three of us (Bauke) Mollema, Richie (Porte) and myself just went piling over the back of the motorbike and another motorbike came into the back of me and broke my frame. So I just left running really as I didn’t have any spare bike, I knew the cars were stuck behind all the other riders so I just left to try and get up the climb as best as I could,” he said.
Froome was then given a spare Team Sky bike on which he completed the 178-kilometre stage, losing over a minute to his main rivals, only for the race jury to rule that he would be credited with the same time as the two riders he was with when the incident occurred.
“I’m just glad to get through this stage, I mean I’m glad the commissaires took that decision there, I think I mean, in the interests of the race, in the interests of what’s happened in the last few days, I think that was the correct decision so thank you to them and thank you to the organisers of the Tour De France,” he added.
BMC rider Porte, who was leading Froome and Dutchman Mollema (Trek Segafredo), crashed into a TV motorbike that was held up by the crowd on the road.
The overall lead was first handed to Briton Adam Yates (Orica-Bike Exchange) before the standings were updated and Froome was handed the yellow jersey on the podium.