—Warning! Spoilers ahead!!!—
Chris Froome Runs up Mont Ventoux in Cleats
Due to super cool conditions (like hypothermic stuff) at the summit of Mont Ventoux, Tour de France officials moved the finish line of Stage 12 down 6km or so. What wasn’t so cool was the barrier-free chaos of crowds covering the streets. All those people crammed down the mountain cause a motorbike to stop suddenly, followed by Richie Porte’s face stopping suddenly on the bike’s camera.
Richie Porte, Bauke Mollema, and Chris Froome were 23 seconds ahead of their nearest GC rivals when the accident happened. The trio was down when all of their rivals rode past and to the summit with Adam Yates technically riding into yellow, but Froome ultimately being awarded the yellow jersey.
Evidently, the motorbike ran into a spectator ahead of the group, and a second motorcycle smashed into Froome from behind, breaking his frame. Froome’s first started running with the bike, but finally ditched it and started running up the mountain, which, strangely, wouldn’t have been against the rules if he hadn’t left the bike behind. Finally, neutral services handed him a bike that Froome clunks along on for a while–probably due to mismatched cleats and pedals. Here’s a link to the video, courtesy of Dimension Data and Le Tour de France.
Spectator interference has brought up a few issues this year, including a viewer unplugging a generator that causes the 1km banner to fall on Adam Yates during stage 7. What do you think?
Cycling fans have amazing access to the riders. Very few sports allow that kind of spectator access. That a cess comes at a cost. The cost is we, spectators, need to use good judgement. Back up, get out of the way and let the riders ride. If we fail to exercise proper judgement we will lose that access. This is just happening to often.