There were incredible scenes today at stage 12 of the Tour de France as a collision with a cameraman on a motorbike caused Chris Froome to be knocked from his bike.
The current Tour de France champion surrendered his yellow jersey this afternoon with defeat on Mont Ventoux, after being forced to run for some distance up the mountain. A replacement neutral bike was sought and delivered to Froome but he appeared to struggle with the gears and demanded another.
Richie Porte (BMC) smashed into the back of a static camera bike and brought down Froome and Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo), with Froome running up Mont Ventoux without a bike for a while.
Froome had to wait for the neutral service vehicle to get a new bike, and stopped again to get a bike from the Team Sky car before eventually crossing the line 6:45 down on stage winner Thomas De Gendt.
Mollema was able to get up and carry on riding, but Froome’s bike was too badly damaged and he ran with it for a while before dropping it on the side of the road and running on solo.
“The crowd was just all on the road and the motorbike just stopped right in front of me and I had nowhere to go. Next minute I was straight over the top of the motorbike. It was just a mess,” Porte said.
“Chris was on my wheel and went straight into me. I don;t know what they are going to do, but they have got to do something about it, because it’s not fair. One minute we were 23 seconds in front and the next thing, for something so silly, everybody is back on us.
“That can’t stand. It can’t happen like that. Surely the jury has to look at it and use some sort of discretion. If you can’t control the crowds, what can you control?
“It’s not really the motorbikes. It’s the crowd. They are in your face the whole time, pushing riders, and at the top there, that was just crazy.”
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Chris Froome collision crash mont ventoux motorbike running Sky Tour de France video