Cyprus Mail
Sport

Froome retains Tour de France lead despite mountain chaos

The sight of yellow jersey holder Chris Froome running up Mont Ventoux after his bike was broken was remarkable

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 chaotic finale of the 12th stage on Thursday.

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 Mont Ventoux before grabbing a service bike which did not work.

Froome was then given a spare Team Sky bike on which he completed the 178-km 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.

BMC rider Richie Porte, who was leading Froome and Dutchman Bauke Mollema (Trek Segafredo), crashed into a TV motorbike that was held up by the crowd on the road.

Mollema and Froome also tumbled and the Briton’s bike was broken in the incident.

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.

“I’m very happy with the commissaires’ decision, I think it was the right thing to do, thanks to the jury and thanks to the organisers,” Froome told reporters.

Yates added: “I’m happy with the decision, I would not want to take the jersey like that. I wanted to take it with my legs.”

Yates now trails Froome by 47 seconds in second place.

“It’s a fair decision,” said Team Sky manager Dave Brailsford.

Mollema is third, 56 seconds off the pace as Froome’s main rival Nairo Quintana (Movistar) of Colombia is fourth 1:01 behind.

Froome had been the strongest of the top favourites in a stage shortened because of violent winds at top of the Ventoux, dropping main rival Quintana with about 3km left as only Porte and Mollema could follow his pace.

“The motorbike could not progress and there was a pile-up in which Chris’s bike was broken,” said Team Sky sports director Nicolas Portal.

“It was a nightmare.”

Portal added he was also held up behind the race stewards and could not drive up to his rider so that his mechanic could hand him a spare bike.

“It’s an incident created by the event. There are more and more people lining up the road. It’s got nothing to do with sport,” the Frenchman said.

“It was crazy. On a 200-metre portion there were hundreds of spectators blocking the road.”

Froome will have the opportunity to extend his lead in Friday’s 13th stage, a 37.5-km individual time trial from Bourg Saint Andeol and La Caverne du Pont d’Arc.

Related Posts

Greek Tsitsipas makes confident start with straight-sets win

Reuters News Service

Raducanu survives Stephens test on Australian Open debut

Reuters News Service

Hamilton turns 37 as F1 fans wait for the silence to end

Reuters News Service

Real Madrid great Gento dies aged 88

Reuters News Service

Indefatigable Murray wins Basilashvili thriller to reach second round

Reuters News Service

Australian Open day two highlights

Reuters News Service

2 comments

Comments are closed.