After attacking off the front with green jersey leader Peter Sagan (Tinkoff) yesterday, the cycling community thought it had seen it all at this year's Tour de France. And in the last decade at least, it has seen a lot of things.
But then race leader Froome ran up Ventoux on Stage 12 panicking after a historic crash in the closing kilometre that involved a motorbike, Richie Porte (BMC) and Bauke Mollema (Treg-Segafredo).
How it happened
After attacking off the overall favourites group in the final two kilometres, Froome and Porte were poised to distance Nairo Quintana by at least 30 seconds, after the Colombian had cracked after several unsuccessful attacks of his own.
Porte was taking a turn at the front while Mollema had bridged the gap. Then chaos ensued. A race moto could not pass through a tunnel of fans and stopped abruptly causing Porte to face plant into the motorbike, he Mollema and Froome all falling to the ground.
His bike too damaged to continue, Froome panicked and started running until the Mavic neutral service car provided him with an ill fitting bike which he could not progress on. Mollema, Porte, and then Quintana all passed Froome until the Sky car reached their leader. He crossed the line visibly frustrated.
After the stage, the yellow jersey was initially awarded to Adam Yates (OBE) and Quintana's time initially did not reflect his time loss earlier in the stage.
Meanwhile race organisers, team directors and other stakeholders discussed an outcome that fairly reflected that this was not a normal race incident. The UCI jury awarded Porte and Froome the same time as Mollema (five minutes and five seconds down on stage winner De Gendt).
The UCI’s decision sees Froome retain the Yellow Jersey and van Garderen and Porte move up to 7th and 11th place respectively.
more to come.