Chris Froome forced to run up Mont Ventoux as Tour de France takes extraordinary turn

 
Frank Dalleres
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Froome took to running up Mont Ventoux after damaging his bike in a three-man pile-up (Source: Getty)

Britain's Chris Froome kept hold of the yellow jersey despite being forced to run up part of the iconic Mont Ventoux climb in one of the most extraordinary incidents in Tour de France history.

The defending champion took to jogging after being knocked off his bike towards the end of the stage and finding that the Team Sky vehicle carrying replacement bikes was miles behind.

It was a desperate act as Froome feared the collision would not only wipe out the 23-second advantage that he, Ritchie Porte and Bauke Mollema had built up on title rival Nairo Quintana during the ascent, but also see him fall behind the Colombian in the general classification.

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The two-time Tour winner eventually got a replacement bike and crossed the line way behind Mollema and Porte in a time that would have handed the yellow jersey to young Briton Adam Yates.

But race organisers revised the times after a review of the decisive crash, which was caused by throngs of spectators narrowing the road, and reinstalled Froome with an increased 47 second lead on Orica-BikeExchange’s Yates.

Froome called it “the right decision”, adding: “The three of us just ran into the motorbike and another motorbike ploughed into me, breaking my frame. I just started running. I knew the car was stuck and was five minutes behind.”

“I think the jury and everyone on the organisation has played the fair play card,” added Team Sky principal Sir Dave Brailsford. “Perhaps next year Chris will do the Paris Marathon.”

Dutchman Mollema, of Trek-Segafredo, is a further nine seconds adrift of Yates, with Movistar’s Quintana another five seconds off the pace. Belgian Thomas de Gendt won the stage.

Porte had urged organisers Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO) to adjust the times after the chaotic finish to one of the Tour’s most famous and significant stages.

“The crowd were all over the road and it was such a mess,” the Australian said. “I don’t know what they’re going to do but they’re going to have to do something about it. That can’t stand, some sort of discretion has to be used. It was just crazy.”

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