By Thomas Dodd
- Briton Chris Froome forced to run up Mont Ventoux after crash
- Race leader given retrospective time and extends advantage at head of race
- Belgian Thomas de Gendt wins wind-shortened stage on Bastille Day
MONT VENTOUX, FRANCE – If Chris Froome had planned to use Stage 12 of the Tour de France to run away from his competitors at the top of the overall standings, being forced to jog 200m up the final climb probably wasn’t what he had in mind.
That is exactly what happened though, as one of craziest sights in Tour history saw the Team Sky rider use two feet as opposed to two wheels in order to propel himself up towards the finish line on Mont Ventoux following a crash.
Froome, along with rivals Richie Porte and Bauke Mollema, had broken away from a group of favourites including Nairo Quintana, before the trio were brought down by a motorcycle which had reportedly been forced to stop by the pure volume of fans watching by the roadside on Bastille Day.
(Via YMax Media, YouTube)
Initial results from the race directors suggested that Froome had lost the yellow jersey to fellow Brit Adam Yates.
But a post-stage review re-instated Froome and Porte to the times they would have received had they not crashed and meant the defending champion stretched his advantage to 46 seconds over Yates and 54 over Quintana.
The day’s route was won by Thomas de Gendt, who crossed the line ahead of fellow Belgian Serge Pauwels – the second one-two for the country of the race – and Daniel Navarro.
But all of the action was taking place back down the road.
Stage 12 had already been shortened due to high winds at the top of Ventoux, and as a result a route which always brings out the fans was made even narrower for riders, team cars and motorcycles alike.
As the motorcycle providing the images for the Porte, Froome and Mollema group stopped abruptly – potentially to avoid a fan – the Australian BMC rider could not slow down in time and careered into the back of the bike, taking his two escapees down with him in the process.
Not prepared to wait for a replacement bike, the man in the yellow jersey simply proceeded on foot, breaking into a jog to try and eliminate any potential time losses.
A further problem with the generic Mavic service bike resulted in more frustration before the Briton eventually crossed the line several minutes behind Mollema, who had managed to ride on relatively unscathed.
An original race result showed Yates in yellow, but the organisers were quick to re-order the final classification to keep Froome ahead – and with a bigger advantage than he had started the day with.
It was another strange day of an already unusual Tour, which has witnessed Froome build a lead over the field by attacking on a descent and using the crosswinds to take time out of the competitors on a flat stage yesterday.
Friday will see the riders tested against the clock for the first time, with a 37.5km time trial from Bourg-Saint-Andeol to Le Caverne du Pont d’Arc and should allow Froome a chance to increase his lead in a discipline where his talents are often overlooked.
Whatever happens, he will just hope he only needs his legs for pedalling this time.
Stage 12 Result (Montpellier to Mont Ventoux 184km)
1. Thomas de Gendt (BEL) Lotto Soudal 4h31m51seconds
2. Serge Pauwels (BEL) Dimension Data +02seconds
3. Daniel Navarro (ESP) Cofidis +14
4. Stef Clement (HOL) IAM Cycling +40
5. Sylvain Chavanel (FRA) Direct Energie +40
6. Bert Jan Lindeman (HOL) Lotto Jumbo NL +2m52
7. Daniel Teklehaimanot (ERI) Dimension Data +3m13
8. Sep Vanmarcke (BEL) Lotto Jumbo NL +3m26
9. Chris Anker Sorenson (NOR) Fortuneo +4m23
10. Bauke Mollema (HOL) Trek-Segafredp +5m05
11.* Chris Froome, Sky +5m05
13. Adam Yates, Orica +5m24
31. Geraint Thomas, Sky +7m24
132. Stephen Cummings, Dimension Data +25m25
138. Luke Rowe, Sky +25m57
143. Mark Cavendish, Dimension Data +28m04
178. Daniel McLay, Fortuneo +28m24
182. Ian Stannard, Sky +28m24
*retrospective race position.
Overall Standings (After Stage 12):
1. Chris Froome (GBR) Sky 57h11m33seconds
2. Adam Yates (GBR) Orica +47
3. Nairo Quintana (COL) Movistar +54
4. Bauke Mollemea (HOL) Trek-Segafredo +56
5. Romain Bardet (FRA) AG2R +1m15
6. Alejandro Valverde (ESP) Movistar +1m32
7. Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing +1m32
8. Fabio Aru (ITA) Astana +1m54
9. Dan Martin (IRE) Etixx-QuickStep +1m56
10. Joaquin Rodriguez (ESP) Katusha +2m11
16. Geraint Thomas, Sky +5m51
136. Stephen Cummings, Dimension Data +2h05m10
166. Mark Cavendish, Dimension Data +2h16m30
175. Luke Rowe, Sky +2h19m46
177. Daniel McLay, Fortuneo +2h20m37
180. Ian Stannard, Sky +2h21m56
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