Tour de France leader Froome runs up hill after crash


Freakish scenes unfolded at the end of Thursday's 12th stage of the Tour de France, as Chris Froome was forced to run towards the finish line after a crash with a TV motorcycle. The Tour must institute barriers on the side of the road of all stages to prevent this kind of thing from happening.

Froome said: "Ventoux is full of surprises".

The collision was caused by the overbearing crowd that surrounded the barriers at the race. Some officials and eyewitnesses described it as a deliberate attack.

France was reeling again after a large truck mowed through a crowd of revelers gathered for a Bastille Day fireworks display in the Riviera city of Nice, killing at least 84 people on Thursday night.

It is a 23-mile individual time trial from Bourg-Saint-Andeol to La Caverne du Pont-d'Arc.

The motorbike appeared to have stopped because fans blocked its path. "Froome was on my wheel and was straight into me". "It's just a mess", Porte told reporters.

At the finish in Chalet-Reynard, confusion reigned over whether the result would stand, given that Yates had won back time earlier in the race after the one kilometre to go banner had landed on him on stage seven.

“I agree that you come to the race, you have a good time, but you dont need to be running beside the riders, you dont need to hitting riders, pushing riders, ” said Porte, who was being examined for possible injuries.

During the three-week race, which covers 3,500 kilometers, millions of spectators line the route and on the summit finishes, where the race is effectively decided, thousands of avid fans camp out for days to find a viewing spot ahead of the peloton's fleeting arrival.

As the accident unfolded, TV footage captured Froome running up the mountain, before he took one of his teammates' bikes to continue the ascent.

He grabbed a neutral service bike - too small, and with pedals incompatible with his shoes - until finally getting a spare from his team.

French sources quoted Froome saying: "I had no bike - I knew that the team vehicle with a replacement bike was five minutes behind, so I had to run".

Froome's sports director at Sky Nicolas Portal explained the crash: "The motorcycle couldn't pass because of thousands of fans".

"I couldn't sleep yet and now read about something more important than the Tour", Mollema wrote on Twitter.

Before the crash, Froome dropped most of his rivals apart from Porte and Bauke Mollema.

Still, Froome was booed and whistled at when he put the yellow jersey back on during the podium ceremony.

Yates is the new leader - provisionally at least - by just nine seconds from Mollema, who was the first able to get up and ride on to finish 10th on the stage, with Quintana third at 14sec.

Froome's main rival Nairo Quintana (Movistar) of Colombia is now third, 54 seconds behind, with fourth-placed Mollema 56 seconds off the pace.

"I'm just glad to get through the stage, I'm glad that the commissaires took that decision there, in the interests of the race and in the interests of what's happened the last few days, that was the correct decision. Froome is stronger than me and the rightful owner of the jersey". If I was in the same situation in the yellow jersey, I'd want the same outcome.