Procycling - - Review Of The Year 2016 -

Froome, Richie Porte and Bauke Mollema were away on Mont Ven­toux, hav­ing dropped the rest of the favourites. But con­ges­tion caused by too many fans and race ve­hi­cles on the road led to a crash. Froome’s bike was bro­ken and in an at­tempt to save his yel­low jer­sey, he ditched his bike and started run­ning. It was one of the Tour’s most mem­o­rable mo­ments ever

It was chaos. One sec­ond I can re­mem­ber just hav­ing my head down with Richie and Bauke giv­ing ab­so­lutely ev­ery­thing we had to try and ex­tend that lead we had over the Quin­tana group.

“I was sit­ting sec­ond wheel and just ploughed into the back of Richie. I don’t think I even touched my brake levers be­fore I was on the ground. Then a po­lice moto went into the back of me, which snapped my rear stays.

Ob­vi­ously, wear­ing the yel­low jer­sey, know­ing how hard it had been to get the gap al­ready, I was straight up again and got on my bike but saw that the wheel was rub­bing up against the frame be­cause the frame had snapped. I re­alised there was no chance of us­ing that bike.

I knew the team car was nowhere nearby. I’d been count­ing the kilo­me­tres care­fully and I knew I was just over a kilo­me­tre from the fin­ish. I re­mem­ber think­ing, if I just stand here and wait, each sec­ond that ticks by could be one of the few sec­onds that I lose the Tour de France by. It was hardly even a ques­tion: keep mov­ing. Run to­wards the fin­ish.

I knew I wouldn’t be run­ning the whole 1.2km or what­ever, and that the team car would catch up at some point and I’d get a bike.

I think I recog­nised very quickly the sit­u­a­tion I was in. I found it quite easy to weigh up my op­tions. I had to keep mov­ing for­ward to limit the time loss.

There was an el­e­ment of panic. Those sec­onds can be in­cred­i­bly pre­cious – I lost the Vuelta in 2011 by 12 sec­onds [ed – ac­tu­ally 13] and some­thing like that will stay with me for­ever.

A com­bi­na­tion of fac­tors had come to­gether – the weather chang­ing the fin­ish of the stage, hav­ing ev­ery­thing moved down, hav­ing the same num­ber of fans com­pressed into a shorter space, the or­gan­is­ers not be­ing able to set up bar­ri­ers in time for the new fin­ish line. A whole host of things came into play to cre­ate that unique sit­u­a­tion.

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