RUNNING UP THAT HILL
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.