Broken bikes slow 2 Tour contenders
MUR DE BRETAGNE, France — Sometimes in cycling the bike can be the rider’s biggest enemy.
Tour de France contenders Tom Dumoulin and Romain Bardet both lost significant time in the overall standings after spokes on their wheels snapped near the uphill end of Stage 6 on Thursday.
Both title hopefuls were left behind by the rest of the top riders as they increased the pace hunting for the win that finally went to Daniel Martin of Ireland.
Dumoulin said his bike broke when he knocked into Bardet near the foot of the second of two two-kilometer ascents up the Mur de Bretagne to the finish line.
“I hit the back wheel of Bardet when there was the movement in the peloton and I couldn’t avoid it,” the Dutch rider said. “I needed to change wheel and chase to the finish as hard as possible but it was very difficult.”
Dumoulin and his Sunweb team compounded the mechanical mishap by getting a 20-second penalty when Dumoulin stayed too close to the team car while trying to catch the pack, thereby benefiting from its draft that pulled him along.
The pack rides past a burning haystack Thursday at the Tour de France.