The Running Man

Have you ever seen anything like it? Chris Froome is seen running up Mont Ventoux in his yellow jersey. It was an extraordinary image, the race leader bereft of his bike as he ran past the cheering crowds.

Here’s a look at what happened and an attempt to make sense of it all.

As the yellow jersey group climbed Mont Ventoux Nairo Quintana tried two attacks but he was easily reeled in by Wout Poels. It seemed as if Quintana might be trying a couple of soft moves before a big attack as he’s done this before but in time Chris Froome attacked, Richie Porte followed, so did Quintana and then Froome kicked again and this ejected Quintana. Soon after Bauke Mollema made his way across.

The trio were making their way through the crowds until the TV motorbike stopped suddenly, reportedly blocked by the density of the crowds according to one source, Europe 1 radio said one motorbike stalled forcing the TV moto to brake hard; later the Tour race director Christian Prudhomme said he did not know what had happend and there will be an enquiry to find out what happened.

What’s known is the motorbike stopped and Porte went flying into the back of it while Mollema and Froome landed on the ground having both become detached from their bikes.

As Mollema picked up his bike and started riding Froome’s bike was broken, it had been hit by a police motorbike behind. Froome started running up the road. As he ran tried to call his team via race radio but the team car was far behind the group that Froome had attacked from. He he came around a bend in the road the waiting fans.

Froome eventually got a bike from the Mavic neutral service car but this had flat platform pedals and he was struggling with it and eventually got a replacement bike from his team car and finished 1m40s behind Bauke Mollema and 1m20s behind a group with Nairo Quintana, Adam Yates, Fabio Aru, Louis Meintjes, Joaquim Rodriguez, Romain Bardet, Alejandro Valverde and Tejay van Garderen.

At this point Adam Yates was the virtual yellow jersey. Once the riders had crossed the line Thomas de Gendt got his stage win podium ceremony and collected the mountains jersey for his efforts too but there was no immediate yellow jersey ceremony as the race jury of UCI commissaires was locked in a meeting to decide what to do.

In the end the jury unanimously decided to reclassify Froome and Porte with the same time as Mollema. Here’s the top-20 today, not the adjusted timings for Froome and Porte.

Of course Mollema lost time too because of the crash but the jury cannot calculate a compensatory amount of seconds, the convention is to place riders alongside those they were with at the time of the incident. Let’s look at the rules here:

The Rules

That’s the relevant part of the UCI rulebook and the “race incident”. As you can see it’s an open-ended rule that can be invoked in the event of an “accident or incident” that influences the “normal conduct of a race”. It’s not clear yet exactly what the rationale was but it appears to be an ex post decision to temporarily neutralise the race at the time of the incident.

Is this satisfactory? Of course not, the whole scenario today was chaos. The rules are not there to redistribute karma however if the race was stopped because the road was blocked by traffic then the rule above can apply.

It’s left some team managers annoyed, notably Trek-Segafredo’s Luca Guercilena while others, like Team Sky, are satisfied with the result of the commissaires while seemingly having little to say about the incident. When interviewed on French TV Dave Brailsford implied it was just one of those things and started joking about entering Froome for the Paris marathon.

For now that’s it, it’d be good to get some kind of reasoned decision from the UCI jury so we know their rationale and if more info and explanation appears this piece will be updated accordingly.

Can you run?
Finally FAQ today. Yes, you can run. It happens in the spring classics when riders get in a logjam on, say, the Koppenberg but normally riders shoulder their bikes. The rules say you need to cover the course under your own steam and must cross the finish with your bike (rule 1.2.109), you might remember images of riders crossing the finish line holding their bike in the air. Rule 12.12.14 says any “attempt to be placed without having covered the entire course by bicycle” brings elimination but the spirit here is more about what the rule calls “wilful deviation” ie taking a short cut or getting into a train or a car rather than jogging along.

302 thoughts on “The Running Man”

  1. The decision is not ideal, but it’s OK.
    On the Zoncolan this is what RCS does to curb the crowd
    Take notes ASO.

    Anyway, we are talking about an accident. Just an accident. Still at the Tour Hoogerland risked his career for a stupid car. In France, again, in Aremberg, Viviani left the Roubaix because a motorcycle striked the peloton. Sagan and Van Avermaet in Spain got bumped (nobody gave back the race to VanAvermaet though).
    More terrible: a rider lost his life in Belgium. Look the few minutes before the accident. Behind the three attackers there are no cars with assistance (because of the barrage). But there are 6 maybe more motorcycles (no barrage for them!). Chris’ Pinarello was not destroied by the crash, but by the motorcycle chasing him.

    ASO giving all these passes to motorcyclists and VIP cars, not trained drivers who have never seen a race, the lack of volunteers as on the Zoncolan to provide some order on narrow roads. The mix is dangerous, and thank God we are just talking about a jury decision, and not another rider injured – or worse.

    • Luigi, you say “The decision is not ideal, but it’s OK.” This may be an impossible question, but I wonder what you feel would be an ideal decision. The race route was blocked, so what other outcome would be reasonable?
      Let’s be grateful no-one was injured.

      • Yeah, we are talking about racing, not about hospitals, that’s why makes me angry this situation. It captured more video attention than many tragic recent episodes. Why? Because Chris ran without his bike.

        Anyway, the solution is not ideal, because it is a patch, and as every patch, it’s a compromise. A rider is flying towards victory, a supporter hits him. The second wins. It happened. Do we have to give the victory to the first one? It never happened before. This is a precedent, a dangerous precedent. Somebody in the peloton is stuck because of motorcycles (Roubaix, this year. Alpine stages, every year. I remember a difficult Mortirolo and a very difficult Finestre – I was there… No cameras to show riders with their feet down asking for some room). Several riders on the ground because of a motorcycle (Aremberg, this year). In all these cases nothing happened. But it is also unfair to leave people who got trained for months there, surrounded by drunk weirdos and motorcycles, losing minutes. We decided to put a patch, today. Porte a few stages ago did not get any patch though… and lost some time.

      • The ideal decision would have been to have the finish line at a place where the lack of wind allowed for your ordinary barriers to be placed on the side of the road in the last few kms.

        Instead however, ASO decided to Finish on Chalet Reynard sans barriers in the last few KM, because of the wind.

        It’s a weak decision that ignores rider’s safety. The ASO is fully to blame.

        Yes I’m playing captain hindsight, but the travesty we have seen today should have been avoided by smart decision making by the biggest race organiser.

    • Quintana and c/0 was not awarded time bonus when they had to fullstop for aprox 9 secs. as the road was blocked again by a motor bike provideing a spare wheel for Porte.

      IMHO not fair – either grant every rider a bonus or let the time on the finishline count..

      apperantly Molema is wondering if he would have been granted a time bonus if only he had crashed…

  2. They are going to have to start barriering the whole of major climbs like this. The fact that something like this hasn’t happened before is a fluke. It wasn’t far off on Alpe d’huez last year and I’ve seen similar on the Angliru where there was barely space for riders to get through. The worst the thing about the incident for me was when the riders were on the ground, and everyone was trying to get through there was still some idiot jumping up and down in the middle of the road totally in the way with some Polish sign 1% of the world can read.

      • Quite. There were a couple of tweets saying this could have been an “attack” and the guy was holding up a political sign but he was just a Majka fan waving his club’s name to the world and looking like an idiot for it. There are thousands of people roaring the riders on but nobody should ever get in the way of the race.

        • the people lining the climbs are in the way of the race…they are narrowing the road to where only one rider can get through at a time… how is a rider supposed to use more of the road to attack and get away from the others ? where is the room to move over even say 2 bicycle widths and attack and pass ? there isn’t. so during these times, they might be riding at race pace, but they are almost not really racing….the people should be informed, etc. to leave the road open for just that, true real bicycle racing fans would understand that and give plenty of room, a number of the people on these climbs seem to be ‘sporting event’ types…. still the organizer should have a car well up front parting the sea, or 2-3 motos across the road to do the same.

  3. Maybe most worrying was that Froome was whistled on the podium – by so-called fans who can have had no idea what had occured. Also depressing the comments on the L’Equipe site where no encouragement is needed to add ill-formed and ofetn crude criticism.

    Maybe it would have been better – though unfair – to have let the arrival times stand, and Froome would have had the jersey in Paris anyway!

    And why temporarily neutralize the race just for 3 guys???? That’s exactly what happend. Everybody received the time relative to the winner but these 3….
    This decision turns this Tour into a farce….

    • The decision was the correct one in the circumstances , it’s not ideal but really you would prefer Froome to lose time like this because the organisers and police can’t do their job properly ?
      I hope that polish idiot was arrested for a start

      • Yes, actually. I’d prefer the results stood. Mishaps on the road should, with but rare exceptions, be regarded as part of the racing. Trying to remove chance from road racing is strange. Part of the allure of the sport, to me at any rate, is found in just the fact that so much chance is involved due to the competition taking place on open roads and not in sanitized, meticulously designed stadiums or fields of play.

      • If you run when others cycling,punching spectators and can’t cope with yellow bike with flat pedals then you are (add your nationality or second name here)…… super idiot

        • I’d say that you if you’re not able to understand the circumstances for all of those situations then you are the one found wanting, not the so called ‘super idiot’.

    • What planet are you on Stefi?

      The 3 of them were 23″ up at the time of the incident when a fan was run over by a moto, causing Porte, Froome & Mollema to crash, another moto then running in to the back of them breaking Froome’s bike.

      At the end they were given 19″.

      • 19″ based on what? Mollemas time because he was fastest on his bike…

        The jury decided this situation based on facts that never happend!! They based this solely on assumptions….
        This is a race incident like so many before but this was not life threatening so why temporarily neutralize for 3 guys?

        • I think you’re misunderstanding the commissaires’ decision. There was no temporary neutralisation just for the 3 guys. The time gaps were taken at the point of the incident (1.2km to go) hence Froome, Porte and Mollema getting the same time, and Quintana getting the time of the Yates group (which he was in at the point of the crash). Here is the ruling:

          • let me be clear:

            under 2.2.029 (Rules) the commissars are allowed to:
            – modify the course
            – temporarily neutralize
            – declare null
            – cancel a stage
            – let results stand
            – restart race

            So what do you think stand behind their decision based on these options?

            Even worse, I realize they temporarily neutralize for all GC guys except Molema who is the only one who gets the real time relative to the wiener by finishing the course. Everybody else got the time at the moment of the crash.

            What would have happend if Molema would came behind Quintana? Why base the results on Molemas time?? There is NO rule for this, it is all arbitrary…

          • I believe de Gendt’s nickname is the sausage for his propensity to eat crappy Belgian junk food and pork up in the off season.

          • Completely agree with Stefi… it’s a racing incident… the times should stand.. what principle did the Jury use for this decision?? their is none that make sense…

            The times should stand… minimally Mollema should get his advantage over Froome and Porte, then they can work their way back after that… he was in the same incident and managed to make his way out of it and get an advantage…

            I agree with Mollema… had he attacked and HE had crashed into the moto he would NOT have been given the gap he had at the time… we all know this is true… so the decision depends on who it happens to and not based on any principle.. this is the commissaries spit balling… they just pulled this decision out of their ***…

        • I have been watching the TdeF since 1984, and have never seen anything quite like this but…..from all I have seem this is the decision that would have been made in every one of those 32 years. No one likes the way this has happened but I find it difficult to accept anyone who claims to love this sport who is surprised or against this ruling.

        • Were you in the room when the jury was making its decision?

          This was an imperfect solution to an imperfect scenario. Whatever was decided would, in some way, disadvantage someone. Most people (UCA/ASO included) would acknowledge this fact. On balance, this was the correct decision IMO.

          In life it is frequently the imperfections that can make things beautiful, compelling and captivating.

          Vive Le Tour.

          • That’s not the point… the point is they didn’t follow their own rules when coming to this decision… they just pulled it out of their ***… that’s a problem…

          • So Molemas time at the end includes Molemas time loss due to the crash.

            Porte an Froome time at the end does not include theirs time loss due to the crash but Molemas time loss.

            You do not see a logical fracture here?

            Molema was lucky but luck is part of cycling.

          • I personally will go along with the majority of current riders and retired riders that were interviewed almost to a man they agreed with the de scion.

        • How about because if you don’t neutralise the race you give every group of fans carte blanche to block the road and stop any rider(s) they don’t like. You want races determined like that?

    • The race was not neutralised for three guys it was neutralised for two, Porte and Froome.
      Mollema provided the reference time for the other two in his group. Arguably their finish time would have been faster if all three of them had been able to finish together but if Mollema hadn’t attacked the time awarded would have been Porte’s.
      Quintana and Mollema were given the finish time of the group they were with including any stoppages so no favouritism was shown – presumably Mollema/Porte/Froome lost more time to their crash than Quintana did in his group’s holdup.
      I wonder how Mollema would have felt if he’d been wearing the yellow Jersey and Porte/Froome had not followed tradition and waited to allow the race leader to defend himself?

    • To Inring: I wonder if data from the saddle mounted transponders was used to sort this mess out? A new precedent, any way of finding out? Your thoughts?

      Mollema provided the finish time, no calculations were made unless the commissaires had something showing how much time Mollema lost untangling himself and getting going again. Basically Mollema was all that was left of the group he latched on to. In all probability if all three had re-mounted and finished Mollema would have gained even more time than he did as both his escape partners are usually better climbers and would probably have dragged each other along meaning Mollema would have had the same time as the first finisher in the triumvirate even if he’d been dropped before the line.

      Can’t see what’s so difficult to understand about the decision, in a way it’s a similar scenario to what happened to Adam Yates and the flamme rouge on stage 7. Three riders who were well clear of their chasers hit an official vehicle which should not have been there (irrespective of why). However… nobody had a time check (unless my question about the transponders has a bearing) so all the commissaires could do was award the same finish time for the whole group. It was clear that all three were hindered unfairly if the commissaires hadn’t done something to redress that fault the teams would have protested anyway. The commissaires were probably trying their best to find out what happened and minimise the delay to the results (something they are always under tremendous pressure to do).

      For better or worse it’s a poor result to ameliorate the disruption as Mollema, Porte and Froome all lost time but it’s fairer than giving them all the 3km to go time which was the next best solution.

  5. Mollema stronger than Quintana at this stage of the race; Yates still holding his own on GC; Porte, thus far, on fire; a Dan Martin jour sans? Froome making the yellow jersey look like an outstanding fit. Is Aru going to come good? Will TVG make up time in tomorrow’s time trial? Bardet, Barguil?

    Fans were robbed of a fantastic finish that would have left some tantalising questions.

    • We were robbed of that by mother nature cutting the Ventoux short by 6km… granted maybe Movistar/SKY would’ve controlled it longer – but reasonable to believe the same riders would have come to the fore, because they clearly are the strongest in the race.

      I’m still getting my head around Mollema being one of only 2 guys able to follow Chris Froome in the mountains though. He timed his jump across the groups just brilliantly. Also had good fortune to be in one piece and able to finish (1:40 ahead of Froome at the finish). It’s a shame for Mollema that this time difference isn’t calculated. I’m also curious if the time given to Froome/Porte is the same time as Mollema at the finish? Wouldn’t be more appropriate to take time differences from the point of the collision?

      • BUT Mollema obviously was delayed by the blockage! Hell, he was on the ground as well as Porte and Froome. How come he is the only one NOT getting any time back?

      • And TvG is in the first result 5 seconds behind Quintana+Valverde, in the second one the later two gained 7 seconds but TvG now has the same time as these two.

          • Still seeking the rule that states that it should be done that way….and if ther is such rule and it was applied, why the rule about no running without bike is overuled ny this rule……

          • Nope… Froome and Porte were given Mollema’s time… so Mollema was riding for Froome and Porte… think they owe him a beer… lol…

          • Vitus… this is a good question… last year Eduardo Sepúlveda was DQ’d after breaking a chain and panicking and riding 100m in another’s team car to his team car up the road… Froome is in clear violation of that rule and he panicked just like Sepúlveda panicked and broke the rules… really gained no advantage… seems to be an uneven application of the rules…

          • Not convinced we saw Froome panic. He ran forwards to get himself out of the crowded section of road so that when a car serviced him with a bike this did less to stop other riders. Also, at the time, he was part of what was blocking the road. Seems like common sense to me.

          • I think it is fairly obvious that there is difference between running and getting in a car and being driven – i.e. running is slower than riding and driving is faster so there is nothing to be gained by setting off on foot.

      • The post was about Yates… who was in front of the Quintana group before the crash… and presumably was just as delayed as Quintana… so why did he not get the time he finished ahead of Quintana… what a mess!!

        • Terrence – the rule that was applied to disqualify Sepulveda was the one about covering the course by your own effort – UCI regulation 1.2.108

          “Unless otherwise stated, each rider shall, in order to be classified, complete the race entirely through his own effort, without the assistance of any other person.”

          Running part of the course is still through your own effort, without assistance. Getting in a car is not.

    • I’m guessing that Movistar appealed, on the basis that it wasn’t certain that Mollema, Porte and Froome would have arrived together, so it was fairer to neutralise all splits after the crash for those affected by it. And then times went on the finishing time of first finisher for each group, because what else?

        • On a clear road it would have been interesting to see a three horse race pushing for the line but on that road there was no room to overtake so I think they would have finished pretty much as a group anyway. The irony is the fans are destroying the racing they came to see.

  6. I do not agree with this decision. It’s an awful event to be sure, but someone or ones are always going to be the loser as a result of such an incident and to me this decision makes the most number of riders the losers, rather than minimizing the impact, and is an unnatural result.

    Also what is the history of events like this, and the resulting decisions? JA Flecha pointed out in the post-stage commentary that it would be unprecedented for them to re-time Froome, but I don’t know enough to say that he was accurate.

    But regardless I can’t think of a more cursed tour, they need to hire a witch or wizard ASAP to clear the bad juju from the race…

  7. Was reasonably happy with the original revised result, Porte and Froome on Mollema’s time (which of course still ignored that Mollema was significantly impeded too) but now they’ve given Quintana Yates’ time despite clearly being at least five seconds behind at the finish and I feel robbed and dumbfounded. The UCI are remarkably inadequate.

    • I got the impression from watching live that Quintana and, ironically enough, Valverde were looking around and not riding flat out to the finish like Aru, Yates et al. Seems they were the only ones concerned about leaving the maillot jaune after a crash. If so then giving them the same time as the group they were riding with is fitting, in the circumstances of the overall finishing times judgment.

      • I had the impression that Valverde was looking around to make sure Quintana was keeping up. NQ’s initial attacks seemed to have taken too much out of him.

  8. It’s clear there is no good decision in this situation.
    But there’s a big big problem (maybe even an unprecedented one) with crediting time like this. We’re saying Froome and Porte so wronged by that crash that their trajectories are being drawn for them. Not just a question of would they have kept up with Mollema, but also why should they get to have a certain performance without expending the necessary effort? I realise a crash is worse than a turn on the front, but in principle, so to speak we have gain without effort. When a GC guy’s time is credited on the 3k rule to make a sprint safer, that’s different from a mountain attack.
    On the other hand, chapeau Froome, brilliant fighting spirit showed today. One can think of other riders who might have had a strop instead.

  9. Some variation on the jury decision was inevitable, there is no satisfactory outcome in a situation like this. Endless polemica but no real answer.

    Back to the race. Short of more ludicrous nonsense it is Chris Froome’s race to loose, even if the result had stood it was difficult to see anyone else keeping him away from yellow for very long, he has the bearing of a top champion. NQ looked a beaten man, surprised on a descent, outwitted in the crosswinds, left behind going uphill. Richie Porte seems to be the only person able to keep up with Froome uphill, he must be cursing the puncture, a good time trial tomorrow and a route to the podium might open up (BMC really will have to drop the 2 leaders thing). A strong ride from Bauke Mollema, how good a time trialist is he? Adam Yates seems to be developing as the next brit winner of a Grand Tour (sorry Geraint), if the received wisdom is correct he will lose time tomorrow but the white jersey at least seems secure, will a Sky contract follow in the next year or two? Shame about Dan Martin.

    Other things, Ian Stannard seemed to be badly shaken up by the crash, this could weaken Sky though the flat stages are mostly done.

    All of the main teams seemed to be much more on the ball today, it was noticeable how much organised and motivated they all were, presumably there was a certain amount of embarrassment all round with the sloppiness the previous day.

    • Looking at Mollema’s ITT results over the past seasons on procyclingstats, he doesn’t appear to be a particularly strong time trialist but also not disastrous. However I did not deep-dive into what is a comparable TT course to really get accurate.

      And I agree about BMC – I think maybe they are waiting to see what happens in the time trial, because sadly Porte is still significantly down on GC after today, which is a hard decision to force on TJVG if he doesn’t agree as he’s ~30 seconds up on him and thinks of himself as a strong 3rd week-er.

    • I would love to see Mollema up there, but reality is he is a very poor time trialist. He has improved last year and I hope Cancelara is helping him, otherwise he will loose a lot of time on the main GC.

      • Actually Mollema is a more than decent TTer. See 2013 or the 2015 Tirreno for instance. Just had one very bad day in 2014 that coloured people’s view of him.

      • Um, would you care to reconsider yiur assessment of Molema’s TT ability in light if st13? I thought that was a cracking ride.

        • Sure!
          I am a quite fan of him and was really impressed by the result.
          @hahostolze, Mollema had other poor results before.
          In TdF ’13 he lost ~2 min to Froome in the flat TT and +2min in the hilly one. Also lost time to Quintana, Valverde, Kreuzinger, Rodriguez… and drop from podium.
          Anyway, I am quite happy to see him up there.

  10. Too many spectators, many intent on getting their thirty seconds on TV, pushed into half the climb distance. No barriers for the final couple of kilometers. Plenty of alcohol available at Chalet Reynard, Far too many Moto’s present (again). The organizers must take the primary blame for an accident that was simply waiting to happen. The UCI once again are not to be seen or heard.

    The riders suffer the consequences, a fudged result that doesn’t reflect the reality. Rules are made up as they go along to accommodate the failings of those responsible. What a mess for the major event of the year. The only good news is that no riders suffered serious injury.

    • Because when you crash you lose time. Happened a fair bit in Giro last year. They’re understandably annoyed that he was given time. No good answer but it’s easy to understand anger on either side.

      • Somewhat different…

        1. Crashing

        2. A moto stopping in front of you suddenly, and another hitting you from behind and breaking your bike.

        Seriously guys, sort yourselves out.

        • Tell GVA that last year. Or riders robbed by TTs with variable weather. Or Andy Schleck when that camera hit him. Loads of things that are very very unfair that decide a race. Why is a moto today different?

        • Seriously, Joel. When you have accidents/incidents, even if they are the organiser’s fault, you lose. Don’t cheat yourself. Bouvatier was misled by the gendarme atop Guzet-Neige in 1988, and lost the stage he would otherwise no doubt have won. He lost. Lost. No possible appeal. Bad luck. Why shouldn’t Froome put up with his bad luck (and he should consider himself lucky to stay in the race after having covered some distance bike-less)? Why shouldn’t he?

          • If you hate Froome this is clearly hard to take. But it’s not Froome’s fault they gave him the time back, you can’t blame him for that. I know I know, you hate him and want him to suffer any ill possible, which is fair enough. Unfortunately this time it hasn’t worked out, maybe he’ll get the piss he deserves chucked in his face tomorrow. That’ll teach him.

          • It’s not about the guy, who I actually like, because he’s quite nutty. I’m asking, why shouldn’t he lose the time he lost in the chaos? What’s the reason?

          • Why do you feel it’s so important that a guy winning the race – who was knocked off by an abrupt closure of the road before having his bike destroyed by a motor vehicle – lose time? The commissaires made a decision, why do you have a problem with that? It’s pretty hard to argue that Froome and Porte are net beneficiaries. The fact that injustices haven’t been amended in the past doesn’t mean the commissaires are wrong to correct this obvious anomaly. To suggest this sets a dangerous precedent is laughable.

            The decision has been made, yes it’s a shame we missed out on a great fight to the finish between three strong GC contenders, missed out on seeing Quintana’s metal tested, but it’s done now, the net impact is small, let’s grow up and get on with a good stage tomorrow.

          • Calling a misfortune in a road race an “injustice” is not without its own amusement.

            Look, it’s not all that hard. *One* of the things driving the unhappiness with this decision is this. Some of us think chance is essential to road racing. Racing on the open road exposes riders to exigencies you’ll find in few other sports. This exposure accounts for a fair amount of the allure and the drama of the sport. Persistent attempts to eliminate chance from road racing will undermine a good portion of this allure and drama.

            Hence, we will be automatically skeptical of any attempts to rewrite results, stop races ala Cancellara, or otherwise monkey around with the racing, no matter just about any chance occurrence, even spectator involvement. That skepticism will turn to pique, especially, nay even down right hostility, when and if we get the sense that race organizers or juries are trying to rewrite results to avoid a social media backlash from sissy Millennials who think a sporting contest that traditionally has built a great deal of chance into it produced an “unfair” result due to chance.

            So, what’s childish about that?

          • Ronin – “sissy millenials”! HA, awesome. Totally off-base however, and I completely disagree with your implication that the race jury adjusted today’s result to avoid a social media backlash.

            Today’s motorcycle sandwich was far above any reasonable expectation to racing dangers.

          • Similar but not quite, in that case the times at the end did not matter but here they decided to let Molema race but not the other two.

            Molemas time includes his time loss due to the crash. Porte and Froome end time include Molemas time loss due to the crash and not theirs. This is not logical or moral.

          • The logic is that the race organisation cannot know exactly how much time Molema lost to the crash. He would almost certainly posted a better time than he did, but it would be a guess how much faster- they don’t know if the trio would have organised for the last 1.2k or attacked, cracking Molema. Any time compensation would have been an arbitary guess.

            What the organisation do know is that minimum time taken for getting back on an undamaged bike after the incident and completing the stage. So the credited Porte (medium recovery time – I think he had to fix his chain?) and Froome (maximum recovery time) with the same minimum lost time as they were all together at the time of the incident. They extended the same logic to the chasing group.

            The adjusted times were still an injustice for Molema as he lost (an unknowable) time compared to no incident, but after adjustment is was exactly the same amount of injustice for Porte and Froome. Before adjustment it was an even greater injustice for Porte, who had lost time against people he actually beat during the climb, and he was not ready to accept that injustice, even though he lost a greater amount of time in the unlucky puncture that he accepted because that was a standard racing incident.

          • @Stefi – your arguments are nonsense.

            Firstly, in the Yates incident you say “the times at the end did not matter”. Tell that to Yates who lost minutes on everybody else before his time was adjusted.

            Secondly, the time adjustments for all riders – Froome, Porte, Quintana, all of them – have followed the same principle as that applied in the 3km rule. You get the finish time of the group you were with at the time of the incident.

            So, Porte and Froome get Mollema’s finish time; Quintana and Valverde and Van Garderen get Yates’ finish time.

            If you, and others, want to argue that the 3km rule is not logical and not moral, then have at it. You’ve had that opportunity many, many times but you have not taken it. How about now?

          • Roads blocked and/or cyclists and/or bicycles hit and/or damaged by vehicles, possibly organisation vehicles. Heck, yeah, all that happened at the same time or in different combinations, and normally the race went on.
            If anything, decisions were taken afterwards to change things from then on, but specific race results rarely (pretty much never ever or so?) were affected. However, I catch the logic behind the jury decision (more on that elsewhere).

          • Really, and not trying to be oppositional, if you take away the motos, the issue was interference by fans. This too has happened a lot; fans, fan’s dogs, selfie sticks, musettes caught on fans, idiots (I mean fans) helping their favorite rider with a push and knocking the rider down, etc.

            None of these incidences have ever, to my knowledge, resulted in a favorable time adjustment either.

            This was a racing incident. Pragmatically, Froome should have lost the time. What the comissaires did was unprecedented.

          • Unprecedented before? Except a few days before with Yates. The reason he was almost in yellow was due to the same type of unprecedented action.

            And has stated, the 3km rule is also an example of this type of action in force.

            Still think the times should have stood, if only to allow a brave fight back against injustice

          • For a parallel incident which answers why this adjustment can’t be applied every time someone has a mishap you could consider Armstrong/Ullrich/Beloki on Luz Ardiden in 2003.

            Armstrong caught a spectator’s souvenir musette and fell, taking Beloki with him & impeding Ullrich. That incident was potentially avoidable (riders too close to the spectators, rather than the other way round) and it was 10km short of the finish. There would be no way for a jury to make a sensible decision of what effect the crash would have had, unlike yesterday when the situation was much more straightforward:- just 1km to go and three favourites going full gas to drop the other contenders. You could argue similar for Hoogerland & Flecha with the additional point that they were racing for a stage win and weren’t interested in gaining time.

          • Ronin – backlash appears to be from “sissy baby boomers”? I honestly thought they’d be more upset about the loss of etiquette. Point is commissaires’ work is done, Porte followed by Froome followed by Bauke most negatively impacted by the crash owing to weight of impact (who knows what the time would have been but all three looked strong), but thankfully now the crash won’t have a enourmous impact on the result (I know the descision does, but the net impact of +crash -decision = minimal). One thing we can all agree on is some great sport was lost yesterday (and where’s the celebration of de gent?!) and hopefully we don’t see this again for a while. Can’t wait for some emotion to be put through the pedals today!

          • I think the risk with not making an adjustment for this incident is that “fans” of one rider could have an incentive to impede another during these climbs.

            It would be open season for some of the idiots who have too much to drink to push rides off their bikes and then disappear back into the dense crowd.

            The solution reached clearly isn’t ideal, but seems to be the best available in the circumstances.

            To my mind, the key issue is what ASO are going to do about improving crowd control at key pinch points on future stages, and in future tours.

          • Because Inrng comments to rule 12.12.14 are his own creation. And the basic point: no one has explained why the jury should rewrite the consequences of the motorbike incident, and change the results. Regulations perhaps say it “may”, but I’m questioning if it “should”. Why don’t they let the results of bad luck stand? I haven’t read a single convincing reason (everyone just seems to invoke some kind of “fairness”, that is not applicable to incidents in road cycling, which is not supposed to be “fair”).

          • Presumably you think that this should have been applied to Adam Yates on stage 7 (I think). Get hit by a deflating flame rouge – that’s just tough luck. That would put him about another four or five minutes down which is what it took him to get back up, get a working bike and finish the stage.

        • They crashed in normal fashion earlier in the race too – that time Froome called for a go-slow. That might have contributed to the feeling that there’s one rule for SKY, one for other teams.

    • One report was that people were fed up waiting for a long time up there, it took over an hour to do the ceremony.

      Perhaps other people wanted to see Froome credited with the time he crossed the line rather than get some synthetic result. It took everyone on the ground a long time to work out what happened, I doubt people knew what happened up there, from memory there’s no phone signal up there.

    • Probably the same people booing that put up the big photo signs along the route that say “The courage of Richard Virenque”.

      Courage if you’re afraid of needles I suppose.

      There seems to be some serious cognitive dissonance in certain parts of the fan base.

  11. Interesting point of view from @cyclocosm on Twitter,
    “The UCI needs to tighten down GC options to “results stand”, or “full neutralization”. You either ran a fair stage or you didn’t.”

    Obviously this doesn’t solve the problem of what to do about today’s farce, but arguably it’s a fair approach.

      • In my opinion the absolute main rule must be that even under very special circumstances, there should be no room for adjustments like this. However todays accident was way beyond very special, it was more like force majeure.

        In force majeure situations I think the should be room for some discretionary compensation.

      • Back from the mountains of Norway I find this! Great subject.
        In my point of view, the rules and options were applied as intended but I definately do not accept the fact that a full-time pro cannot figure out to grab his bike and drag it with him. That was all Froome needed to do to keep himself in contention.
        Running without his bike was a very clear violation and he should have known a lot better.
        I have seen a lot of crashes on the road, on the track and always – always – the riders have been able to Well, I believe the jury sorted the problem okay but I am not sure their decision was unanimous.

        • “Running without his bike was a very clear violation and he should have known a lot better.”

          Actually, it isn’t. The only rule referring to it has to be massaged away from its spirit in order to condemn him… and was abrogated 6 years ago. (I.e. it hasn’t been in effect for 6 years)

  12. To people criticizing the race jury decision I can only say that in my opinion this incident is not a typical crash and an accident of racing, but negligence on the part of the organizers. Failure to address that is taking away from the sporting aspect. As Luigi Crema notes above, the Italian summit finishes are far better managed from a rider safety perspective.

  13. Instead of rolling the motos in a single file, make a flying wedge and force a wider hole in the crowd. The Giro’s use of carabinieri to keep the roads clear should be copied. How much money does the Tour make? It can afford a little extra security…

    I was expecting adjustments to Froome and Porte, giving them Mollema’s time was not unreasonable.

    But this all could have been very different had Froome not held up the race in the name of his teammates. Since when did the privilege the yellow jersey extend to others? Froome was not impeded by the crash and slowed on his own will and even helped relay them back to the (slowed) peloton. This wasn’t a nature break or a mechanical. Furthermore, the pace had been elevated well before the crash and there were top-10 guys caught behind a split due to wind. If I were Movistar I would have said “Sorry Froomey, you’ll have to finish the stage with whoever is still upright.” Imagine Froome being isolated and the climb could be different…

    I understand that we as TV spectators have the advantage of perspective, but as they say “the race was on” – attacks had been made and there were already splits with (lower) GC implications. Put it this way – if Movistar had ignored Cancellara’s “order” and continued riding I would not be among those outraged.

    • There were french police motos policing spectators today as well. Not sure exactly how (or how well) they were doing it, but they were visible at multiple times in the broadcast pushing spectators back earlier in the race.

    • Indeed – this was not the only incident today.

      I don’t know what the right thing to do following the crash. I think it’s reasonable for Froome and Porte, but Mollema really got the short end of the stick.

      Cutting the climb short, Bastille day, and zero – just zero – crowd control. Not a Gendarme in sight, though I don’t know how many it would have taken to keep the crowd back. It’s amazing this hasn’t happened until now, as it seems like it’s been building for years.

      I’m frankly a little more troubled by the stoppage of the peloton by Froome after the crash of his teammates. I’m not a hue fan of his, admittedly, though I’m impressed with his panache on the downhill attack, jumping into the split with Sagan, and taking off for a jog up Ventoux. Not sure the peloton needs to wait for his domestiques. No reason to attack, but no gifts.

    • “It can afford a little extra security…”

      The afterwit is that France ist in state of emergency for months now, they kept thousands and thousands of policemen and military on the streets for the football Euro, which couldn’t prevent ugly GB-Russia hooligan clashes, and on the biggest sport event, at the Bastille day, they can’t put some of these forces on a mountains to prevent chaos. So how they want to prevent terror attacks, hell knows….

      • Visit the Tour, look at the crowd at the finish and you’ll start to spot a lot men with identical haircuts trying to blend into the crowd but instead of looking at the road, riders or passing publicity caravan they’re constantly scanning the crowd around them. Once I saw one I began to notice more and more.

    • I also don’t understand why they don’t try to use more Gendarmerie motos forming a wedge. They did it in the past. It’s certainly necessary to come up with measures like that. From my POV they can’t continue like this. Does it take even more tragedies with riders getting hurt or killed before they pay more attention to rider safety? If there are running morons on the side of the road with harpoons and stuff filming themselves with their action cams – look at the guy in black on some of the photos of Froome right after the crash when he still had his damaged bike in his hands – the sport can’t afford to leave that unanswered.

      With regards to the Gerrans’ crash involving some Sky riders and Froome’s reaction. He did not actually force anyone to stop racing. He asked them to do it and stopped. So it was kind of a gentlemen agreement that the others respected his request. I’m o.K. with that. There’s no rule written or unwritten for that but it seems that the current peloton more and more accepts acts of sportsmanship like that. It will certainly not happen all the time when someone crashes but that doesn’t make it wrong IMHO if it happens. And it was voluntary. Valverde and Quintana could have continued to race if they wanted to. No one would have stopped them. But they would have certainly been in the center of a public shitstorm afterwards.

      • “more Gendarmerie motos” on the other hand are more motos to crash with riders, everyone is crying for less motos for moths.
        The gendamerie motos would have to brake for spectators like the camera mtos too, they have to let reasonable gap to the riders too, a gap which running morons or fools with selfie sticks would use fro sure, like they already do.
        I get your point, but I don’t think it’s the ultimate solution.
        I want a row of carbinieri or military guys forming a barrier, like they do on some Giro stages. Thres has to be something between riders and spectators. Just moving metal barriers further down, would make the crowd also move further down.

        • much more officials on the side of the road would be the ideal situation in terms of safety. But how realistic is that? Shell we as cycling fans volunteer? Should the French militaire show up with some ten thousands soldiers? Why not, if it works in Italy. No, I don’t think that is really realistic and it would also inhibit watching the race for those spectators who really only want to watch and cheer.

          I also see your point with regards to the Gendarmerie motos and have already thought about it. What if you equip them with some kind of equipment which makes it very unpleasant to touch if you don’t back off (electro shocker)? Then you send one or two oft those moto-wedges way in front of the first riders so that spectators learn the hard way what it means if they don’t back off when the motos arrive.

          • More gendarme motorbikes – they are actually Republican Guard, and are specifically trained. They don’t just grab normal gendarmes from the local station.

            There is no simple solution here – all the factors we like to discuss are interlinked, interlocked and intertwined. More police = more expensive races = more races going bankrupt = greater ASO dominance etc, whilst more bikes = more crowded roads. More exciting races = fewer grand boulevards or out of town carriageways = more street furniture, crashes and crowds.

            The immediate answer? Indoor cycling – sell tickets, control TV rights, no crowd trouble, no motorbikes, no street furniture.

            Road cycling is an imperfect sport which is why we love it, but I also love the fact it is not beholden to those who would use the rule book to rain chaos on the race.

            Ultimately, give or take 5 seconds here or there, the GC times are what they should have been excluding any crazy last minute attacks – and so the jury have made the best of a bad situation, tied to solve semblance of fuzzy logic. +1 to the commissaires.

    • Well, it was Froome who signalled the slow down, but it was the other teams who decided to follow his orders… I know the jersey gives some authority, but Orica (for one) could have chosen to continue, as they wanted to distance the guys behind. They chose not to…

  14. Rule 12.12.14 is the crux of the debate, from what I’m hearing from media from various countries, where it’s emphasized that Froome should have waited next to his bike, like Vietto did in 1934 for almost an hour. Like all rules, it should be obviously understood in its literal, normal meaning, without putting any arbitrary “spirit” in it.

  15. Nice report INRNG; interesting to read “according to one source, Europe 1 radio said one motorbike stalled forcing the TV moto to brake hard” and VeloSnooze quoted a Mavic moto service guy as saying “I was on the moto just behind Froome and Porte,” (Mavic) said. “The TV motorcycle hit a spectator. I don’t know if the spectator had been running and fallen down, or was just in the way. The motorcycle couldn’t avoid him.” “Once the motorcycle stopped, the road was too narrow for anybody to pass.”

    However a decision like this could only happen in the Tour de France, where the race organization has the final say, not the College of Commissaires. ASO made some major mistakes today; by not placing barriers farther down the mountain (say from 1.5km to 2km; the crash happened at 1.2km to go I believe)
    and not having more gendarmes along the route.

    Even if I personally believe the results should have been allowed to stand, while they occured in such a way that 2.2.029 could be interpreted in favor of the MJ. Certainly the richest team in the peloton Sky and BMC, with Octopus Ochowicz would not let the Commissaires decision stand. Why do you think it took so long to come to a decision? Do you think that maybe some members of the Commissaires wanted the decision to stand? But ASO could not let that happen. Others besides Froome have lost the MJ from mishap, even if today’s bizarre events would have provided some sparks from an otherwise pretty boring, Sky-stifled Tour.

    BTW Froome running without his bike should have called for a DQ from the race, but see above. Among all the brouhaha, nice ride by Thomas De Gendt, especially to dump wheelsucker Dani Navarro. Take a pull, hombre!

    • The commissiares reached a unanimous decision before they went to ASO and the teams to explain the decision they’d reached. It’s interesting people like to see political intrigue in all of this.

      • Well, once a decision is reached it will always be unanimous – on the outside. I, as commissaire, could have accepted this decision though I agree with @mickeymcmook that a DQ would have been in order. But even if disagreeing with the decision in the jury, I would never dispute it in public. Hence “unanimous”.

        • In your job, if you DQ’d Froome for running without a bike – a strict, literal interpretation of the rules – would you have to also DQ Quintana for taking a tow from that motorbike?

          • Well, I would have to call hindsight on my wording above. If I were present in situ, I might have reacted differently, but the running was far more obvious than the tow being caught on “un-official” camera.
            As some other poster has pointed out, TdF suffers from the fact that the decisions are more ASO-inclined than jury-inclined. Remember back; an incident were a railway crossing – which is quite strictly cared for in the regulations – caused J-M Leblanc to decide despite the commissaire present. A ruling that was not to the regulations. Nobody disputed his ruling…
            Well, all in all – it’s just a bike race but a big one at that.

          • The running may have been more obvious, but the towing (however long it was for) was the action that gained the rider an advantage.
            So, the commissaries would have had to DQ Quintana as well.
            And then the commissaires would have to go through and DQ every domestique we’ve seen – on virtually every single day – being launched back into the peloton by holding onto the car (without even bottles or spanners being involved, in what we all know is a pretence anyway).
            That way, the rules-lovers would presumably be happy.
            Or one can realise that this isn’t a court of law and we are better off applying the rules sensibly. Not perfectly, but not stupidly. As I’ve said elsewhere, in that situation, any action on either rider would have been harsh and unnecessary.
            Either that, or change your rules and make everyone abide by them.

          • Quintana’s action was keeping his balance with a large helping of “get me out of this scary lynch mob.” Froome was acting for an advantage.

            To give Froome a large time bonus is what makes the whole incident ridiculous. No one else in this edition of the Tour will get a time bonus for running into something.

    • A “Sky-stifled race”. You’re watching a different race, pal…… What exactly have Movistar (for example) contributed to making this a race worth watching????

      • Sky-stifled?? Froome has been the one attacking more than any other! So far, Quintana made 2 small jabs today, and thats all he has done the entire race!! Sky are the ones animating the race, while the others simply follow wheels…

    • Did you watch the race via twitter?

      Navarro took so many pulls on the flat that he screwed his chance on the climb whilst De Gendt thanked Greipel for allowing him to take it easier in the break.

  16. I wonder if Quintana was away in front and the same happened to him, whether everyone criticising the decision would still be doing so.

  17. 12.12.14…remember Eduardo Sepulveda last year? Froome’s jog looked pretty willful to me, about as willful as Sepulveda ride in the team car

        • You have to cross the line with your bike. There’s clearly a grey area as to how far you can travel on foot, but no grey area with regard to how far you can travel by a combustion-field vehicle.

          • How clearly and how grey? I mean, what you very clearly cannot do is to cover distance (save time) on foot, while you wait for a your bike to be fixed or changed, which is exactly what Froome did. He did try to take illegitimate advantage by running bike-less. He did cheat, I’m sorry. There’s nothing anyone can oppose to this fact.

          • Ferdi its only cheating if its against the rules, and since the rules dont say u cant run without a bike he didnt break the rules, and therefore he wasnt cheating…

            Love it when people end their arguments with sentences like “There’s nothing anyone can oppose to this fact.” Saying that they are in fact right, and everyone who thinks different is wrong no matter what they say…

            Btw. there isnt anything anyone can say against my argument, and if they do they are wrong!! IM RIGHT!!

          • I have – the rule 12.12.14 we are arguing about was in a section of the rulebook that the current version on the UCI website is saying was abrogated six years ago.

            We are literally arguing about enforcing a law that has been explicitly repealed for years.

          • @Tom so you mean now anyone cann throw his bike away on a steep climb, run a few meters and get some other bike back before the finish line, cause that running without bike thing not explicitely stated in the rulebook?

          • @Ferdi. Yes I have something to add, Sir. In real life rule books (called law books) have to be adapted all the time in order to keep up with recent developments (in crimes, traffic, life in general). It’s the same in sports. Any rule book is only as good as its recent modifications. You may disagree, of course – since this is also a fundamental rule in a democratic world – but most of the guys here seem to think that rules are not created by some all knowing and almighty gods and therefore not set in stone like the content of the Holy Bible. And even the content of the bible, you know …
            In real life judges often critisize laws if they feel they are no longer applicable for whatever reason. And some major court then orders that the legislation has to swiftly come up with a revised version of the law in question. If that’s true for real life I at least don’t see any good reason why rules should not be applied and interpreted wisely by a sports jury before the governmental association finally modifies them.

          • Ferdi let me try it in your way: The rule clearly hasnt been broken. Period. Have you got anything to add here?

            See how that goes? Yes, No, Yes, No, Yes, No, and there we have an argument like 5 year old kids…

            Vitus: Because that would be a huge advantage? To throw away your bike and start running up the mountain instead? Why do people insist on making up hyphetical situations instead of dealing wih the ones we actually have…?

            Besides its not about what i mean or what you mean, its about what the rulebook says, and how the jury decides to intrepret those rules… And in this case, they decided there was no fault from Froome in the situation…

            Precisely STS…

          • Note the rule about “attempt to be placed without having covered the entire course by bicycle”, as mentioned in the piece above, is about taking shortcuts or riding on trains, no commissaire will apply it to a rider who follows the course because their bike’s broken. Think of all the other times people walk or run in bike races, a step or two during a puncture; a bike change that sees a rider ditch one bike and then run to another, even jogging up the Koppenberg etc.

          • This is not the same. He abandoned his bike to the point that it wasn’t even in sight. A guy racing without a bike.

            Could you imagine in CX, a rider leaving his bike, running up the stairs and picking up a fresh bike? That rider would be tossed. Froome went much further.

          • Exactly. He was unduly trying to gain more than quite a few seconds by waiting for a new bike running bikeless instead of carrying the bike (which is what he began doing, that is, doing the right thing, until he threw away), or standing still next to it, which is (for a reason) what everybody does in these situations.
            I can’t see how or why anyone can insist that he didn’t break this quite simple rule.

      • Without a bike is permitted only to recover the bike. But there was no sanction to Froomy. Other dangerous precedent… According to the rules you should clear the road and wait for the assistance, unless you carry your bike.

      • So, the line, that was quoted last night on Twitter, supposedly contained in the ’09 race manual about ‘not advancing without a bike’ is either apocryphal or has been changed? Either way, even if it’s not strictly illegal, running like that doesn’t feel right so I hope it’s something they address in the future. To me it looks as if he panicked, just as Sepulveda did last year. NOT that I think he should be DQ’d for what he did (he’s the only one who’s really put up a fight in the GC so far) but at least a money fine to make the point that just because he’s in yellow he can’t make up the rules even if they’re very fuzzy.

        • The point of the rule is to prevent unfair advantage. Froome’s bike had been wrecked by a race organisation moto crushing it after he had fallen as a result of fan insanity and organiser negligence. He ran as a result (slower than he would have ridden on an operable bike), and I can’t believe that so many folks seriously argue that he has gained an unfair advantage. The action may be contrary to the letter of one interpretation of one regulation, but it is surely within the spirit of the rules. I’m slightly surprised that we are not discussing instead the possibility that a further escalation of this sort of fan behaviour has the potential to kill the larger races …

        • Exactly – it’s in the 09 manual. It was repealed in 2010 and has remained repealed since. It simply is not a law any more.

  18. What an utter disaster .. that is a stain on the organisers . .. they would get gold at an Olympics for incompetence.
    Froome has been stunning to date and has wowed me with his great racing. . I have never been a fan but his racing this year has him up with any of rider’s that have gone before him.

    I hope the race is decided by a margin greater than was lost or gained by some one in that fiasco. The organisers should fine themselves a significant number of Swiss francs and count themselves lucky they haven’t been kicked off the race.. amateur hour occurred this afternoon.

  19. 1) I think we can all agree that Mollema, Porte, Froome should have the same time.

    The question is how far would they reasonably have been ahead of the others at that time. Secondly, they could easily figure out how much everyone was delayed.

    Clearly, with all the technology from the Garmins, the Camera feeds, the ‘live data analytics’ from dimension data, they could easily peace together – exactly what happened time wise. I would think that many of the tech savvy readers, could figure it out quite easily.

    It seems like the UCI, hasn’t adapted the rules to adjust for the obvious information that exists to help in situations like these. Once again it seems like you can’t expect the old guys, to keep up with everything. It would be better if it wasn’t the good ol’boys network.

    2) The safety of the riders should be first. I can’t imagine that anyone is feeling good after that crash, and to have to go on as if nothing happened. It reasonably will be a bodily deterrent over the next few days. The more important issue is that the experience of the fans be close to the riders, is more important the rider safety.

    To put it in a harsh fashion – the motorbike stopped so that it wouldn’t hurt fans that were in the way, and in this process made the inherent decision that the safety of the riders was less important than that of the fans. If the safety of the riders comes first shouldn’t they hurt the fans first?

    The Riders union should be able to demand better treatment by the organizers.

    3) It is reasonable to expect that future fan behaviour is going to get worse. The on set of millions of cameras, selfie sticks and social media, along with TV, leads to an reinforcement of just a small percentage of fans trying to create a crazy moment for themselves….ruining the event /safety for many. It will take a drastic change of incentives to curve this behaviour, even a modest fine or a day in jail, might increase credibility to the crazies out there, so the social penalty would need to quite high.

    • 1) no we can’t – it was the political correct desicion and the most convinient decision on behalf of ASO and UCI (makes the thing go away faster).
      According to QuickStep DS Brian Holm the majority of the peolton and the DS’s does not agree with the desicion from a sports point of view – they would have prefered to let the time on the finish line count, spectators are part of the race. Mony talks…

  20. INRNG – whats your take on the accident that Froome slowed the Peloton down to wait for his team mates? or was it just a nature brake?

    • It seemed to be Froome but also Cancellara. It helped the break stay away. It was debatable but if, say, Movistar, had drilled it then they’d have become unpopular and didn’t stand to gain much either.

      • Cancellara only acted after Froome had pulled over. It was unportsmanlike of Froome to hold everyone because his teammates were down. That’s not done. Unfortunately it will be forgotten after the chaos that came afterwards (in which he was definitely a victim). All in all, it was a lucky break for Froome not having to deal with the inevitable scrutiny because there was a bigger incident. But hey, it’s sports: luck always plays a big part.

        After Contador crashed twice and Porte got that late puncture I thought it would be a boring race once again… Couldn’t have been more wrong!

        • “Peegate” clearly was an no no. Wait for leader, yes, wait for his mates, hell no, why that?
          People will remember such things, next time Sky call something “not fair”.

        • Froome didn’t hold anybody up, he did perform a very clever bit of gamesmanship on the spur of the moment and everyone fell for it. He really is showing that he can make good decisions while others flounder around.

    • I did read/hear somewhere that he stopped to check his bike over as he was affected by the crash. I may be wrong, but I’m not sure Rowe caught up to him? (Stannard certainly didn’t!)

  21. A “Sky-stifled race”. You’re watching a different race, pal…… What exactly have Movistar (for example) contributed to making this a race worth watching????

  22. If you look at the photos of the MJ group in the final kilometers, the TV Moto was blocked by three photo bikes just in front. Where was the ASO “controlleur”? In many cases like the Ventoux ascent, there is only a “pool” shooter allowed (usually Bernard Papon of L’Equipe) who shoots and shared the images back in the press room.

    Besides some dumb French excuse by Prud’homme today that they couldn’t get the barriers down off the top of the mountain in time to cover the last 1.5km of the ascent (stage winner De Gendt said that only the last 600 m were barriered) ASO completely screwed up the management of the front of the race. It was a typical French shrug.

    • I wouldn’t put it in such nationalistic terms. There’s been plenty of ‘what were they thinking’ moments in recent Giro Italia and even Tour of California stages. They failed not because they were French. They just failed the riders, period.

    • “Typical French” redderick is what we need and what people take you for serious. Not.
      If you have so much experince in managing shortened road races and barrier moving, aplly fpor a job at “the French” They’ll love you.

  23. Dan Martin’s lawyers apparently looking for high resolution footage of the pen that he feel off due to at LBL a few years back in order to lodgeate appeal. …..

  24. Three points:
    1) I’m not going to get sucked in to the debate about the right decision – I’m simply glad I didn’t have to make the decision. There’s no way everyone is going to agree on the outcome.
    2) Given the more serious incidents, as well as this one, seen this year, I wonder if it’s time for some thinking about minimum distances / time between motorbikes and the riders both in-front and behind – more distance between the Moto and Porte, and between the back and the Police bike, and the crash wouldn’t have happened and Froome’s bike would have been undamaged. But clearly this is more relevant to the tragic incidents we have seen this year.
    3) The willpower of Froome is incredible. Running up a mountain. What marks many champions – across sports – is finding a way, any way. That is something we can say of him this year, whatever the final result.

    Nice post, Inrng.

    • DS’s says he should have run down mountain to meetup with a teammate, neutral service or team car – and that we would have gotten to the finish line faster this way + its somthing every pro rider SHOULD know.

    • “finding a way, any way”, would have including carrying on on the neutral service bike, even if it did have flat pedals.

      I think any time adjustment ought to have ended once he got the NS bike. I can think of no good reason why he couldn’t have ridden 1km on that.

  25. It’s a race, not a commissioners’ debate. I think any time loss should be the luck of the draw. Just my opinion.

    That said, how long have we been building up to this debacle? Fan behavior on summit finishes has been getting worse and worse for a couple of years, and race organizers have done little about it. Exhibitionism is not sportsmanship. It’s time to ban large signs and flags, and for the police to remove drunk and disorderly fans from the vicinity of the course. Barricades for many more kilometers also would help.

    Better still, let’s armor the riders, kind of like a Mad Max race. Bash their way through the unruly fans! Would make for great TV! 😉

    • I come to this forum for inrng’s artful coverage and to offer some of my amazing thoughts, only to too often see posts like yours beating me to the punch.
      Well said, and I saw this moment coming years ago. Shame the UCI didn’t as well.

  26. Not sure why some upset by the decision, seems similar to what lead to development of 3km rule for sprint stages and the crash of Yates with the barrier earlier in the tour.

    • Ferdi (and others) – where was all your froth and righteous indignation over the Adam Yates incident?

      Where were your posts arguing he should get the time he crossed the finish line? Why shouldn’t he lose the time he lost in that chaos? Where was your utter certainty then, challenging all and sundry to accept a ‘simple’ rule, period?

      What was your different logic there?

  27. I think there’s the tendency to look at this one incident and say it’s indicative of problems of race organisation and forget that the organisation usually does an amazing job of ‘marshalling’ chaos.

    Today’s set of circumstances were set in motion yesterday when they decided to shorten the stage, which, at the time, seemed a reasonable and sensible decision given the wind speed predicted at the top. If ASO had of been able to shift 2km of barriers (lining both sides) then chances are that the situation may have been mitigated, but they didn’t or couldn’t and this seems folly in hindsight.

    Fans who no doubt had lined themselves up the Ventoux’s lunascape were then crammed into the narrow corridor up to Chalet Reynard and the rest is history. But normally the tour does an excellent job of dealing with massive crowds. Alpe d’Huez has typically been the most fraught scene of crowd insurgences and year-on-year they have managed. While today was an event I don’t ever want to see again I think contextually there were organisational issues which lay outside the norm for ASO.

    This was a remarkable event for the fact that riders were actually brought down, not because of the number of fans, and not because of the organisation.

    I think the commissioners decision was the only one they could make. Tough on Mollema, but given how they dealt with Yates it seems logical and reasonable.

    • I don’t agree with regards to the crowd control in the TdF. IMHO they haven’t kept up with the development in the past decades with regards to the growing number of road-side fans and especially the growing number of “runners” and other morons. I started visiting the TdF in the late 1980s and on Alpe d’Huez, Ventoux, the Galibier there were more Gendarms than what I see now and they would not let you get into the road too close to the riders or they would become very serious.
      From recent memory I can say that it’s still like that in the Giro. Much more Carabinieri there and they also seem to be more actively protecting the race.

  28. It’s pretty clear that in cases like this, the race commissaires have the discretion to make the only sane choice, which they have done. Just like – incidentally – they did in the Yates incident, which I’m pretty sure didn’t see any vitriol at the decision (it’s almost as if it’s something to do with the rider(s) or the team(s)…). Let’s be honest, the Tour de France (and consequently cycling as a whole) would have been a laughing stock around the world had they not done anything.

    Also, worth remembering that the only three people who have lost out by this incident are Froome, Porte, and Mollema. They all looked strong, and were working together. They would have comfortably extended the gap Mollema managed to hold until the finish.

  29. I see all the fans complaining but let’s not forget that this incident was caused by fans in the first place.
    The ASO had to take such action or we’d be back into the days of fans knocking rivals off in key stages.
    Find any other event where fans can frequently get so close as to touch their idols much less interfere with their rivals.

  30. Well, from the moment the forecasters said there’d be 129km/h winds at the top of Ventoux, everything snowballed out of control (apologies for the weather metaphor)!

    So, all the pre-laid barriers were 6km up the road. Then we had to fit 21km worth of spectators into only 15. 15 tree lined km, rather than nice and open.

    So, something like this was inevitable. What made it worse is that it happen to the MJ. How could ASO and the Commisaires not react?

    Presumably the Dimension Data tags showed everyone’s exact position at the time of the incident. I can only assume that ASO rules somehow do not permit their use. Can anyone shed any light?

    Hopefully lessons will be learnt, and we can avoid these chains of events (however unlikely) from causing race ruining incidents in the future.

    • At the same time as the incident I was trying to use the Di Data website to see what the time gaps were but it wasn’t working properly. In any event this tech isn’t used to replace riders, the jury tends to use older ways. Maybe it’ll come in the future but we’re not there yet.

  31. I’m scratching my head: Is our avocation a spectator sport or a spectacle sport?

    Just look at the comments here. You gotta know that this will sell more advertising for ASO.

    • I’m appending to my own post.

      We all see this as negative, but this is theater on wheels every day in July, is it not? If you run a media outlet in France, is this good or bad? Is our intense discussion part of the solution for the people who pay for this race to happen?

      This may get me into a firefight, but if you are the ASO, isn’t it to your benefit to allow events like this to happen? It reduces the dignity of the Jersey, but it increases the economic value of the race to you, to Velon, to the team sponsors, to the race sponsors, to the stage finish ski station. If you are ASO, do you weigh the two? Which way do you go? Is it in their interest to let this happen?

      • It’s certainly not in their interest. If the jury would have let the results stand as they were recorded on the finish line I know a lot of real cycling fans who would have stopped watching the TdF from now on. And this doesn’t count the huge number of casual fans who from my experience with their reactions to the doping scandals would react in the same way.

        • Riders get taken out by fans, dogs, cars and motos regularly enough. To disregard the written and approved rules and give a competitor a (fairly) arbitrary time bonus for being in an accident is unprecedented. And preposterous. (should we go back and readjust the times of every incident? Should Kruijswijk be given time because of the snowbank? Uran should certainly be given Pink because of the stupid RCS neutralization. But, nobody, no matter how the incident was handled, is going to boycott the Tour. It’s not even ASOs fault; they made a very reasonable decision with the weather forecast and the crowds at the top of the truncated race grew exponentially.

          If you consider it calmly, the crowds from the original last 10k, arguably the largest and densest, all moved down to fill up a much more confined 2 or 3k that was already close to capacity. Then add alcohol and the crazy heightened mood from the change of plans chaos (remember, they’ve been planning for months and camping for days) and the thicker crowd. It must have been Crazy scary.

          But, that’s cycling. They should have stuck to the real rules. Froome should have lost Yellow and then he should have been disqualified for abandoning his bike.

          • What’s the rule for DQing a rider for “abandoning his bike”, I’ve not seen this?

            Note the incident wasn’t a handling error like Kruijswijk riding into a snowbank on the Agnello, it was a motorbike suddenly blocking the road by slamming the brakes on and there was no room for the riders even if they wanted to try evasive action.

          • You will find it faster than I, but it’s a bike race; in addition to starting with and finishing with, there must be a rule that states the obvious: you must have a bike in a bike race. The Kruijswijk comment was just pointing out how absurd it was for him to leave his bike behind. in the future, when any crash has damaged a racer’s bike, should they just drop it and start running up the course? That would be a clear advantage in at least three ways.

            No one a that I remember has ever been given a favorable time adjustment for a moto incident Or for a fan incident. Again, you would know better than I. It would be tragic, and I don’t care for him, but I believe the jury’s solution was incorrect, just as bad as the favoritism LA received from Verbruggen and sets a dangerous precedent.

  32. Let’s forget for a second about Froome, he had a different situation when compared with the two others, as his bike broke. But how exactly is “fair” to give Porte the same time as Mollema? Both were involved in the crash, both got up and continued, and Mollema beat him fair and square by almost one minute. Mollema got robbed big time today. And if the things were the other way around, we all know that the decision would have been different.

    • I’ve been the 1st taken down and I’ve been the guy who lightly lands of top of a few other people. Let me assure you the former is usually significantly more painful. Porte was pushing the tempo and took the brunt of that crash, he was held up for a significant time. Are you suggesting in absence of the crash Bauke was the clear favourite? Of the three he had the softest crash and will be dealing with the lowest cortisol drag – this isn’t a joke, it’s reality, Porte and Froome have suffered far more than had they been able to ride out the 1.2k. This may well catch up with them later. Of the three I would sleep best as Bauke tonight, he shouldn’t feel aggrieved.

      • Not to mention the additional time Porte had to spend to get his bike functional again.

        Pretty ridiculous to suggest it was a mano e mano contest.

      • There is no way anyone knows who fell harder. The reality is that both Mollema and Porte fell, both of their bikes were ok, they both continued and Mollema won. If you have a way to measure the physical and psychological impact of the crash, then let’s use it and compensate each of them exactly what they lost. But, for me, they both had the exact same conditions.

    • Maybe Porte was following tradition and waiting for the Yellow Jersey wearer who’d had a mishap. I believe it is the normal practice and admirable sporting conduct. Was Richie shaking his head at his bad luck or Bauke’s unsporting behaviour, probably both.

      I wonder how Mollema would feel if he kept the time gap and everyone vilified him for attacking the YJ when he was down to take the lead. I wonder how the peloton would react the next time he wanted to take a leak or change a wheel wearing yellow? He couldn’t complain if Sky & BMC went on the attack…

      Also, bear in mind Porte and Froome couldn’t actually get up immediately even if they wanted to because they had a Mollema scrambling about on top of them.

  33. I’m just happy common sense prevailed in the end, absolutely crazy scenes. I personally think it was the right decision even though the rules have been twisted to suit. Any arguing he should have lost yellow is not in the spirit of fair sport.

    As Adam Yates said he wouldn’t have felt right taking yellow jersey in those circumstances and rightly so. This was not a bike handling matter or crash in the traditional sense, this was a crash caused by congested crowds not giving the race enough room.

    I mean I love the scenes of riders cycling through a channel of fans but it is getting ridiculous that a minority want their five seconds of fame encroaching on riders in stupid outfits trying to be part of the race. More officials need to be controlling the crowds and pushing them back as riders approach.

    If anything Quitanna will be happy as he could have been even further down. He was dropped today and shows Froomes efforts yesterday didn’t stop him, I expect he’ll gain more time in the TT

    • Brittish press would probly have killed him if he had said the opposite… dont underestimate reasons behind a political correct response.

      • morten Reiuppuert -> Absolute rubbish – You’ll find the majority of the british press barely know who Chris Froome is, they certainly don’t know who Adam Yates is.

        This bizarre incident is the first time the Tour has been mentioned in the mainstream British TV news or sports reports, despite the outstanding Britsh results

  34. The way Froome and others kept their calm and composure is incredibile. And Froome’s interview afterwards was really low key. I get that he was credited the time of Bauke and he was happy for that, but still, if it were me giving it all on Ventoux just to ve sandwiched by two motos at the top…
    And wasn’t there a gentleman’s rule not to attack the yellow jersey if he crashes? And it wasn’t poor handling on descends or a mechanical, or whatever. Bauke acted a bit rude in the heat of the moment. I’m glad he didn’t put time on the other two this way. Let’s see if he manages it the old fashioned way, attacking the leader when he can defend.

    • Abandoning your bike in a bike race is more likely evidence that his head exploded. Or, he was just thinking for himself and that’s what you get. As to his interview, he has hired someone to coach and advise him ever since he lost the popularity war with Wiggins.

      Not attacking Yellow is 50% myth.

  35. Where”s Gab when you need his insightful take on proceedings! Thought it was one of the biggest cock ups in 30 years of watching the TdFr , I get it was a perfect storm of circumstances. But there is nothing more un-edifying than seeing the wearer of the maillot jaunne running toward the finish without his bike, but nothing suprises me anymore lately.

  36. Or put it this way: if this would have been the last stage, would those who don’t agree with the final ruling be OK with anybody else then Froome be declared the winner of the competition?

  37. Here comes another aspect of that decision the jury took. Imagine for a moment they would have treated that as a “normal” race accident. What kind of message does that send?
    With all the pressure on teams to perform and money involved especially at the TdF would it be too far fetched to imagine some team owner, manager, DS, riders, whatever paying some guys to come up as spectators and do exactly what happened today right in front of a competitor. In the heat of the moment that guy would come away with it without being caught or interviewed. And even if he was caught why should he confess.
    I’m glad they did not let the result stand and hope they come up with a rule to neutralize future races in the moment an incident like this happens and give the times the riders have in that moment. Technically it’s not a problem if you track the GPS-locations of all riders in each second. What nearly every current bike computer already does but those timing chips certainly also could do.

      • Not too far off in my book. Imagine a strong time trialer in a Tour with two long ITTs. He’s in the third week, leading GC and knows he has no chance against some pure climbers like Quintana in a long, steep climb. And there’s only the Mt. Ventoux between him and the Maillot Jaune in Paris. Why not place some guy(s) in the dense crowd somewhere up Mt. Ventoux and make the TV moto (of which one is always right in front of the top GC contenders) stop right in front of them? Those guys don’t even have to risk getting seriously injured. But someone who’s ready for a job like this wouldn’t mind anyway, I think.

  38. The most interesting part of all this to me is that Froome, a professional cyclist in a professional bike race, when under pressure and without DS help (probably), chose to run without a bike.

    We’ve heard a hundred stories about borrowed bikes and wheels (Jens and the kid’s bike is my favorite) and yet Froome chooses to continue racing without one. How is he the greatest GT rider?

    • He’s probably the worst GC rider. Ever. He was clearly looking to gain an advantage by running and profited from a racing incident. Silly Froome. Froome has disappointed throughout this tour, sullying the MJ with his attacks and just generally being a nasty person. I mean what has he ever done that’s good? My 12 year old is better. He’s a rubbish GC rider and Quitana or Bauke are ace and should win just, you know, because.

  39. Can someone explain why the riders passed the downed MJ and carried on attacking.Even Porte who knew what had happened passed his running mate as it were.

  40. For me I think the results should stand as they crossed the line. It’s all part of the madness. It’s like in football where they don’t allow proper referees as it makes it more unpredictable. Ritchie lost loads of time from a puncture the other day but just because it’s common means he’s lost his chance.

  41. I’m not sure if the ruling is totally without precedent, but it certainly feels somewhat novel. It will be important for the UCI to give a fairly clear set of reasons for the decision, as well as the limits of this exercise of discretion, or else they will certainly have let a genie out of the bottle. It’s not hard to imagine many teams talking over dinner tonight about the implications, amd various scenarios in which it could have been applied, or might in the future. If not carefully circumscribed, teams may very well seek to game this precedent – or at least lead to situations where they are perceived to be doing so. None of which is very good.

    • Roomservicetaco – totally agreed, and I really really hope that we’re both wrong and this never happens. How tragic, and it really puts our debate about the yellow jersey into perspective.

      The world is a dangerous place right now.

      My thoughts are going out to the family and friends of the victims.

      • >>I really really hope that we’re both wrong and this never happens
        >>My thoughts are going out to the family and friends of the victims

        +1 to both of these.

  42. You have to wonder how much use are the Mavic neutral service bikes in the modern day race with everyone using different pedals. The wheels are at least fungible but today’s evidence shows that the bikes are useless. Also, not sure why he started running up the mountain. Did he think he’d get a spectator’s machine? Surely he wasn’t contemplating running to the finish sans velo?

    • They’re not much use but they’re better than nothing, for example without that neutral wheel change which took an age Porte would have lost even more time.

      I sometimes wonder what the benefit is for Mavic, it sends the signal “we supply stuff that you don’t ever want to use” and for all the valid reasons behind a slow wheel change because of dropout widths or a bike with flat pedals many will not understand these and think “those Mavic guys can’t change wheels” or “Froome thought that yellow Cannondale was junk” etc.

      • I was thinking about the neutral service car as well. If you cannot supply a bike to the majority of the riders then what are they doing there. Just another brand trying to gain exposure in the TdF and another pointless vehicle in the convoy.

        An alternative take is why don’t they design a generic pedal spindle and you just clip on the correct interface; SPD, Look, Speedplay etc. Not ideal but at least it would keep the rider moving until they got their own support.

      • I don’t understand why, in such a desperate situation with such high stakes, an experienced rider could not ride a bike with flat pedals for 1km. Far from ideal, but better than nothing. As I said above, i think any time adjustment should recognise the fact that he rejected the neutral service bike, on which he could have continued.

      • David Millar on The Cycling Podcast made a good suggestion last night (IMHO) – have 4 bikes on the Mavic car set up for the 4 jersey wearers. Anyone can ride one in the rare event they need one, but as a competition leader you earn the right to have a bike with fit and pedals for you.

        And the solution to the wider potential problem – on crowd-lined mountain stages have 2 police motos in front of the lead riders forcing the crowds back, not a lien of photographers.

      • Is the neutral service bike a hangover from an older era when bikes had clips and straps, which anyone could use? Perhaps it just needs to go.

  43. That was a disaster, but I agree with the decision. Sure, I understand the notion of chance, letting races go on and results stand. Eliminate judge “interference” with the results.

    Then I remember we regularly get these interferences via the 3 km rule on conventional flat finishes where crashes are “normal”. Sure, this is an uphill finish and the rule normally wouldn’t apply – which is why there’s the wiggle room in the rules to apply extraordinary judgement to extraordinary events. Doesn’t mean it’ll make everyone happy, or be perfect.

    Hopefully some changes are made to avoid more of this insanity.

  44. Fans with a complete lack of understanding and a jumped up sense of their own self importance do cycling a great disservice.

    And I’m only talking about some of the comments here…. ?

    • Bet you, oooooooh a MEELLION dollars that none of them would complain if it was a different rider who got taken out & his bike trashed. Depressing.

  45. There seem to be three situations:

    1) Incident caused by rider error or equipment on their bikes failing

    2) Incidents caused by other race elements (motorbikes)

    3) Incidents caused by the spectators.

    It would be utter madness to allow spectators to control the outcome of the race: do we want a Mollema fan to knock Quintana off his bike then smash it with a sledge hammer? Kidnap him for 6 minutes?

    Whatever happens, the actions of by standards cannot be allowed to determine the outcome of the race. Otherwise, I’ve got a great idea for a betting syndicate.

    The art is to determine what incidents are caused by spectators.

    The motorbike stuff is a greyer area….

  46. Racing incident or not. Race officials need to be able to act to right serious injustices like we saw yesterday. If they did not have this power the event would be doomed. Any group or even just an individual could change the course of the entire race simply by say deliberately blocking the road for the yellow jersey for example. It would be a farce if officials could not step in and even things up in some circumstances.

    • Because it is really difficult to do it, so far such a decision was NEVER adopted. If a dog or a fan runs into somebody is this rider entitled to go back into the peloton? No, the only discount is given by the unofficial possibility to grab the car of the doctor (during medication) and using the draft of the cars. Otherwise, out.

      So, when you say:

      ” Any group or even just an individual could change the course of the entire race simply by say deliberately blocking the road for the yellow jersey for example.”

      The answer is YES. Ask Fiorenzo Magni and many other riders about it. So, in order to be fair, when something happens during the race the jury does not fix it. This time they decided to step in, without any ground in the rules (which actually prohibits Froome to run without a bike for more than 5 meters).
      At the end, Mollema rode fast for the three of them, at least for just 1 km.

  47. As regards Froome running, what advantage did he gain from it? He was clearly slower than someone on a bike (Porte passed him). He stayed on the course, he did not take a shortcut. He was not overtaken by his bike (on a car roof) and then run up to collect it.
    The whole idea of a bike race is to see how fast a rider and a bike can complete the course on only human leg power. At no time did Froome’s bike go ahead of him on the course and therefore its final time was entirely human leg powered.

  48. Really unfortunate incident yesterday but it seems like there’s a few people with short memories. A couple of points I’d make:
    a) as others have said, there’s a precedent for ‘neutralising’ the race within the last few kilometres following an incident and crash. Adam Yates just last week was given the white jersey and had the time difference between him and Alaphilippe reinstated following his face plant after colliding with the flamme rouge. The race organisers effectively took responsibility for that incident, and they had to with his incident.
    b) rules are normally there to prevent people taking an unfair advantage. Getting in a team car definitely gives you an advantage. Running in a bike race doesn’t. If anything Froome will be worse today for having had to do that running, in cleats.
    c) just because similar incidents happened in the past and nothing was done, doesn’t mean that we should do nothing this time. We shouldn’t be repeating the same mistakes. I think it’s pretty appaling that Millar got sent the wrong way and nothing was done about any time lost, and I’d hope it would be done differently if it happened again.
    d) the days when people waited if there was a crash or an incident involving the yellow jersey are long gone.

    Having said all that I think in some ways it would have been simpler for Sky if they let the result stand. Froome is the strongest rider in the race, and if he finishes I think he would have won it anyway, even with the 53 seconds to make up.

    I don’t see how they could have let it stand though. What’s the point in any sponsor investing millions in a professional cycling team, riders dedicating their lives and those of the people around them to being in peak condition, and then losing because someone in front of you crashes in a bike which is blocking the road, a bike which is meant to be broadcasting the race, not changing the result of it. You wouldn’t see anything like this in any other sport. Golfers get upset if someone coughs while they’re taking a shot. Spectators shouldn’t be determining the outcome of the race.

  49. Was Porte attacking, or utilizing the draft of the moto just prior to the crash? If so, doesnt that always involve some risks (and possibly consequences)?

    I for one hope we dont see barriers up all the climbs in the future.

    • Looked like he was faster than the moto. Even without the crash we were seeing top GC riders attacking full gas in the final km of a summit finish, being held up and slowed because of the crowds. That’s not acceptable, the crash itself was just the icing on the cake.

      • It looked like he was attacking just before the crash but I think that might have been because the moto was slowing (stopping) before he could react.

  50. Crazy day. A word on the winner. De gendt must rank amongst the all time break away greats. Not sure how that would be calculated but frequent attempts with notable wins on the stelvio and ventoux are mighty impressive. Chapeau

  51. Juries and judgements aside, I wonder if anyone at Mavic is calculating the cost of having useless neutral ‘support’ cars on course after this. Of course the Motos with wheels are a different story, aand of course the marketing efferct of being on course has a high value, but the ONE TIME in the past decade someone needs a yellow bike…..and he ends up running. kind of a bummer.

  52. The commissionaires have to base their decision on something concrete. Once they start trying to estimate how much time someone would/would not have gained/lost they are into subjective assessment and everyone will have a different view. By saying “everyone together at this point has the same time” they removed as much subjective assessment as possible and followed precedent (the 3km rule).

  53. Flecha and Hoogerland called, they want their 16+ minutes back…
    GC favouritism, sh1t happens in sport and imho whilst heart breaking for those involved, the result should have stood. Froome was hardly out of it was he?

    Those calling the ‘act out of their hands’ card need to accept sport for what it is, unfair. Someone wins, someone loses, and often the winner isn’t necessarily the best on the day but the luckiest. Cyclist’s of all sportsman should know this more than most, as I’d hazard a guess and argue that most crashes/stoppages are caused by someone or something else, not personal error.

    Probably all said earlier and I’m late to the party, but who has time to read every single comment when at work?!?

  54. I think the original results should have stand. Shit happens in racing. I have a problem with double standards, if this had happen to another less prominet group of raiders i doubt this wouldn’t have happen.

  55. The last time I saw a spectator get that close to the main competitor was when my gran tried to get in the ring with Masambula at Halifax Civic Hall.

    She took offence at him pinging Mick McCarthy off the ropes.

  56. With reference to Inner Rings latest comment about road blockage, after the 2015 Paris-Roubaix the UCI amended rules so that no advantage could be taken from groups held-up / getting through the level crossing if the road then became blocked. Part of this rule states:
    “2. One or more riders with more than 30 seconds’ lead on the field are held up at a level crossing and the rest of the field catches up while the gates are still closed. In this case the race shall be neutralised and restarted with the same gaps, once the official vehicles preceding the race have passed; If the lead is less than 30 seconds, the closed level crossing shall be considered a mere race incident;”

    Given their lead at the time was 23 seconds (seen this quoted by various sources, but not confirmed) then this ‘road blockage’ should be seen as a race incident. you could therefore argue that this incident should be seen as a race incident and finish time should stand.

    Ultimately I am glad that the Commissaires decided to do something about this however as to me, those three guys deserved to take some form of advantage after the ride they had made. If the moto hadn’t ridden over froomes bike and broken it, things might have been somewhat different…

  57. To suggest ASO might derive benefit from such a clusterf++++ is more than a stretch. It’s a good thing they have a monopoly in bike racing for in showing such a total lack of foresight and complete complacency over crowd control ASO might be seen as incapable of running a bath let alone a bike race.

    ASO hold themselves out to be race organizers – the only thing they have managed to organize here is to destroy that claim with a shambles. If M Prudhomme/Mr Wiseman cannot run a whelk stall perhaps he’ll be on the second hand car market by the end of next week.

    If ASO cannot run a race, Chris Froome certainly did run during it. And quite right too. What would he be expected to do –sit down on the road. The guy was attacking and winning the race against his main rivals –how could he not channel all that adrenaline and mentality into some form of continued action? I thought the rules theoretically would allow him to run the whole stage so long as he was competing under his own steam and started and finished with a bike. Certainly the rules are designed to prevent unfairness of hopping on a train or onto (rather than crashing into) a motor bike or taking a car ride during a stage –surely if you run rather than ride a bike you are at a disadvantage, not an advantage.

    If Froome’s pedalling descent the other day was mildly clownish –his riding of the Mavic bike was completely so. A Tour champion reduced to such a spectacle. It was worse because it was all in bright yellow. The Mavic support element is a joke on top of yesterday’s debacle and for years has defied logic as an attempt at worthwhile PR- as we see nobody uses their kit or when they do try to it proves useless.

    In my view it was not a racing incident. Nothing in the loss of time was anything to do with what the racers did. It was a prevention of the race by the intervention of lack of organization from outside the race. Quintana was being beaten up at that point and he can consider himself a lucky man.

  58. The commissaire yielded to ASO. That’s it.

    If Froome is back on his domination, ASO will take much less pressure from the crash. In fact, ASO does not have their patience to wait for Froome’s counterattack in the remaining stages. Maybe Froome will be able to copy what Contador did in the last Giro. But ASO just cannot wait. They cannot afford an end that Froome loses because of the crash.

    If Froome eventually loses his jersey because of the crash, ASO will……

  59. here’s an idea: scrap the race jury decision and give everyone the times they crossed the line with, as cycle racing involves chance, and bad luck befell Froome and Porte.

    Then disqualify Quintana for taking a moto tow right through the scene, as cycle racing involves rules and he broke them.

    or, as Paul H says above

    “The solution reached clearly isn’t ideal, but seems to be the best available in the circumstances”

  60. I’ve said for years (and been castigated for it here during last year’s Tour), the crowd ruin the race.
    Back then, I said you need to barrier the last few kms. At least 5, I’d say.
    Something like this was always going to happen – and even the day before I said to myself ‘Where are all the people who were up Ventoux going to go? Back down the hill.’
    But it’s been on the cards for years.
    Even if the crowds don’t touch the fans, they prevent the racing – the riders literally cannot overtake each other.
    Not to mention the safety issue.
    The fans think they are a grand part of the whole thing – and people build this viewpoint up in them. It’s time they were barriered off and anyone over the barriers and on the road is arrested.
    Tour de Farce, this year.

  61. Okay, so part of the problem is that there are too many motos. And some of them are for TV and photo use. So why not use drones? Might hot work on a high wind day like this stage, but if I were in the peleton, I’d rather hear the whine of a drone than to suck exhaust from slow moving motorbike any day.

      • I have never flown a drone so there is much I don’t understand about them. But I have seen them flying down my street, over my yard, and other places where there are plenty of obstacles, so avoiding obstacles must be possible. Come to think of it, I have seen coverage of local races shot from a drone. As for the wind, maybe I will head over to the local drone shop and see what tgey say on this issue.

      • There would be significant risks, to the riders and spectators if you wanted to replace camera moto pictures. The best you could hope for is the equivalent of helicopter shots, but from a lower level and quality.

        Sprint finishes might be a good place to trial them though.

  62. Froome should have been given a time penalty for running 1 second for every meter he covered without his bike. Nothing he could have done about he crash but he chose to run up the road Ricky Bobby. I’m on fire.

  63. If you don’t give time back to Froome and Porte, roadside fans will be encouraged to take more actions to impede the riders they don’t support. The jury did the only thing possible and the amount of time restored was as fair as could be determined. Argue rule books and course prep to death – the action taken was the best under the crazy circumstances and at least does not give drunk and nutter fans more incentive to interfere.

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