Chris Froome Left Running to Finish Line After Tour de France Leaders Crash into Motorbike on Stage 12
Froome left racing up Mont Ventoux without a bike after moto crash causes carnage...
Final Update: Froome will stay in the yellow jersey, as Tour de France officials award him same time as Porte and Mollema, leaving him 47 seconds ahead of Adam Yates at the top of the pack.
Stage 12 of the Tour de France has been thrown into chaos after Chris Froome, wearing the yellow jersey, and ex-Team Sky man and General Classification rider Richie Porte crashed into a motorbike mid-race.
The result was that Froome was left to astoundingly race to the finish line on foot, without a bike, in a moment that will undoubtedly go down in road cycling and Tour de France history. He was finally given a bike to finish the race on shortly later.
— @40ynueve (@40ynueve) July 14, 2016
The offending television motorbike was forced into braking by the crowd, causing Porte to go into the back of it and bring down himself, Bauke Mollema and Froome near the end of the climb up Mont Ventoux in a shocking Tour de France crash.
Speaking to the media about the crash, Porte said: "I went straight over the top of the bike. It was a mess. The guys went straight into me. I don't know what they're going to do - they have to do something because it's not fair.
"That can't stand. It can't happen like that. There has to be some sort of discretion. If you can't control the crowds what can you control? It's not the motorbike - the crowd are in your face the whole time, pushing riders."
— @40ynueve (@40ynueve) July 14, 2016
The Tour will no doubt come into a serious bout of criticism from riders and supporters alike after a season of cycling that has already been marred by crashes with motorbikes on the road cycling circuit.
Chris Froome has yet to comment but has tweeted that he's "awaiting a jury decision," and is bound to be absolutely furious with the incident after a Tour he's been comfortably in the lead of for days now.
Froome had been putting further time into main GC rival Nairo Quintana on the climb up the French mountain when the incident occurred.
Team Sky aren't happy either, and understandably so...
The 3km rule, which means that a crash within the final 3km of a Tour de France stage does not have an effect on the rider's time, does not apply on mountain finished such as today's stage, and currently not only has Froome lost his yellow jersey, he's fallen behind rival GC contender Nairo Quintana.
Specifically, the 3km rule states that: "In the event that a rider or riders suffer a fall, puncture or mechanical incident in the last 3 kilometres and such an incident is duly recognised, the rider or riders involved are credited with the same finishing time of the rider or riders they were with at the time of the incident".
So will Froome be given the same time as Porte and Mollema?
Adam Yates now leads the Tour de France, with Mollema seconds back from him, Quintana third, 14 seconds back and Froome in sixth, 53 seconds off fellow Brit and Team GB Olympian Yates.
There's a whole lot of controversy though - and it's unlikely the officials are not going to intervene in some form or other. What happens to Froome's time though? We'll have to wait and see.
"It has implications for everyone," says Rob Hayles, ex-GB cyclist and 5Live radio man. "It could happen to any rider from any team. Could they giver Froome the same time as the guys he was with or the group he left behind? It’s a complete mess. Thankfully it's not my job to make the decisions."
We can't see Froome not being awarded some kind of neutralised-time olive branch though. Tour de France barriers have already been in the spotlight this year after crashes on stage one, and it looks like they're to blame for this carnage as well.
Final Update: With Chris Froome being awarded the same time as Porte and Mollema, Froome has extended his lead at the top of the pack and Mollema has closed down Yates. What a day!