Moreover, the punch from the Kenyan-born Brit wasn’t anything more than a bid to get the guy out of eyesight and let Froome get on with his race, and the fine reflects that. The equivalent of £157 presumably isn’t that much for a dude who’s won the Tour de France twice.
Addressing the matter later, Froome said: “This guy in particular was running right next to my handlebars that had a flag that was flying behind him. It was just getting dangerous, so I pushed him away.
“I lashed out and pushed him away. It’s fantastic having so many fans out on the route but please, please, I urge the fans: don’t try and run with the riders. It’s really dangerous for the guys behind.”
It only got worse the following day as well, as New Zealand cyclist George Bennett was forced to effectively flatten a supporter who inexplicably stepped out onto the road on a bend during stage nine:
Neither of those incidents are the first time fans have caused havoc on the Tour this year, of course. While barriers for the final few kilometres normally slant away from the cyclists and mean the fans can’t get close enough to harm, other barriers do not provide this protection – as Sam Bennett found out when he went down on stage one to a Tour de France crash blamed on a supporter’s arm, and broken his collarbone in the process – and of course in the mountains the roads are rightly not guarded at all.