Froome retains yellow jersey as crash prompts review


Chris Froome will retain the yellow jersey despite provisionally falling 53 seconds behind Adam Yates in the general classification following a collision in a dramatic end to stage 12 of the Tour de France.

On the final ascent of Mont Ventoux, Richie Porte (BMC Racing) rode into the back of a motorbike as it stopped suddenly and Team Sky's Froome and Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) were caught up in the pile-up. 

Damage forced Froome to run up the hill in a bid to keep the time lost to a minimum, before crossing the line on a replacement bike having already switched to a neutral one.

The provisional classifications suggested Yates (Orica-BikeExchange) would assume the overall lead for stage 13, but, following a review, Froome and Porte were given the same time as Mollema, who managed to get away from the incident quickly and finish 10th.

Subsequently, Froome will keep the iconic yellow jersey and sees his advantage in the general classification over Yates extend to 47 seconds.

The bizarre incident occurred as fans encroached on the road, leaving a narrow channel for riders to complete their climb.

The stage had been shortened by six kilometres due to high winds at the Mont Ventoux summit, with the finish line moved to Chalet Reynard.

Porte was critical of the organisation and laid the blame with the fans, not the motorbike he collided with. 

"The crowd was just all on the road and the motorbike just stopped right in front of me and I had nowhere to go. Next minute I was straight over the top of the motorbike. It was just a mess," he said.

"Chris was on my wheel and went straight into me. One minute we were 23 seconds in front and the next thing, for something so silly, everybody is back on us.

"If you can't control the crowd what can you control? It's not really the motorbike it's the crowd. They are in your face the whole time, pushing riders. That was just crazy."

Lotto Soudal's Thomas De Gendt passed through beforehand to claim his first Tour de France stage win and he called on the organisers to improve control of the public going forward.

"I don't know what happened, I just saw it on TV. There were a lot of people in the last kilometre," he said.

"They should think of doing something about it. I got pushed, Serge [Pauwels] got pushed, we almost crashed. There wasn't even room for one moto."