Froome retains Tour lead despite Ventoux chaos

Thu Jul 14, 2016 4:10pm EDT
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By Julien Pretot

MONT VENTOUX, France (Reuters) - Defending champion Chris Froome retained the overall leader's yellow jersey on the Tour de France despite being left without a bike following an incident involving a motorbike in a farcical finale to the 12th stage on Thursday.

The Briton's bike was broken in a pile-up close to the finish and the Team Sky rider began running up the slopes of the Mont Ventoux before grabbing a service bike which did not fit. Froome was then given a spare Team Sky bike on which he completed the 178-km stage, losing over a minute to his main rivals, only for the race jury to rule that he would be credited with the same time as the two riders he was with when the incident occurred.

"Chris Froome and Richie Porte have been given the same time as Bauke Mollema due to the incident in the finale. Froome retains the yellow jersey," organizers said in a statement.

BMC rider Porte, who was leading Froome and Dutchman Mollema (Trek Segafredo), crashed into a TV motorbike that was held up by the crowd on the road.

Mollema and Froome also tumbled and the Briton's bike was broken in the incident.

The overall lead was first handed to Briton Adam Yates (Orica-Bike Exchange) before the standings were updated and Froome was handed the yellow jersey on the podium.

"I'm very happy with the commissaires' decision, I think it was the right thing to do, thanks to the jury and thanks to the organizers," Froome told reporters.

Yates added: "I'm happy with the decision, I would not want to take the jersey like that. I wanted to take it with my legs."   Continued...

Cycling - The Tour de France cycling race - The 178-km (110.6 miles) Stage 12 from Montpellier to Chalet-Reynard - 14/07/2016 - Yellow jersey leader Team Sky rider Chris Froome of Britain reacts on the podium. REUTERS/Juan Medina