Chris Froome running towards the finish line halfway up Mont Ventoux
Crowd knobheads have given us many memorable moments in the Tour de France, but surely few can rival the sight of Chris Froome, in the yellow jersey, running up Mont Ventoux with no bike anywhere in shot.
Someone – or more likely a great many people – got in the way of one of the race motorbikes which is supposed to be clearing these idiots out of the way. The bike came to a stop. Richie Porte rode into the bike and Bauke Mollema and Chris Froome rode into Porte.
After picking himself up, Froome concluded that his bike was unusable and at that point set off running up the hill in his cleats.
He ran for quite a long time.
Eventually he got a neutral bike, which he couldn’t clip into, and then he got a Sky bike. By that point all his rivals had passed him. Good job they weren’t going all the way to the top really.
As far as I can tell, the race organisers credited Froome and Porte with the same time as Mollema, who was the first to finish of the three affected. This means they each gain 19 seconds on all the other main contenders and probably a bit more on some people – but honestly who can be bothered checking that sort of stuff on a day when we’ve all seen Chris Froome running?
The racing up until that point
Froome had actually been doing rather well. Nairo Quintana had tried to attack, but had been reeled back in by Team Sky and when Froome then launched escalating attacks, he distanced the Colombian. Only Richie Porte could follow and then Bauke Mollema joined them. It all looked pretty good until they hit that unscheduled road block made out of bell-ends.
The stage win
If the Tour de France were to bring in a ‘no drafting’ rule then Thomas de Gendt might find himself a contender. Pit him against the best on a major climb and he’ll lose time, but if the stage were a 175km individual time trial that incorporated that mountain, he might well finish first.
That’s pretty much what he did today. Serge Pauwels and Daniel Navarro may have milled around him for much of the day, but it was essentially a day-long steady effort.
An intriguing mid-length time trial featuring two moderate climbs and an important descent in between.
Delicacies of this region include Maoche, a stuffed pig’s stomach; bombine, a cheap and simple stew; and Caillette, a kind of meat ‘n’ greens meatball thing.