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Chaos as yellow jersey legs it at the Tour

Chaos as yellow jersey legs it at the Tour

Chris Froome lost valuable time in the race for the yellow jersey after a motorcycle collided with a rider on a crowded end to stage 12.

Has the Tour de France ever seen such a spectacle? Race leader Chris Froome was forced to run part of Thursday's wild 12th stage after a crash involving a camera-carrying motorcycle.

The stage ended with controversy, as Froome fell to sixth in the time standings while a race jury decided how to handle the mess.

Its decision:

Tejay van Garderen moved up to seventh place after stage, the best American rider in the competition.

MORE: Images from Tour


Froome got caught in the melee as Richie Porte's bike struck the back of the motorcycle, which was braking on the narrow race route up Mont Ventoux. Fans pressed the course and narrowed the riders' path, and a third rider was involved in the crash as well.

Having lost time in the accident, Froome decided not to wait for a replacement bike. Instead, he took off on foot, which is permissible in the Tour. He got another bike in less than a minute and another replacement in order to finish the stage. Race rules say riders can finish on foot but must have their bikes with them.

"The crowd was all over the road and the motorbike just stopped, we had nowhere to go," Porte told media members. Froome "was on my wheel, he went straight into the back of me.

"We were 23 seconds ahead, it's not fair ... it can't stand, surely the jury has to look at it and use a bit of discretion. The crowd are in your face the whole time, pushing riders ... at the top, that was just crazy."

England's Adam Yates provisionally became the race leader. In the seventh stage, Yates struck a fallen distance marker.


Stage 12 was already a problem, with gale-force winds at the summit forcing officials to shorten Thursday's ride by six kilometers.

Lost in the hubbub: Thomas de Gendt won the stage, his first in Tour competition.

Contributing: Ray Slover

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