So it looks like the Tour de France turned into a sort of duathlon this year when a cyclist had to resort to running after he got in a crash in the final minutes before the finish.
Chris Froome, the lead of the tour, had just over a kilometre to go when he was collided with a motorcycle that left his bike unusable. Fans watching the tour had crowded on the course so much so that the motorbike TV cameras had limited room to pass by. The bottleneck resulted in three cyclists colliding with the vehicle in a dramatic crash right before the finish.
When a second TV motorcycle flattened Froome’s bike, he had to resort to running uphill until he could get another one to ride into the finish.
One rule in cycling races is this: cyclists are not allowed to cross the finish line without a bike. They don’t necessarily have to ride it across the finish– crossing the finish while carrying it is accepted– but they have to have a bike for their results to be official.
In the event of a crash like this one, a cyclist left without a bike has to get one from the race’s neutral vehicle (there for the use of all competitors) or they get their backup from their own team van. When Froome took to the streets of France running uphill, he was resorting to running to get himself outside of the cluttered section until a vehicle came to his aid. First, to approach him was a neutral vehicle but when the bike was visibly too small, he abandoned it and sought out his team van to get a properly fitted one.
He finished the stage 6:45 behind the lead. With this crash, it initially looked as though he lost his lead in the tour– something symbolized by the cyclist wearing the yellow jersey. Upon review of the crash though, officials adjusted his time. This is standard practice in most cycling racing in the event of a crash. Temporarily he lost his yellow jersey but the results were modified so that Froome was credited with the same time as the riders who he was with right before the event. (For the full race report, see here.)
Could he perhaps make it as a duathlete or triathlete? Judging by his form, his running career may have potential. Chris, we’re waiting for you.