Chris Froome, England’s premiere road racer, still leads the Tour de France after a bizarre finish to Stage 12, in which he ran bikeless through the last kilometer.
Froome’s mad dash through the crowd-choked streets of Mount Ventoux resulted from a three-bike pileup with a motorbike.
In the video above, you can see Australia’s Richie Porte slam into the motorbike-mounted camera, and Froome and the Netherlands’s Bauke Mollema quickly collect behind him.
The motorbike reportedly had to stop for spectators congesting the road.
With his bike beyond immediate repair and a crush of fans, bikes, and cars surrounding him, Froome took decisive action to protect the 28-second lead he brought into Thursday’s stage.
He took off on foot, worming through the winding mountain road, desperately looking back for his Team Sky support vehicle that would supply a replacement bike. But the car, he learned through radio communication, was five minutes back.
For 200 meters of the last stretch, when most competitors are in their full, final sprint, Froome huffed it. He grabbed a replacement bike when the team car caught up and finished the stage shaking his head.
Though initial results showed Froome slipping to sixth overall after the lost time, race officials gave Froome and Porte the same time as Mollema, who recovered the fastest after the accident and finished 10th on the stage.
The amended results not only helped Froome preserve his lead, it actually increased it to 47 seconds over his countryman, Adam Yates.
According to UCI, the governing body for the Tour de France, a cyclist can run after an accident and even finish a stage on foot, so long they do so with their bike.