Cycling has never seen scenes like those it witnessed today on Mont Ventoux. After Froome, Porte and Mollema attacked, a motorbike seemed to stop for an unknown reason in front of Richie Porte, who went down, forcing Froome and Mollema to the ground as well. Mollema's bike was unharmed, and so was he, so he capitalized on the situation, jumping ahead and finishing ahead of the other GC contenders. The other contenders were not so fortunate — Porte seemed pretty hurt, coming in a minute later, and as for Froome...
What had seemed like an ideal race for Froome turned into a shambles. He lost his bike, and sprinted up the mountain on cleats, an image that will live on forever in cycling, desperately shouting into his radio. Finally, salvation arrived in the form of a yellow Mavic car, and Froome took a bike. Unfortunately, said bike looked more suitable for a twelve-year-old boy. He had to stay with it, however, until four hundred metres to go, when his own team car arrived.
Where was Quintana during all of this, you ask? Well, I'm sorry that this wasn't in the headline, blame the most unprecedented event in cycling that I remember, but he was dropped. Froome kicked once, and kicked again on the mountain, dropping the Colombian who himself had attacked for the first time in the Tour. Quintana dropped back to a chasing group of Yates, Meintjes, Bardet, Aru, Van Garderen, Rodríguez and Bardet, and rode with his team mate Valverde to lose a minimum of time. Adam Yates was briefly in yellow, before the commisaires decided to give Froome his GC lead back.
Daniel Martin had a torrid day, getting dropped almost immediately at Quintana's first probe, and leading a gradually expanding group at his own pace to the line. He did limit his losses, but lost over a minute to the group of GC riders. He drops to ninth.
Up front, one of the best stage wins of the Tour will be talked about the least. Thomas De Gendt outsprinted Serge Pauwels at Chalet Reynard, having come back from being dropped by the Belgian and Dani Navarro, who finished in third.
UPDATE: The race was neutralised in the end, with Froome maintaining his jersey lead.
|1.||BEL||Thomas De Gendt||LTS||4:31:51|
|9.||DEN||Chris Anker Sørensen||FVC||4:23|
|7.||USA||Tejay van Garderen||BMC||1:44|