Montpellier – Mont Ventoux---178 km
What was already an unusual day at the Tour de France turned chaotic in the final kilometers Thursday when a collision between a fan and one of the race motorbikes led to a crash involving three riders – one of them the leader of the race and another Brent’s teammate, Richie Porte.
Amongst a hoard of spectators crowding the road, Porte smashed head-first into the back of a motorcycle shooting live coverage of the race. The two riders following him, Bauke Mollema (Trek Factory Racing) and race leader Chris Froome, also went down and chaos ensued. Porte’s teammate, Tejay van Garderen, was riding in a trailing group and managed to past Froome and Porte, who both had damaged bikes. While the situation led to a big shake-up in the standings, ultimately, race officials decided to award the trio with finish times that allowed Froome to keep the yellow jersey of race leader.
After the stage – which had been shortened by 6.5 kilometers due to strong winds on the summit of the original finish of Mont Ventoux – Brent tweeted:
“There is enough bike-mayhem during any TDF stage, without having to worry about crashes by fans & race motos. Up your game @LeTour! #tdf2016”
Friday’s stage is an individual time trial which is expected to considerable shake up the standings. BMC Racing Team’s best-placed rider is van Garderen, who moved up two spots in the overall standings despite losing time via the commissaire’s decision. The American is 92 seconds back of Froome heading into the 37.5 km race against the clock.