Bazaar Tour Stage -Mt. Ventoux /Froome Running/Quintana Getting a Lift

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I can’t help but comment on yesterday’s Mount Ventoux finish, again.   We’ll be talking about it for a long while.  I can’t think of a more bazaar deal I have ever witnessed in cycling.  And I’ve seen some pretty crazy shit.

Obviously, what made it completely nuts was Chris Froome running up the climb in his cleats.  I have to assume he had lost his mind temporarily and just panicked.  There is no other explanation. I think every professional cyclist knows you can’t proceed forward without your bicycle.  It is bike racing 101.

The weird part of the running was the guy actually looked better running, in his cycling shoes, than he does riding his bicycle in the very same shoes.  He has super form, plus the build for it. Maybe a 2nd career when he gets fed up with massacring his bicycle racing competition.

I’m not sure about the jury’s decision.  The 3 km rule doesn’t apply.  It would be a shame if the race was decided by that, but it did happen and there is no fair way to work it out.  Guys still got jipped by the jury not enforcing the rules.  When it is a no-win situation, somebody losing time/someone gaining, I say go with the rules.

Then there is now the deal with Nairo Quintana.  You probably haven’t heard this, but if you click here, you can see when all this mayhem was going on, Nairo just grabbed onto the wheel on the back of one of the support motorcycles and was coasting up the hill.  I can sort of understand Froome’s panic run deal, well, not really.  But, another bike racing 101 rule, you don’t hold onto vehicles going uphill in bike races.   Here is a link to one of the videos.

I have to say about this, kick the idiot out of the race.  You might say, just for holding onto a motorcycle for a few seconds to get around chaos?  No, for being such a moron that you think you are above the rest and that it isn’t going to be caught on video by one of the gazillion people standing on the course.  He’s going to get smeared today in the time trial, so at least there is that.

The race jury needs to watch the videos all over twitter, then boot the dude.  In this case, rules are rules.  No free ride up the Ventoux close to the last kilometer. Pretty easy one to understand.   Froome is hoofing it to the finish, while Nairo is chillin’.  What a weird day.

On a side note – I raced up that very climb the first time I went to Europe on the US National Team. I was racing the Tour of Vaucluse.  Robert Millar was killing it up the climbs.  I remember turning the bottom corner, next to another American, Jeff Pierce.  We thought we were climbing great and we hadn’t even gotten to the bottom of the climb.  At the top, the last 500 meters were so steep.  It took forever to get to the 200 meter sign.  If someone would have offered me a wheel at 200 meters, with a bigger cog in back, I would have stopped and taken it.  I was crawling.   I stayed on my bike the whole way.  I didn’t have to run at all.  And, I never held onto a vehicle.  Anyway, the climb is super hard and I’m glad I got to race up it once.

Pretty good form considering he already had 110 miles on his legs for the day.

Pretty good form considering he already had 110 miles on his legs for the day.

Maybe Chris is a member?

Maybe Chris is a member?

Watch the video above. He wasn't just trying to stay upright. He was cheating. Watch the video at the link above.

He wasn’t just trying to stay upright. He was definitely towing.. Watch the video at the link above.

43 thoughts on “Bazaar Tour Stage -Mt. Ventoux /Froome Running/Quintana Getting a Lift

  1. Jim

    I can tell by the differences in the replies from your readers that few (or likely none) of you readers have ever been a sports official.

    The very last thing that you want to happen is something that is not covered in a rule book or something that you have never seen because it is so unusual. It is even worse if it is being broadcast.
    You have to make judgements based on the rules as you understand them and try to apply them fairly to something that has not been seen before. Many of the readers seem to think that is easy. I can assure you, it is not.

    There are always differing viewpoints but the bottom line is to get it as “fair” as you can given what you have to work with. Hindsight is always 20/20.

    To Steve’s point he writes “When it is a no-win situation, somebody losing time/someone gaining, I say go with the rules”.
    The problem is that no rule really addresses what actually happened. You can make a case that it is covered but I am not so sure about that.
    The real issue here is that any rule book that tries to cover every possible situation possible would be so unwieldy as to be useless.

    In the end, I have to think that the race officials got it about as “right” as is humanly possible.

  2. Shano

    Jim – good point on refereeing but like it or not I think a lot of people would like to hear and understand the logic behind those decisions. If anyone know where this is available WRT this incident please share (just woke up and I haven’t scoured the web yet :-).
    And that Quintana thing – WTH!!!??? Boot him absolutely! This has the recent precedent with Nibs, unbelievable that they think they could get away with this stuff

  3. Atle

    Froome claims that the moto *behind* his group slammed into his bike and made it unrideable. I think that’s an important point. Otherwise, he would have remounted like Porte and Mollema and made it to the finish with a gap of some sort still intact. Had that happened, perhaps no adjustment to GC would have been made. Ultimately, I think the correct decision was made, but I’ve never been a race official and I welcome thoughts to the contrary.

  4. Atle

    Regarding my previous comment, the point is the race officials are directly responsible for making his bike unrideable. That’s a very odd scenario.

  5. Jim

    That is exactly my point. The officials who have to decide what is “right” are not the official (or whoever) that was on the motorcycle that broke the bike. They have to deal with the situation and make the best of it. I have done events in front of 18,000 people but I can’t imagine the pressure of doing it in front of a worldwide audience.
    BTW, I saw a picture of the bike this morning and at least the right seat stay was broken, maybe more.
    Actually in light of what happened in Nice overnight, this really is much less important in the big picture. That is just tragic.

  6. James

    Q is holding on after the race is over – past crash point? Race was over. Like all the bitching about running wo bike, race was over.

    Froominator actually did everyone a favor by being such an idiot.

    I’d drop some serious coin on a bet thay if he moved w bike or waited for team car, the race would have ended on the line same for everyone.

    And oddly enough his main rival would be looking at a DQ.

  7. Fausto

    Given the weirdness of all of it I think they did ok. Look how Richie was penalized in the Giro for taking a wheel from a competitor, potentially knocked him out of any chance.. Nairo won the Giro on a “neutralized” weather stage when he kept racing while others did not. They have all been effected by different enforcement or lack of in races. Some hurt riders have not made the time cut and jury let them in, others not so lucky. Bottom line is what is the UCI and race director doing to better control the fans and photo bikes so this does not happen again? This has been building all season and is anyone telling the moto’s that they need to keep a buffer zone? Cut the photographers in half, and put more security on the road to make a path. Giro and Vuelta have more of a security presence on the road holding back spectators on the climbs.

  8. Robo

    There controversy all around. Did anyone see the article about Froome neutralizing the lease group 30km out b/c his teammates crashed? There’s etiquette of not attacking the yellow jersey if he has a crash or mechanical out of his control. But to suggest that the lead group soft pedal for his teammates? That seems awfully generous. Can’t really blame him, only the idiots who obliged. Overall, I’m starting to like Froome. Yes, dumb to advance without your bike. But I love the competitive instinct: just keep going, no matter what.

  9. joriverdog

    Steve, Sorry dude but Foome’s running form is not good or even ok…looks like an old man…obviously you never ran track…still with cycling Froomy…

  10. numbnuts

    they should start regulating support vehicles. In the races around town near my place, support vehicles have to stay behind the peleton. Its strictly enforced.
    On La Ruta (did it 3 times), support vehicles are everywhere… they were forcing riders off the roads etc…

    thus, I think support vehicles and motocycles (media) should either be far ahead or behind and not all over the place… just adds for conflict, possible cheating, and too much mayhem for no good reason.

  11. KrakatoaEastofJava

    Did he even TRY to release the rear brake and pedal it? Only one of four stays was busted. When facing the loss of the tour with 1000m to go, you pick up the bike and either mount it, or you push/carry it. I think the jury should have penalized him on time.

  12. LD

    I see what happened as a malfunction of race infrastructure; a race motorbike caused the collision and the racers affected should not be penalized. Just like with Yates and the 1K sign. You say racers could just as easily run into spectators; if that happened, again, I would not penalize the rider, otherwise we’d see hooligans deliberately crashing out someone so their race favorite could gain an advantage.

  13. jpete

    Porte and Froome were close enough to draft the moto. Everyone waited for the crashed Sky dudes. This whole thing feels rigged to get a certain result. Just sayin’. Deepest pockets wins?

  14. Billw

    Froome didn’t even look at his bike to see if he could fix it and when they brought him a bike it was the one he started the race on(had the number plate). Does the bike weigh so much he couldn’t pick it up and run? Obviously the thought process was not working well for him at the time.

  15. Chris C

    Completely spot on.

    On the Zoncolan in the Giro they have hundreds of police with linked arms on both sides of the road… ASO does not have enough money to provide security?

    Even if they don’t have linked arm cops they at least need police every 5 or ten meters or so in the very crazy areas of the climbs to grab and toss the idiots running next to and interfering with the race.

  16. Carl

    I was just in Provence a couple of weeks ago. I didn’t get a chance to go to Ventoux, but could see the monster from almost any point in the department. What a brute. I talked to a couple of Brits on the TGV who did climb it. The seemed to think the crosswind on the ride from their base back to Avignon was harder to face than the mountain.

  17. KrakatoaEastofJava

    Yes, they WERE drafting the moto, as they were going so fast they couldn’t avoid it when it suddenly stopped. That factoid has been overlooked. Froome should have been given the time he finished with. Porte too.

  18. Kr

    I can’t help but comment that you spelled bizarre wrong!! Bazaar is a collection of shops. This is almost as embarrassing as Froome’s running.

  19. barb

    Someone commented the race was over when Nairo grabbed the tow wheel. Was this the case? Was the race called at that point by someone official? This would mitigate his act, if it is the case. Does anyone know for sure the official take? I have to say in all the years I’ve been watching the Tour, that was by far the most unprecedented accident I’ve ever seen.

  20. Krakatoa East of Java

    I’m not sure how many riders’ times they adjusted or if the race was stopped. Did they actually “end the race” at the point of the crash?

    In any case, you’ve got to understand the management style of the UCI. When they like you, they’ll bend the rules in your favor. When they don’t, it won’t matter if you’re in the right. Even if they answer “yes, the race was over” in response to your question, if they’re adequately pissed at Quintana, they’ll suspend space, time and dimension to DQ him for that. It all depends on how pissed-off they are. I’d be pissed if I were them.

  21. Paul Boudreaux

    I seem to recall Armstrong actually riding a motorbike up Ventoux in 2000 and he didn’t get penalized

  22. James

    Bazaar is a place in KS Flint Hills & an annual spring rr for many years. Show’s, properly so, where ST’s head is 🙂

  23. bz

    I got a good chuckle seeing the guy who tweeted the video felt the need to send it to Jalabert for his take on cheating a bike race. Unfortunately, I would bet “@ass…” doesn’t understands the sad irony.

  24. Mike Rodose

    The Ventoux stage was such a disaster, the UCI should have called for a Do-Over the next day.

  25. rl

    Froome needs to go back to whatever lab he was born in. Just an ugly, terrible bike rider who was indentified as having a great vo2max or whatever.

  26. Mike Rodose

    I’ve wanted to apologize to Steve since I gave him shit for grammar/spelling on his gun control post recently. It was petty and mean and I regret lashing out. Oh, and at Clifford too. Sorry. Overdue and awkward, but sorry.

    I say this now because I just saw your comment, Kr. Unwarranted and untimely. You had no opinion related to the topic of Steve’s article, but yet you had to correct Steve on his grammar? Your sole contribution was to correct Steve. Stop it, please.

    Kr – let’s agree that we’re all fortunate Steve puts himself out there, writes with his heart and gives us this forum together. Let’s also agree that Steve is superhuman, longevity-defined and still 10x the racer you, me or 99.9 percent of the readers on this site are.

    Truce on Steve for any editing suggestions.

    On topic now – Ventoux was kooky! Ringling Brothers. Loved the drama, pissed at ASO. Athletes need protection from crowds in a proper manner.

    We all wonder why Froome ran without his bike. As Steve said, it’s bike racing 101. But…In Froomeys defense, these guys are so accustomed to tossing their $18k racing bikes aside and having their team hand them an identical one that Froomey’s brain is wired that way. Shouldering the bike is foreign to him, it seems. A product of his environment perhaps?

  27. DR

    The only person responsible for Richie Porte crashing into the motorcycle is Richie Porte. The only person responsible for Chris Froome for crashing into Richie Porte is Chris Froome. They crashed while racing, it happens, they should be given the time that they actually crossed the finish line.

  28. Kr

    Yes, I apologize for the tone. But the message I was trying to convey is valid. If you’re going to write a post about racers not following rules, make sure you don’t lead by breaking rules yourself. One could argue it’s “just” spelling, but to many people, TdF is “just” a bike race. This post is showing up other places on the internet–I followed the link from FB–and it’s easy enough to go back, edit and correct.

  29. James

    A “terrible” bike rider who is going to win the TdF. I find the what he looks like comments so petty.

  30. C Hitchens

    The bikes are very heavy. A Gruber assist motor and batteries add a lot of weight.


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