The crash heard around the world in the last kilometer of the Mont Ventoux climb: Mollema, Froome, and Porte. Photo: Cor Vos
  • Luke Bartlett

    Richie, do not buy a lotto ticket.

    What the fuck are the uci and aso doing for rider safety.

    When a huge stage is shortened and there are 6km of extra people along the final climb, MAYBE FUCKING THINK ABOUT THAT.

    • donncha

      How easy is it to move all the Tour infrastructure with less than 24hrs notice, on an HC mountain, with lots of people in the way and high winds?

      • Luke Bartlett

        You have a literal mountain of would-be volunteers, and you just have to get it done.

      • Superpilot

        Most event setup in terms of fencing is done overnight, not the entire previous day. Staging, yes. Fencing I’ve seen packed in under an hour.

    • James

      Tough man speak. I like it.

  • pedr09

    They should equip motos with a crowd controller attached to the front and just drive through the people.

    • muz

      snow plough on the front…

      It’s pretty much a 0/10 for ASO isn’t it? They knew the finish was moving down the hill the day before which is only going to compress the crowd even more than usual yet only the final few hundred meters had fencing up.

      As for yet another moto running over yet another rider, do those guys take sleeping pills before they head out? Clearly following way, way too close if you haven’t got time to stop.

      • De Mac

        You’re right – they shortened the stage with PLENTY of notice, hence time to employ an appropriate crowd management strategy, ie barriers….. Disgraceful ‘planning’ is what led to this and it is pure luck that none of the three were injured.

      • Nitro

        Water cannon is much more use friendly…

        • Superpilot

          Jousting stick, less friendly, more effective?

          • Nitro

            Jousting sticks? Tell ’em they’re dreaming…

    • Luke Bartlett

      how about people put their fucking phones down and watch the race go by? there is plenty of opportunity to browse beautifully taken photos by awesome photographers. people are idiots.

      • James

        Some aren’t very eloquent in speech either.

        • Lach

          I see eloquence in his passion and I understood it perfectly. Don’t confuse eloquence with your ideology of acceptable content.

          • James_Casper

            Don’t have a cow man.

    • Pete

      Yes, it’s the moto’s fault (and organiser) as there are too many of them and they’re always in the way. And this year at least they keep hitting bike riders.

      • Jamie Kelly

        Are you suggesting the motor bike should just ride straight into the crowd? How is this anything but a crowd control and public behavior issue?

        • Pete

          99.9 times out of 100 the crowd parts and the riders get through. The moto was in the way, and is quite often.
          As I said there are too many vehicles and that’s an organisational matter.

          • James_Casper

            Agree 100%. There were 4 motos. Not 1.

    • James

      Or a truck. Tasteless comment.

      • Sean

        well yeah, considering what just happened a little south-east of there.

  • Daniel

    Does anyone understand the commisaires decision? I have no problem with the times being adjusted just that it would of made more sense to just call it neutral from the time of the moto crash and leave the GC times from that point. Instead they have raced to the finish and allowed the yellow jersey to walk part of the way. If they wanted to ovelook the rule breach by not having a bike then it doesnt really make much sense. Anyone know what the gap back to the Quintana group was at the time of the crash?

    • donncha

      The gaps are the same as at the time of the incident.

      Regarding the bike, you can run without a bike. You must cross the line with your bike, so there’s no issue there.

    • velocite

      As it turned out the only one of the Froome/Porte/Mollema trio whose ‘race to the finish’ counted was Mollema, since Froome and Porte were given his time. I think I agree that fixing the GC gaps at just pre-crash would have been fair, in the circumstances, but I wonder what data is available to the commisaires? When the 1km banner fell on Yates the GC times were fixed at the 3km to go, so why not just before the incident? I assumed it was because they had the times for 3 km but not for just before the incident. So maybe they were not able to establish the times for the field behind at the location of the incident.

      So nothing Porte or Froome did after the crash made any difference. I would say responsibility for the problem rests with the race organizers. It would have been foreseeable the day before that moving the finish down the mountain would have meant more spectators in less distance, and that it would be necessary to set up barriers over the new final 2 kms. The commisaires decision was fair enough, but it did end up penalizing all three riders by the time Mollema lost – not totally fair, given it was in no way their fault.

      As far as the race was concerned, to me the big news was that it was revealed that Quintana is not the all powerful climbing machine, just biding his time.

      • donncha

        My understanding was that the gaps were the same as when the accident occurred. So Froome, Mollema and Porte were all given the same time and the others were given that time plus 23 seconds which was the gap between those groups at the time of the accident.

        So what time did Mollema lose? No-one who was in front of them is of any relevance to the GC, so any time lost to them isn’t important.

        • velocite

          It is my understanding that Porte and Froome were given the same time as Mollema at the finish, ie the times at the incident were not used, even if they were available. Mollema came off in the incident but was able to remount and finish. I don’t know how much time the fall cost him, but whatever it was, that’s what both Froome and Porte lost relative to Quintana et al.

          • donncha

            Yep, you’re right. Just read the jury decision.
            They gave the riders the same time as the group they were with at the time, so Porte/Froome got same time as Mollema and Quintana/Valverde/TJ got the same time as Yates.
            Mollema got held up by the accident, but so did the Yates group. They were about 23s behind at the time of the accident and Yates ended up finishing 22s down on Mollema, so probably worked out about right in the end?

      • jules

        you can’t ask French workers to pull an all-nighter moving barriers at the last minute.

        • Dave

          Working all morning is hard enough for them.

  • Alan Stevens

    Maybe next year make Bastille day a rest day

    • Andy B

      sacré bleu!

  • jules

    if barriers are too expensive run a wire along both edges of the road and require spectators to clip in with carabiners that have to be undone by officials with a key. let the crowd surge forward like dogs on a leash

    • donncha

      Barriers aren’t too expensive. They probably didn’t get time to move them all from the top after shortening the stage less than 24hrs previously.

      • jules

        I think we should cut them some slack for that.

    • velocite

      I was thinking get Nacer Bouhanni to ride up in advance. But then I thought: Hell’s Angels, that would do it.

      • Superpilot

        Worked out for the Rolling Stones that one time…

      • Dave

        That’s just a recipe for selling lots of bandaids.

  • Warwick Absolon

    Did Aru/Astana get a fine? Or was that forgotten in the chaos?

    • donncha

      Yes 50 swiss francs and another 200 for the DS. Don’t think he got a time penalty, though only have a screenshot of the jury communiqué which doesn’t show the whole page.

      • Warwick Absolon

        Thanks heaps. Got off easy me thinks.

        • donncha

          Yeah. I thought for sure there would be more consequences, but mainly for the DS.

        • Dave

          Just to be clear, that is nothing to do with the commissaires at the race and everything to do with the UCI Disciplinary Regulations which specify such a weak penalty.

          A more suitable penalty would be 2% of the rider’s yearly salary, and a 30″ penalty on the stage time (not GC time) for every rider on the team, but able to be reduced to just a 1% fine if the team withdraws the rider from the race.

      • Dave

        There should be a 20″ penalty on the GC included as well, like there was for Stannard on stage 11.

        Where did you see a screenshot of the race communique? The PDF is not on the Tour website yet.

        The UCI Disciplinary Regulations specify a 50 CHF fine and a 20″ GC penalty for the rider plus a 200 CHF fine for the DS, from page 16 of

        It’s hard not to laugh at the second to last item on page 17 – leaving a commissaire on the side of the road is treated as 10x worse than drafting!

    • pervertt

      The intervention of the Astana team car was so blatant. Team Dodgy strikes again.

    • Andy B

      why so many bike changes? couldn’t find the one with the motor?

  • donncha

    Tweet of the day from Tom Dumoulin:
    “@tom_dumoulin: I was also held up a little bit by the spectators today. I think around 21 minutes. Can I get a timebonus as well pls @LeTour?” :)

  • James

    At the end of the day, it’s just a bike race. A very big bike race. But still a bike race.

    Want some perspective? Check out Nice.

    If you ever have had the misfortune of watching late-night TV and tuning in to Air Crash Investigations, you’ll appreciate that most “disasters” occur because of a combination of things.

    It wasn’t just a case that the $2 bolt in the wing became threadbare, it was also because the pilot was overworked, the weather was atrocious and the control tower communications were patchy.

    If one of those elements hadn’t occur, the plan be crash wouldn’t either.

    Just think about the elements here on Ventoux:

    – Bastille day: larger crowds,
    – Ventoux finish moved: denser crowds, lack of infrastructure [e.g. barriers etc]
    – Too many motos – as already been discussed

    In much the same way, last night’s stage saw a set of circumstances combining to cause this fracas.

    I know the police presence wasn’t as high on Ventoux as perhaps it should have been. Again, Bastille Day in 2016 means a huge need for security everywhere as the French celebrate their special day.

    A[nother] sad day for France.

  • Jamie Kelly

    This was the most disgusting crowd behavior i’ve seen in a long time. If ever there was a reason for Chris Froome to punch a spectator it was here. The crowd was behaving like animals, did you see the idiot with the sign running in front of the motor bike coming up to assist? It’s amazing no one was seriously hurt. I was disappointed not to hear a collective statement from the teams and/or riders that this behavior is not on and crowds will be banned from climbs until behavior improves. Seriously angry!

  • Sarah

    Take a look at what fans are doing in this photo. ASO should have cell phone jammers on every moto. This should give at least 50% of fans a bit of brain capacity back:

    • James_Casper

      Sarah .. whether you like it or not, these fans have EVERY right to be using their smart phones. Some have been on the side of the road for hours, if not a day or 2 just to see them go past.
      Deciding to use their smartphones a lack of intelligence. Conversely those in that photo without a smartphone mean they are necessarily intelligent.
      Go back to 2003-2004. Check out the fans when LA rode past them in the Pyrenees. Not many smartphones there.
      Trying to make that correlation is a ridiculous thing to do.
      There are 2 far more pressing issues in the photo above:
      1. There is less than 1 km to go. Where are the barricades?
      2. There are 4 motos in that shot. 3 x Still Cameras and 1 x live feed. Why? Serious questions need to be asked.
      Address those 2 issues – and you solve “your” problem.

      • Matt DeMaere

        Day 12,

        Dear Diary,

        We’ve been waited a really long time for these stupid riders, like First World long! We’re talking maybe 24 hrs spent of our delicious European summer holiday.

        I had to cut my recreational ride short this morning and the one good cafe was too busy! With only one esky to myself, I had to haggle with my travel companions when I ran out of snacks. I’ve had to stop playing Pokemon Go in the nearby forest. I pray my beer and iPhone battery should last the coming day!

        Oh God, I fear sobriety and a lack of Instagram likes from my immediate friends!

        Too long, I say! I am bloody entitled to a selfie by now.

        • James_Casper

          It’s a free world baby.

          Here’s a thought. Rather than making pathetic attempts at humour, go and check out how many got arrested yesterday.

          If the “fans” are not breaking any laws, the onus is on the ASO, the UCI and the spineless/toothless riders association to get their stuff together.

          If the riders don’t think the conditions are safe to race in, they should come together collectively and protest. Soft pedal for an hour on Saturday’s stage. Get off their bikes and all walk across the finish line together. Do a sit down protest. Do something.

          They were happy to kick up a fuss when the “vampires” came after them. Probably the only time the peloton has been truly United.

          • Dave

            Excellent post.

            The riders need to get it into their head that nobody can care more about their safety than them. Not the team bosses, not the race organiser, not the UCI.

            If they don’t care about it enough to do anything more that write a mildly annoyed tweet, of course nobody else is going to do anything more.

            I’ve suggested a number of times over the last few years, including to some respected riders directly, that they need to have a respected recently retired rider do a pre-race recon on the morning of every WorldTour race to verify the safety of the course before the race arrives. It still hasn’t been taken up.

            • James_Casper

              Well said. Can’t argue with that reasoning.

  • Andy B

    I wonder if the difficulties and unpredictability of weather on Ventoux, compounded by this event will lessen the likelihood of it being used in the future.
    seems like a difficult place to organise a race

    • Dave

      – spectator numbers capped
      – spectators on one side of the road only, behind barriers
      – consider the other road up from Malaucène rather than the road from Bédoin
      – cameras on overhead cables for 3-4 select straights to reduce dependence on motos
      – try it all with a Paris-Nice stage in 2018 before returning it to the Tour in 2019 or 2020

      The team which has taken the Tour to Corsica, Yorkshire, Holland and Mont Saint Michel over the last four years should be able to do that. Where there’s a will there’s a way.

      • James_Casper

        Brilliant comment Dave.

        The only problem with your suggestions is they make perfect sense.

        We’re talking ASO here.

        • Dave

          That’s a low blow.

          ASO are usually pretty good with this stuff, but nobody in any line of work is perfect and everyone will slip up occasionally. I’m confident they’ll get it right. To do all four of those measures I suggested at once would be heavy handed and sanitise the race too much, but two of them concurrently would be a major improvement.

          At least it’s not the UCI ruining, I mean running, the race…

      • Andy B

        I agree there are other solutions for the handling of spectators and motorbikes but the average 240 days a year with winds over 90kmh make it a good chance it’s going to be unrideable at the top on more occasions than not

        I’ve ridden it twice, first time a thunder storm rolled in from no where and hit very quickly

        Second time the wind at the top was so strong it was blowing my bike off the road

        Seems like a very unpredictable place

        But yes with more planning and an event as big as the tour you think plan b would be well sorted

  • Jan de Boer

    So the organisation took the time that was taken at 1200m from the finish Line: Froom gets the time of Mollema and Quintana gets the time of Valverde while he wasn’t effected by the incident and came in later then Valverde at the finish? What a total bs. Mollema is being the measurepoint? Mollema came in later being effected by the motor? What if Mollema and Yates also came across the finish with Froome? Why not give the ahead time that Froome, Porte and Mollema had towards the group Quintana/Yates at the time they hit the motor. This story smells very fishy. Mollema went from 2nd to 3rd to nr 4?

    • Dave

      They gave Froome and Porte the finishing time of the group they were with (i.e. Mollema) when the incident occurred, just as if they crashed late in a stage where the 3km rule did apply. That sort of award needs to be based on something, not just a theoretical number plucked out of the air.

      Yes, that means they may have had a smaller gap to others than if they had finished ahead of Mollema.

      No, they can’t really complain when they were lucky enough to get awarded what they did get on a stage where the 3km rule didn’t apply. This applies doubly to Froome, who was depending on the good will of the other teams not protesting his run up the hill.

      The only more fair option would have been for the whole stage’s times to be annulled for all 190 riders so nobody loses anything and nobody gains anything. All that should have been awarded under that condition would have been the time bonuses at the intermediate sprint and stage finish (which were not in any way tainted) plus the sprint and KOM points won.

  • 900Aero

    NQ with a classically executed “Nibali” on Ventoux. Should he not be thrown out for this? Or docked some time? Seems pretty blatant, even if he was just hanging on for balance.


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