Mont Ventoux - France  - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme -  Chris Froome (GBR-Team Sky)  pictured during stage 12 of the 2016 Tour de France from  Montpellier to Mont Ventoux, 185.00 km - photo Dion Kerckhoffs/Tim van Wichelen/Cor Vos © 2016
  • George Darroch

    For fuck’s sake.

    • Ronin

      . . . that was a good article. (?!)

      • Gold! Can anyone find the footage of Erik Zabel getting hit by the horse in Ghent-Wevelgem back in the early 2000’s? Almost as absurd as this…

        • Dave

          Pinot’s bike change last year could go close…

  • Berne Shaw

    Sure let us enjoy people almost getting killed. What a gallows humor piece. Boo! This is serious stuff not a circus. These guys could’ve been run over and killed today. The french press with its ex doper commentators inciting people to hate Froome as scapegoats. The lack of crowd control the last 3K, the self serving outdated rules with motors. Things must change or there will be deaths.

    • Nobody was killed Berne, and we certainly wouldn’t make light of it if it had come close to that. It’s impossible to not see the humour in what resulted.

  • 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.

    • david__g

      Why are you posting the same comment on multiple articles? Heard you the first time dude.

      • James_Casper

        It’s my right.

        • david__g

          Which amendment of the CT constitution? I can’t find it.

          • James_Casper

            It’s the vibe of the thing your honour.

      • James_Casper

        Dude

  • Mark Blackwell

    Couldn’t agree more and wonderfully put: absurd, beautiful, compelling.

    On the rider safety aspect, I find it comical that the same sport (indeed the same race organiser, ASO) sends Paris-Roubaix riders ploughing into the Arenberg cobbles at 60+ km/h. My guess is that the stage-shortening which preceded this absurdity was less about rider safety and more about mountain-top logistics.

  • Connor

    Nicely written. A fun take on a serious issue. The other, more critical analysis is just over the way in the next column….I suggest reading both. A bit of balance is welcome. And +1 for using the word ‘skedaddle’….makes me smile just typing it.

  • Andy B

    I’m sure this moment will be remembered in tour history for a long time to come, good article and a different view of things, I’m sure everyone will see it in a different light in time

    I would love to know what was going through froomeys mind

    • Dave

      I think history will judge it as an exceptional fuckup from an otherwise good race organiser.

      A sport contested on the open road is always going to be subject to random incidents, what is important is how organisers respond to it and prevent it happening again.

      A week on from the flamme rouge sabotage (there’s no way it was an accident, I’ve seen what happens when a compressor is simply turned off) last week, they already have extra security in place and will have extra locking pins in place from next week. That’s a pass mark in my book.

  • Chuck6421

    Great write-up, Peter. It puts into proper context what we saw yesterday.
    This is a most bizarre event. I think the only thing close to it, outside cycling, might be the Iditarod. But with less crowds. Yes, it needs to be executed much better and surely lives are at stake, but it’s what makes the life of the roadman or woman so intriguing (speaking as one who once lived that lifestyle). It’s not a protected pitch, or clean gymnasium or swimming pool we pursue our demons in. It’s out there, in the elements, with our backs to very dangerous machinery, at high speeds on wimpy assemblies of carbon fiber, rubber and metal, for endless hours often alone. The Tour de France has always been the greatest medium for the presentation of that.
    Long live the TdF.

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