Nibali intially blamed Froome for the crash on the final of stage six of the Tour de France, with the Sky rider heading to the Astana bus to clear up the issue

Team Sky’s Chris Froome took an unusual step to ride to the bus of rival Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) after a crash in the finish of Tour de France stage six today and climbed on to talk. The two were tangled up in a crash which saw race leader Tony Martin fall during the finish of stage six to Le Havre.

>>> Overall contenders make it through Tour de France crash unscathed

Froome rode to the Astana turquoise bus, asked the helper outside to hold his bike and went in to speak with Nibali, who arrived moments beforehand. After two minutes he came out and said, “ah nothing” when asked by Cycling Weekly what happened.

Chris Froome Astana 2

Chris Froome entering the Astana bus (Photo: Gregor Brown)

Martin has broken his collarbone and could abandon due to the crash. Nibali suffered scrapes and Froome appeared to stay upright. After showering, the Italian champion and 2014 Tour winner spoke to the press.

“It seemed that Froome sent me down. I was very upset with him, but then, watching the video, he also came on the bus, and I said sorry to him. That’s the way it went, though,” Nibali said outside Astana’s surrounded by press.

“I gave my apologies, it seemed more that it was Tony Martin, I moved right, I found Froome, thought it was his fault.

“Did we clear it all up? Yeah! We are not footballers, we are cyclists!”

Froome later wrote on Twitter, “There was some confusion as to who caused the crash, wanted to clear that up with @AstanaTeam @vincenzonibali (definitely wasn’t me!).”

Buses are cyclists’ sanctuaries and rarely do riders enter those of their rivals. Froome rode over the line, by his black Sky bus and straight to Nibali’s bus 200 metres further.

“What did I think of him on my bus? He was super upset,” Nibali added.

“He didn’t want to fall down. Clearly, when you fall, you always suffer damage. I was very upset, but we clarified it. Better that way. You know, in the heat of the race it’s like that, but when you clarify it, it’s better.”

>>> Zdenek Stybar wins Tour de France stage six as Tony Martin crashes

Nibali had blood on his side and ripped shorts. Overall favourite Nairo Quintana (Movistar) also crashed and scraped his hand.

“I’m fine, I just had a blow to by shoulder, leg, and part of my back. When you crash on the ground it always bothers you,” Nibali added.

“It’s a difficult Tour, there are always many crashes. All the teams want to stay up front, so it’s hard to stay in position, but to crash like that, 500 metres from the line, on a climb, I didn’t understand the reason for this.”

After the stage Froome talked TeamSky.com through the late crash and admitted he was happy to come through a difficult moment unscathed.

He confirmed: “I took a knock on my knee bone and there was a little bit of blood there, but nothing more than that, I’m absolutely fine. I had to wait on the roadside as my rear wheel was buckled and I couldn’t ride on.

“Until the finish today’s stage was definitely the most straightforward we’ve had so far. We had good weather, no crazy winds, and the pace of the racing was a little more relaxed. For me, it was about staying out of trouble and the guys did a good job in keeping me towards the front of the bunch.

“As I’ve said before, I’m really happy with how things have gone up to this point and couldn’t have asked for any better. Hopefully we can keep that.”

 

 

 

  • It was Martin who moved off line, not Coquard. Coquard does sway slightly due to Sagan sway in front of him. The people behind just have to allow for that when they overlap. The guy in front can only be blamed when he does a violent change of line like what Ferrari did to Cav in the Tour of Italy 2012.

  • Simon ‘Sprout’ Phillips

    I assume Coquard was out of the saddle to try and get up the ramp. as soon as they went round that bend it jumped up straight away and obviously caught guys out.
    Martin just lost concentration. I wouldn’t blame anyone it was just an accident on an unsuspecting Peloton on a surprising finish

  • Nic Lowe

    It is Coquard that Martin clips but the Frenchman cannot be ‘blamed’ for causing this crash. He cannot be held responsible for what goes on behind him, it was a simple mistake by Martin.

  • poisonjunction

    Once again blame being laid on the rider who touched a wheel, but check the rider whose wheel TM [not Froome] touched – Brian Coquard who got 3rd.
    What was he doing? Riding out of the saddle, zig zagging side to side, remember when out of the saddle your forward progress is not steady, you zip forward and back! Combining that with his zig zag progress and there is your culprit, an unsteady rider wreaking havoc behind! TM saw the danger and tried to get out of the way, copping a fractured collar bone for his troubles and exiting the Tour etc etc., and Coquard scarcely get’s mentioned!

    It’s not the first time either, in a previous Tour it was Coquard in a final sprint for the line, who squeezed going for space on the inside that wasn’t there, visibly shouldered a rider out of his way, straight into Cav who you will remember retaliated!
    Not realising the circumstances, Gentleman Cav ‘unfortunately’ accepted blame and apologised. So why did’nt that rider ever reveal the true circumstances?
    Coquard went on to finish 5th or 6th as I recall.
    Check the NBC Sports video for the TM fall, they profess to ‘analyse’ it, but don’t actually observe what happened, or ID the true culprit, but it’s there for all to see.