Geraint Thomas: Froome showed he was stronger before Ventoux moto incident

Chris Froome's teammate says that he was obviously on a strong day and could have taken some good time if it weren't for the mayhem that ensued on stage 12 of the Tour de France

(Image credit: Watson)

Geraint Thomas says that Team Sky teammate showed that he was stronger than many of his rivals on the slopes of Mont Ventoux on stage 12 of the Tour de France, before he was taken down in an incident with a motorbike along with Richie Porte (BMC) and Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo).

>>> ‘Common sense prevailed’ says Dave Brailsford after Tour de France stage 12 mayhem

Speaking shortly after the stage finish, Thomas said he hadn't been able to see the incident after being dropped from the main bunch, but suggested it would be 'unfair' if the race jury had not awarded Froome the same time as Mollema on the line, after the Briton finished over a minute behind with his bike breaking in the crash.

Crowds have been said to have played part in the incident, with the lower slopes of Ventoux packed after the finish had been moved 6km from the summit to Chalet Reynard due to high winds.

"It [the crowds] obviously was a problem today for Froomey. I didn’t see it [the incident] I just saw something on the TV for like 10 seconds when I got on the bus.

"You know it’s not ideal, I think Froomey was on a decent day. From my point of view, the crowd was getting too close and stuff, but I didn’t see what was happening up front."

"[The crowds have] been normal, the same as usual. You know there’s the odd person getting too close but that’s normal, but what happened today that’s unprecedented really."

Chris Froome runs towards Chalet Reynard after an incident with a television motorbike on Stage 12 of the 2016 Tour de France

Chris Froome runs towards Chalet Reynard after an incident with a television motorbike on Stage 12 of the 2016 Tour de France
(Image credit: Watson)

Two-time Tour winner and current race leader Froome was also forced into running up the climb after his bike broke, with his team car some way back down the slopes. That meant he had to take an ill-fitting bike from a Mavic neutral service car to ride for some of the climb, before finally receiving a spare bike.

"Well he’s from Kenya, so he should be good at the running," Thomas joked.

"It's crazy really you don’t expect that at all.

"It’s a massive shame because obviously he was feeling good and gaining time on Nairo Quintana. The fact that he was gaining time with Richie and Mollema shows that he’s got good legs."

Froome will now look to make more gains in the time trial on Friday's stage 13, with a difficult 37.5km course from Bourg-Saint-Andéol to La Caverne du Pont-d'Arc.

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Richard Windsor

Follow on Twitter: @richwindy

Richard is digital editor of Cycling Weekly. Joining the team in 2013, Richard became editor of the website in 2014 and coordinates site content and strategy, leading the news team in coverage of the world's biggest races and working with the tech editor to deliver comprehensive buying guides, reviews, and the latest product news.

An occasional racer, Richard spends most of his time preparing for long-distance touring rides these days, or getting out to the Surrey Hills on the weekend on his Specialized Tarmac SL6 (with an obligatory pub stop of course).