Adam Yates (Orica-BikeExchange) also had an incident on Mont Ventoux during stage 12 of the Tour de France. Yates was reportedly struck by a spectator shortly after fans caused a motorbike to stop and Chris Froome (Sky) to crash.
Yates rode clear after Froome fell with Richie Porte (BMC Racing) and Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo), and strengthened his second place by dropping other general classification hopefuls. He now sits third overall after the 15th stage, but not without fighting his way through.
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“After the crash with Froomey, I was riding up trying to gain some time back because I’d already started my attack to try to get across,” Yates explained.
“I don’t think it was intentional. You saw what the crowds were like, you have this much room. It was just someone getting excited, but it is what it is. There was 800 metres to go so we were pretty much full-gas at that moment, you just keep going and try to get to the line.”
Yates finished ahead of Froome, but the race jury gave Froome and Porte the same time as Mollema ahead due to the motorbike incident. The 23-year-old Brit slipped to third overall behind Mollema after the time trial on Friday.
Already 15 stages into the 2016 Tour, Yates is showing that he is able to handle the bumps and grinds of a three-week grand tour
“I think he’s handled the situation very, very maturely,” Orica-BikeExchange Sports Director Matt White said.
“It was a crazy situation. Adam actually got hit, we’ve got video footage of someone jumping out of the crowd and hitting Adam, and it was this close to him crashing and he didn’t even mention it afterwards.
Watch: Tour de France 2016 stage 12 highlights
“It was a ridiculous situation he had to handle as well as all the attention that comes with the white jersey. He has handled it very well. I’ve seen a different in maturity and calmness over the last three weeks.”
Yates fell another incident in stage eight to Bagnères-de-Luchon. He attacked clear the final descent to get the white jersey, but the one-kilometre arch deflated and fell on him. He lost time in the crash and suffered cuts to his chin, but the jury gave him his time back and the white jersey.