Some fans in front of the Mont Ventoux podium at Chalet Reynard on Thursday booed Froome when organiser ASO presented him the yellow jersey.
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A motorbike crash with fans at 1.2 kilometres remaining caused Froome, Richie Porte (BMC Racing) and Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) to fall and lose time.
A group with Adam Yates (Orica-BikeExchange) passed and took enough time for Yates to overtake Froome in the classification.
ASO, however, decided that given the “exceptional situation” it was best to adjust the classification to put Froome further up in the classification, how he likely would have finished at 5-05 minutes behind stage winner Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal).
“It was a negative response to him taking the yellow jersey,” said Jeremy Whittle, journalist for The Sunday Times.
“People had been waiting in the cold for an hour. I think that they had the perception that it was fixed for Froome.
“There were some cheers as well. I’d say 50-50 boos and cheers. My feeling was that it was a negative response when he put on the yellow jersey. They’d announced it as Yates briefly and then changed it back. It was their response to that.”
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“For French people it would’ve been easier to have Yates in the yellow jersey and Froome in sixth, and for him to win the yellow today. And for him to say nothing yesterday,” radio journalist for RTL, Nicolas Georgereau explained. “But to have Nicolas Portal and David Brailsford say something to Christian Prudhomme and the UCI, the fans didn’t like that.
“It’s not about past doping and motor claims. No, it’s only about the yellow jersey yesterday. His attacks [off the Peyresourde and in Montpellier] showed a new face. They want ones who when with panache.”
“Maybe those attacks and running up Ventoux helps his perception, I hope so,” Jérémy Roy (FDJ) added.
“He’s been strong and aggressive, it’s good to see that, but in France, very often they love the second more than the first place rider. It’s like that. Like it was with Raymond Poulidor.
“Yesterday, they didn’t understand the decision of the commissionaires. They heard that it was Yates in yellow and then Froome gets it. Those at the finish line don’t know all the circumstances of the crash, they don’t understand.”