Chris Froome‘s elbows get a lot of attention at the best of times, but instead simply being a quirk of his riding style the Brit used his left one to remove a Colombian fan from his path on stage eight of the Tour de France.
Ascending the Col de Peyresourde in an elite group, including Colombian Nairo Quintana (Movistar), Froome became agitated with the South American fan who was running along ahead of him.
As he drew level, Froome extended his arm and elbowed the man out of the way and after the stage urged fans to stay back from the riders at the side of the road.
“I have absolutely nothing against the Colombian fans, I think they’re fantastic and they bring a great atmosphere to the race, but this guy in particular was running right next to my handlebars and he had a flag that was flying behind him.,” Froome said.
“It was just getting dangerous, so I pushed him away and lashed out. It’s fantastic having so many fans out on the road, but please don’t run with the riders – it gets really dangerous for the guys behind.”
Froome took to Twitter after his press conference to further his defence, saying the spectator’s fluttering flag was not obvious to those watching the incident on television.
Froome was subsequently fined 200 CHF (£157) by the race jury for his action, which it deemed ‘incorrect behaviour’.
The two-time Tour champion appears to be receiving a warm welcome from the fans at the roadside in 2016, compared to the hostility he and his teammates endured during the 2015 edition.
But even when they are enthusiastic, the fans can still cause the riders some problems that Froome would rather not see.