We spoke to the person who took ‘that’ picture of Geraint Thomas’ Tour de France crash

The photographer describes watching Geraint Thomas fly through the air and land on Gianni Moscon's bike, snapping it in two
Amidst Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal) heroically holding off the peloton and solo-ing to the victory and Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) showing his textbook panache to reclaim the yellow jersey on stage eight of the Tour de France 2019, one of the big talking points was Geraint Thomas’ crash in the closing kilometres.

Coming round a corner on a descent with less than 20km to go, Michael Woods (EF Education First) hit the tarmac, bringing down Gianni Moscon and Geraint Thomas who were in his wheel with the rest of the Ineos squad subsequently piling into the back of them.

However, the British team leapt into action, Michał Kwiatkowski picking up Thomas’ bike, fixing his chain and setting him back on his way, with Wout Poels helping lead him back up to the peloton.
Television cameras only picked up the crash from a zoomed-out helicopter shot. However, as usually seems to be the case, someone was in the right place at the right time and managed to capture what may prove to be one of the defining photos of this year’s race.
It was a moment that could have ended defending champion Geraint Thomas’ Tour, but the Welshman got up unscathed and finished tenth, just behind team-mate Egan Bernal.

We spoke to the person who took the photo, who goes by the name Pimentanuno on Twitter, to tell us more about what happened.


Tell us the whole story about how you managed to take the photo. What led you to being in that exact spot?

Due to job commitments I travel very often to that part of France but never managed to match my commitments with the route of the Tour de France. This year was finally the exception.

I had Saturday off so planned to watch stage eight at three different places: the start at Macon, the start of Col de La Croix de Tel at Chamelet and the last spot on the Côte de La Jaillière where I predicted this sort of stage would be decided. But somehow I got lost and accidentally went through a closed road which I immediately deduced that the Tour caravan was passing by. As there was no time to reach La Jaillière I decided to stay there.

Did you have your camera out ready as the peloton came round the corner? Did you think there was the chance that someone would crash round that corner?

The sun was intense so I took a seat on the pavement where a road sign was creating a shad and waited for the peloton to pass. I didn’t expect a crash to happen, especially at the front of the race. I never choose a place expecting crash to happen. I’m also an amateur cyclist so I don’t like crashes either and do not want to see others crash even if they are professionals riders. I’m there just for the race, the moves, the tactics, the bikes.

What happened in the aftermath?

Michael Woods’ rear wheel just slipped then he fell down. Moscon was right behind and could not avoid him. Geraint Thomas broked hard and flew off his bike and landed with his back on Moscon’s bike breaking the frame in two.

Then there was the amazing teamwork…other Ineos riders where also right behind and  Kwiatkowski left his bike on the ground and took Thomas’ bike from the ground, put the chain on and him and Moscon gave a push to Thomas’. Incredible teamwork all for the team leader!

What was the reaction of other spectators? A few in the photo looked quite shocked

Nobody was expecting this to happen as it was so quickly. Due to the “scene apparatus” everyone was shocked but when we all saw Thomas back on his bike there was a feeling of relief.

What has the reaction been like to your photo?

Quite impressive, I never expected this to be honest. My purpose was not for the show as I do not see the riders as a circus. I see very very brave men (or women) doing their risky jobs in a sport that we all really love.