Of all the things that could happen after you’ve made a late attack towards the finish of a Tour de France mountain stage – a mechanical, a puncture, you just crack – having one of the inflatables fall on you has to be one of the least expected.
But that’s what happened to Adam Yates (Orica-BikeExchange) on Friday’s stage seven, who was over five seconds ahead of the main group of GC contenders when the Flamme Rouge inflatable fell in front of him, seeing him flip over and land on his chin.
Not only that, but it took out the Mavic neutral service motorbike just behind him, which luckily fell away from the Briton.
Yates was on course to secure the white jersey of the best young rider through his attack, taking over from Julian Alaphilippe (Etixx-Quick Step).
But it took the organisers a while to decide how to take the overall times because of the deflation, and eventually they decided to take the time from the 3km mark, but still give Yates a one second lead over his French rival, awarding him the white jersey.
The 23-year-old will wear the jersey on a difficult looking day in the Pyrenees on Saturday, which includes four catergorised climbs including the hors categorie Col du Tourmalet.