Tour de France leader Froome ran 1km to finish line after crashing into TV motobike (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

© Jeff Pachoud
British cyclist Chris Froome has been reinstated in the yellow jersey after a Tour de France pile-up left him running up the legendary Mount Ventoux without his bike.

The defending champion crashed after a TV motorbike braked suddenly as crowds of fans were encroaching on the road.

With his Team Sky support car lagging behind, Froome abandoned his damaged bike and started to run the last mile towards the finish.

He tried to borrow a bike from a neutral race vehicle, but it was too small, and by the time a replacement was found, Froome had been left way behind by his rivals.

© Bernard Papon

He eventually crossed the finish line shaking his head. Fellow Brit Adam Yates was announced as the new overall leader.

However, the race jury decided to award Froome the same time for the stage as Bauke Mollema, who had joined him and Richie Porte in a three-man breakaway from the main peloton.

Mollema and Porte were both able to remount their bikes and continue to the finish after the crash.

Froome remains at the top of the standings with a 47-second lead over Yates.

Speaking to French TV, the 2013 and 2015 champion said: “I told myself, ‘I don’t have a bike and my car is five minutes behind with another bike – it’s too far away, I’m going to run a bit. ’

© Stephane Mantey

“I was with Richie Porte and Bauke Mollema and all three of us went into the back of the motorbike. I got hit from behind by another motorbike that broke my bicycle.

“I’m happy with the jury’s decision. I think it’s right. Thanks to them and thanks to the Tour de France organization.”

BBC Radio 5 live cycling commentator Rob Hatch said the incident was “a dangerous situation” and “one that will concern riders.”

“The organization has to take some blame, and there’s a balance to be found between safety and preserving supporter passion,” said Hatch.

Froome has already had problems on this year’s Tour, being fined $200 for lashing out at an encroaching fan on stage eight.

Ex-British rider Sir Chris Hoy vented his displeasure on Twitter, describing the incident as a “scandal.”

While many people blamed the fans for the crash, former professional cyclist Erik Breukink questioned the proximity of the vehicles leading the riders during the event.

The race continues on Friday with the 13th stage – the 103rd edition of La Grande Boucle.

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