Mont Ventoux (France) (AFP) – Reigning champion Chris Froome sensationally lost the Tour de France lead to compatriot Adam Yates after crashing into a motorbike on the final climb of the 12th stage on Mont Ventoux on Thursday.
Briton Froome was with Australian Richie Porte and Bauke Mollema of the Netherlands when all three crashed into a bike that was held up by fans.
Froome tried to ride on but his bike was broken and he started running up the climb before being given first a neutral bike and then a team bike to finish the 12th stage.
His main rivals, including Colombian Nairo Quintana were also held up by the crash as a throng of fans obstructed the road.
But the over-riding sight of the 178km 12th stage from Montpellier to Mont Ventoux, was the yellow jersey of Froome running on foot inside the final kilometre in a desperate and sadly comic attempt to save his race.
That Belgian Thomas De Gendt won the stage on the mythical mountain was barely a footnote amongst the incredible drama surrounding Froome.
Yates is the new leader by just nine seconds from Mollema with Quintana third at 14sec.
Froome lost 1min 40sec to Mollema in the catastrophic incident which is being investigated by Tour organisers.