Four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome was involved in an incident with the gendarme after the summit finish on the explosive 65-km Stage 17. Froome was descending the Col du Portet towards the team bus wearing a jacket to keep warm. The French police appear to have mistaken Froome for a fan riding on the course and intervened. The heavy grey jacket over Froome’s race kit was likely to blame for the mistaken identity but he was riding his team issue Pinarello race bike with the number still attached.
— Albert Secall (@albertsecall) July 25, 2018
A fan took photos of the altercation and posted the pictures on social media. The pictures show Froome on the ground with his arm being held by the gendarme. The police allegedly stopped Froome on the descent mistaking him for a fan causing the Brit to tumble over. Subsequent pictures show the two exchanging words, Froome looking none too pleased about being taken down after the challenging stage.
Froome does not appear to have sustained any injuries in the brief altercation and descended to the team bus.
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Froome muy enfadado después de que un gendarme lo tire al suelo en el descenso tras la finalización de la etapa. El policía confunde al británico con un amateur. Enfado y de los gordos. #sky #teamsky #froome #chrisfroome #letour #letourdefrance #etapa17 #stage17 #gendarmerie #colduportet #crash #caida #quintana #nairo @cyclingtips @team_sky_procycling @chrisfroome @ciclismoafondo_oficial @letourdefrance @eurosport @sprintcycling
Often team buses are not allowed on the top of climbs on summit finishes forcing riders to descend down the mountain they just climbed after the stage. Froome, who sits third overall, was descending following the stage finish on the Col du Portet. Yellow jersey wearer Geraint Thomas and stage winner Nairo Quintana would have had more media obligations and the podium ceremony to attend following the stage delaying their descent to the team buses.
Froome lost time on Stage 17 finishing eight, a 1:35 behind stage winner Quintana. He conceded second overall to Tom Dumoulin and now sits 32-seconds behind the Dutch world time trial champion. Yellow jersey wearer Thomas extended his lead over Dumoulin on Stage 17 to 1:59 with one major mountain stage remaining and the individual time trial on the penultimate stage.
Thomas’s day wasn’t without incident either. A spectator appears to have reached out to try to destabilize the yellow jersey wearer in the finale of the stage. Luckily, despite the knock on his arm, Thomas stayed upright to cross the line in third.