While the 2018 Tour de France had a number of unbelievable moments, there were a couple that stood out and really defined the race. Geraint Thomas’ three-week quest to become Tour de France champion was quite flawless with the Welshman never succumbing to the attacks of his rivals. That, however, doesn’t mean the race was a race devoid of drama and jawdropping moments. Here are the top-five moments of the 105th Tour that made us go, “Oh my God!”
It’s certainly not unheard of for protestors to disrupt bike races but on Stage 16 when the French gendarme deployed pepper spray to break up a farmers protest, the race needed to be neutralized. The substance hadn’t only affected the protests but it had drifted into the peloton affecting the eyes and throats of many in the peloton. Unbelievably, the race was stopped and many riders given medical attention to rinse out the substance before the action resumed. Luckily, there were no long-term effects to the disruption and discomfort the riders needed to endure.
Vincenzo Nibali’s Tour came to an abrupt end when he was taken down by a spectator’s camera strap. The close proximity of the crowd combined with the haze of a flare created a very dangerous race environment. The Italian unfortunately was unable to continue the race after finishing the stage as he had broken a vertebra. The crowds of spectators can be one of the charming aspects of pro cycling but on Alpe d’Huez things devolved into an environment that made racing dangerous for the riders.
The whole Tour held it’s collective breath when Philippe Gilbert lost traction in a corner and went tumbling over a stone barrier into a ravine. Out of sight, it was impossible to know the extent of his injuries. The former Belgian and world champion would eventually get back on his bike but he had broken his knee and was unable to start the next stage.
Chris Froome was descending the Col du Portet after an explosive 65-km stage in the Pyrenees. On his way down, a gendarme mistook him for a spectator and stopped him. In the altercation, Froome went down and was seen exchanging some heated words with the gendarme. Luckily, Froome was uninjured but it was surprising to see the four-time champion mistaken for a spectator.
After 21 stages, Thomas secured the yellow jersey and on the podium in Paris caught everyone’s attention. It wasn’t the Welshman’s oratory skills that shone but his epic mic drop after proclaiming “Vive le Tour!” It was the perfect way to wrap up a flawless win.
Other moments that almost made our OMG list were Gianni Moscon losing his temper and taking a swing at Elie Gesbert which was his ticket home and the mountain biker who sent it right over the peloton.