Three weeks after a spectator caused a massive unexpected Tour de France crash, an unforeseen accident involving a spectator turned Chris Froome into a first responder at the end of Stage 17.
The four-time Tour de France champion stopped to rescue an injured cyclosportive rider 20 metres down a ravine after the amateur overshot a corner and sailed off the road while descending Col du Portet on Wednesday.
Along with Phillipe Gilbert (Lotto-Soudal) and Christopher Juul-Jensen (Team BikeExchange), all who just finished the hardest stage of the 2021 Tour and were descending, Froome (Israel Start-Up Nation) was forced to stop to come to the aid of a middle-aged cyclosportive rider who tumbled off the road into a steep ravine.
“There was a cyclosportive rider in front of us on that descent”, Gilbert told RTBF. “We saw him miss a turn and he went into the ravine, about twenty meters down. Together with Chris Froome and Christopher Juul-Jensen, we stopped to help him. We spent about twenty minutes with him. We eventually called the emergency services because he was in bad shape. This usually doesn’t make it to the press, but these are also experiences that we experience as a cyclist.”
Social media quickly hailed the heroic efforts with enthusiastic support.
“Hats off to all 3!! Beautiful story! Froomie has always been a likeable man,” Saelens Nico posted.
“Congratulations a very noble gesture,” said Jaak Lenaerts.
Karel Van Beeck simple wrote “This is how cyclists can become heroes! Cheers!”
There has been no update on the cyclist’s condition.