Froome didn’t ditch his bike voluntarily, though. He was one of a handful of cyclists who fell victim to a bizarre crash.
A motorbike carrying a television camera appears to have stopped short due to spectators jamming the road. Unable to change his course, then, cyclist Richie Porte slammed into the back of the motorbike causing a small pileup that left Froome without his bike. And so he ran.
Froome eventually found a new bike to ride when his team car caught up to him, but by then the damage was done. According to the official standings after the race, Froome dropped to sixth place, 53 seconds behind new leader Adam Yates.
Those finish times will likely not stand, however.
Immediately after the stage, the Tour jury commenced a meeting to discuss what to do and eventually decided to neutralize the race to keep Froome in yellow, despite a Tour de France rule that requires all riders to remain with their bikes at all times or risk disqualification.
Porte, the rider who hit the motorbike first, agreed Tour organizers had to do something to neutralize the wild ending, but also said organizers should’ve done more to control the crowds in the first place.
“If you can’t control the crowds, what can you control?” Porte asked.
American Tejay van Garderen, who also got held up in the melee, described the scene as “mayhem,” but criticized his fellow riders for not showing more courtesy in neutralizing the race themselves.
“It’s unfortunate the sport kind of lacked the respect of the past,” he said, calling out riders who rode ahead to “take advantage” of bad-luck situations.
In that case, Tour officials decided not to dock the time of Yates or the dozens of other riders who were delayed by the fiasco. They instead decided to record the time cyclists clocked at the line marking three kilometers to go.