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Froome knocked off his bike by French policeman who mistakes him for fan

‘It was a misunderstanding. Chris is fine,’ said a Team Sky spokesman.

Credit: Albert Secall (@albertsecall)
Credit: Albert Secall (@albertsecall)

DEFENDING CHAMPION CHRIS Froome almost crashed out of the Tour de France — after being knocked off his bike when an overzealous policeman mistook him for a fan on stage 17 on Wednesday.

Team Sky leader Froome, a four-time champion, finished the stage in eighth place at one minute and 35 seconds behind Colombian winner Nairo Quintana and 48 seconds behind teammate and overall leader Geraint Thomas.

The Kenyan-born Briton had put on his rainjacket and was cycling back to the Team Sky bus when a policeman on the side of the road mistakenly took him for one of the thousands of cycling fans who traditionally ride up the mountain stages to catch a glimpse of their idols.

He tried to get Froome to stop and, amid the confusion, the six-time Grand Tour champion crashed.

Froome avoided injury and is set to start stage 18 on Thursday.

“It was a misunderstanding. Chris is fine,” said a Team Sky spokesman.

Froome, who had been aiming for a fourth consecutive Grand Tour victory after triumphing at the Vuelta a Espana last year and this year’s Giro d’Italia, is now in a battle for a podium place.

Team boss Dave Brailsford said they will now plan to make sure Froome joins Thomas on the Tour de France podium: “He’s not out of it necessarily, there’s a big mountain day to come, and the time trial.

“We’ll sit down tonight, review everything, see how everybody feels then make our plan of attack.”

© Agence France-Presse

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