Chris Froome Needs Running Shoes2016 1 of 8
During the final climb up the infamous Mount Ventoux of the lengthy stage 12, Chris Froome and former teammate, Richie Porte, had a sizeable cushion ahead of the other GC contenders. That was until Porte rammed into the back of a stopped motorcycle and Froome followed. What transpired after, easily makes this one of the most bizarre events in Tour de France history.
Froome, wearing the maillot jaune, had a broken bike. With no team cars or teammates in sight, he began running up Mount Ventoux as he saw his lead in jeopardy. A neutral support vehicle gave Froome a bike, but the clipless pedals didn't match his shoes. Throwing the bike to the side, Froome took to running again. He would eventually get a Team Sky bike, but only after losing time to other contenders and subsequently ending up in fifth place. However, the race organizers ultimately reversed the gaps, keeping Froome in yellow.
Jens Voigt Borrows a Bike...From a Child2010 2 of 8
If you wonder why Jens Voigt has long been considered one of the most audacious riders in tour history, this incident provides the perfect example.
During stage 16, Voigt crashed on the descent of the Col de Peyresourde—a crash that would take any normal human out of the tour completely. Yet despite the crash, a broken bicycle and no support vehicles in sight, Voigt grabbed a steed from a children group's car that was following the race. For 10 miles, Voigt comically yet courageously rode this bike, which was much too small for him, before grabbing a bike from a police officer that a teammate had left for him.
Lance Armstrong Takes a Detour2003 3 of 8
Despite his fall from grace, Lance Armstrong contributed some of the most dramatic moments in Tour de France history.
At the tail end of stage 9, the majority of the GC contenders found themselves in the same group on a hairpin descent. While attempting to navigate around one of the course's tricky curves, Joseba Beloki locked his wheels and skidded on the hot asphalt. Armstrong, who was trailing Beloki, managed to avoid a collision with the Spaniard by taking his bike through a hayfield. While Beloki's Tour was over, Armstrong managed to reconnect with his fellow GC contenders and remain in yellow.
Blood at the Finish Line2006 4 of 8
Thor Hushovd held yellow after the opening prologue of the 2006 Tour. Yet the second stage would be a nightmare for the Norwegian rider. Midway through the stage, Hushovd already relinquished yellow thanks to a mid-stage time bonus George Hincapie smartly attained. And by the end of the stage, Hushoved would lie on his back with blood pouring from his right arm.
In what remains as one of the more chaotic scenes in recent tour memory, it was a cardboard fan a spectator was holding that sliced through Hushovd's arm as he sprinted for the finish. This caused a severe gash, which resulted in hemorrhaging. Hushovd immediately fainted as he crossed the line—blood splattering his teammates as they surrounded him. Despite being airlifted from the scene and requiring several stitches, he would continue and ride to another stage win on the Champs Elysees.
Riding in Cars and Trains1904 5 of 8
In a time when it was difficult for race organizers to police riders, the tour was rife with cheating. The tour's first winner, Maurice Garin, was no exception.
The 1904 edition saw a lot of chaos brought about by fanaticism, with spectators reportedly going to great lengths and even physically assaulting rival riders so their favorite could cross the finish line in yellow. Garin was one such victim, but this didn't keep him from crossing in first place. However, several witnesses and fellow competitors would come forward later, claiming Garin cheated his way to his second Tour de France victory—reportedly riding in cars and even taking a train. Tour organizers would strip Garin of the maillot jaune, becoming the first in a long line of controversial winners.
Who Let the Dogs Out?2007 6 of 8
As you might expect, our four-legged creatures and cycling do not mix. Stage 9 caused a raucous when a canine spectator leaped out in front of the peloton, causing German rider Marcus Burghardt to tumble to the pavement. The dog walked away unscathed while Burghardt escaped with minor scrapes and bruises and a broken wheel.
More interestingly, this is only one in a string of incidents involving man's best friend. In stage 18 that same year, French rider Sandy Casar won the stage after a collision with a black dog, and 2012, 2013 and 2016 saw other crashes caused by our four-legged friends.
Merckx Punched by Spectator1975 7 of 8
Assault on cyclists was nothing new, but when the assault is on arguably the greatest rider of all time during his last Tour de France appearance, it's hard to overlook.
Despite entering the race as the defending champion, Merckx's best days were clearly behind him—he was ill in the spring and hadn't won any of the early season races he typically dominated. But here he was, with two stage victories and donning the yellow jersey yet again. During stage 14's mountainous time trial, a fan emerged toward the finish and punched Merckx in the stomach. Merckx, clearly shaken, crossed the finish vomiting. While he would end the stage still wearing yellow, he would credit the punch with ruining his chances at claiming his sixth tour title.