The 12 Most Jaw-Dropping Moments of the 2018 Tour de France
Did three weeks really go by just like that? As the 2018 Tour de France comes to a close, we take a look back at the moments that made us clap our hands, jump to our feet – or cover our mouths and think, no way.
Greipel and Gaviria’s Head-Butt Bungle
André Greipel and Fernando Gaviria finished Stage 8 in second and third place, respectively, but both had their victories stripped after a bit of back-and-forth contact in the final sprint.
Richard Porte’s Tough End
Richard Porte crashed out of his second straight Tour de France, breaking his clavicle after fan interference early in Stage 9 – and before the day’s dreaded cobbles even appeared.
Van Avermaet Keeps Yellow Through Stage 10
Greg Van Avermaet took the yellow jersey on Stage 3, and everyone expected him to lose it when the Tour hit the mountains. But he attacked on the first Alpine stage, finishing in fourth and surprising everyone by keeping the lead for another day.
MTBer Jumps Peloton
As the peloton climbed the Alps on Stage 10, we expected fireworks. But we didn’t expect a French mountain biker to join daredevils from past Tours and pull off a jump over the course, timing it just right to get caught on live TV.
Geraint Thomas Wins Back-to-Back Alpine Stages
Geraint Thomas took the yellow jersey after winning Stage 11 in the Alps, then defended it in a spectacular fashion: by taking a second straight summit victory atop the legendary Alpe d’Huez.
Fan Swings at Froome
Chris Froome entered the 2018 Tour looking to take his fifth race title, but an ongoing doping scandal has shrouded his bid in controversy. He’s faced constant booing, and on Stage 12 a fan even reached to take a swing at him.
Fans Cause Vincenzo Nibali Crash
Fan interference caused yet another pre-race favourite to crash out when Vincenzo Nibali fractured his vertebrae after a spill on Stage 12. Yet the Italian got back on his bike and valiantly finished the stage in seventh, only 13 seconds behind the winner.
Peloton Tear Gassed
French farmers protesting cuts in state aid staged a protest near Stage 16. But when police used tear gas against them, it accidentally blew back into the peloton, getting in riders’ eyes and causing a 15-minute delay in the race.
Philippe Gilbert Flies Over Wall
Philippe Gilbert was leading Stage 16 on a furious descent when he lost control on a bend, hit a wall, and was thrown off his bike and into a ravine. Tour personnel helped him back up, and he heroically finished the stage – but then had to drop out because of a broken knee.
David Brailsford Insults the French
The Team Sky manager apparently had enough of Tour fans booing Froome, so he went on the record crediting the abuse to a “French cultural thing.” This prompted UCI president David Lappartient to demand that he stop “fanning the flames.”
Cop Tackles Froome
Chris Froome donned a rain jacket and started rid to his team bus after a disappointing Stage 17. But things got worse when a French police officer mistook him for an amateur and tackled the four-time Tour champion off his bike. Froome was unhurt, but not before letting an f-bomb fly at the confused cop.
Team Sky’s leadership had been in question, but when Chris Froome cracked on Stage 17 in the Pyrenees and lost time to his teammate and overall race leader Gertaint Thomas, it became clear who would ride for whom to the final showdown in Paris.