Three weeks after an incompetent fan caused a massive Tour de France crash, the craziness continued abroad. In the midst of stage 17, an onlooking fan fell approximately 65 feet into a ravine, prompting two competing cyclists to pump their brakes and fill the role of first responders.
Cyclists Philippe Gilbert and Chris Froome were making their way back towards team transportation when they noticed a fan ahead of them (on bike) miss a turn and tumble down the side of the road into a ravine.
"After the race, we were descending to the foot again when we saw a cycling tourist miss a bend and fall about twenty meters down. Together with Froome and (Christopher) Juul-Jensen I stopped to help him," said Gilbert per RTBF.
Froome recounted a similar recollection of events to Cycling Weekly: "I was coming down from the Col du Portet and there was a guy just in front of me who hit some gravel on a corner and managed to hold it up, but in the process went through the apex of the bend and straight over the edge just in front of me. Naturally, I stopped to try and see if he was alright and try and call an ambulance to help him because he definitely seemed quite out of it, and to me as if he had a concussion. He definitely needed to be checked out medically. That’s the unfortunate side of bike riding that we all know too well."
On any given day, It’s not uncommon for fans to cycle through the Tour’s course before and after the pros. But they’re rarely accustomed to the dangerous twist, turns and surfaces throughout, elevating the risk of injury.
"These are things that almost never get in the press, but that is also part of the Tour. We lost almost 20 minutes to help that man." Gilbert told RTBF. "We had to call the emergency services because he was seriously damaged."
Saturday and Sunday are the final two days of the 2021 Tour de France. Slovenia’s Tadej Pogačar is the current overall leader.