French freeride mountain biker Romain Marandet picked the occasion of the 100th Tour de France to jump over the race, leaping across the road as Chris Froome passed underneath him on Saturday’s stage.
It’s not the first time someone has taken to the air over the Tour by mountain bike, but unlike Dave Watson’s partial success in 2003, Marandet and crew built a proper launch ramp, and he managed to land after the leap.
Watson, on the other hand, waited until the race had effectively passed completely by, and stacked fairly badly on landing. Race paramedics drove him to hospital.
Marandet’s jump had a rather happier ending with a perfect lending and some fan adulation when he got back up to the road.
Here's Marandet jumping over the race just as Chris Frome passes.
Here's a behind the scenes look at how it all came together:
And finally, here's Dave Watson in 2003:
Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.
Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.
Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.
The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.