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:
John has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.
He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.
Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for CyclingNews.com. Along with road.cc founder Tony Farrelly, John was on the launch team for BikeRadar.com and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.
John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of TotalWomensCycling.com before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.
He joined road.cc in 2013. He lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.