Adam Yates (Orica-BikeExchange) has been awarded the white jersey of best young rider, and moved up to second overall in the Tour de France overall classification in a bizarre finale to stage 7 in Lac de Payolle.
Yates responded to an attack from Dan Martin near the top of the Col d'Aspin and dropped the Etixx-Quickstep rider at the crest of the climb. He was on course to gain seven seconds on the chasing peloton with 1 kilometre to go but the inflatable banner collapsed and landed on him, causing him to crash, and the peloton made up the ground.
Yates missed the opportunity to stand on the podium after initially being timed behind the main group, but a protest from Orica and a late decision by the race jury put him in the jersey well after the ceremonies were finished.
Yates needed four stitches to his chin and was left with cuts to his arms and shoulders, and watched as Julian Alaphilippe (Etixx Quickstep) accepted the white jersey on the podium.
"I'm disappointed. There's not much you can do. I had no time to react," Yates said before learning of the decision. "It's a good job it was just me on my own. It could have been a lot worse with the peloton sprinting at 70kph. It is what it is. Nothing can be done about it. I can't tell you what happened. The barrier came down. I did attack at the top of the climb. I tried to make a gap to take the white jersey."
As Yates awaited the outome of the protest, his team manager Matt White spoke to Cyclingnews. "All I saw was the thing go down. Adam was away there and it caused him to come down," White said.
"He's crashed and he's landed on his face. He's banged up and it's very disappointing."
Alaphilippe made his way to the podium and was presented with the white jersey, but Cyclingnews understands Yates has been awarded the time gap he had just before his crash and therefore moves into second overall and into the white jersey.
"We don't control blow up signs at 1 kilometre to go, so there's nothing you can plan or do differently," White added. "It's been a bittersweet day for us. We had a great ride out front with [Daryl] Impey in the break and getting a result for us, and Adam was flying when he attacked. We thought he had a gap and now he has the jersey. He's banged up, but he'll go back out there tomorrow, that's for sure."
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