DEFENDING champion Chris Froome almost crashed out of the Tour de France — after being knocked off his bike when an overzealous policeman mistook him for a fan on stage 17 Wednesday.

Team Sky leader Froome, a four-time champion, finished the stage in eighth place at 1min 35sec behind Colombian winner Nairo Quintana and 48secs behind teammate and overall leader Geraint Thomas.

The Kenyan-born Briton had put on his rainjacket and was cycling back to the Team Sky bus when a policeman on the side of the road mistakenly took him for one of the thousands of cycling fans who traditionally ride up the mountain stages to catch a glimpse of their idols.

He tried to get Froome to stop and in the confusion the six-time Grand Tour champion crashed.



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