About a third of the way through the beautiful 178km stage 14 (Rodez to Mende) Froome says he saw a fan ‘acting strangely’.
“I saw this guy just peering around and I thought, ‘That looks a bit strange’.”
“As I got there he just sort of launched this cup toward me and said (in French) ‘Doper!’
“No mistake,” said Froome, “it was urine.”
The day should have been a double celebration: South African Stephen Cummings won his first stage victory, coinciding with Nelson Mandela Day.
But the day was marred by the actions of a few.
Chris Froome’s Sky Cycling teammate, Richie Porte, also claimed a spectator hit him during the race with a ‘full-on punch’ during a climb on the Pyrenees.
Both men are laying the blame on over-exuberant journalists ‘whipping up all the rubbish that they are.’
“I certainly wouldn’t blame the public for this,” said Froome. “I would blame some of the reporting on the race that has been very irresponsible.
“It is no longer the riders who are bringing the sport into disrepute now, it’s those individuals, and they know who they are.”
Froome again raised eyebrows with another super-human acceleration on a fiercely steep final climb. He raced away from his competitors, taking one second from Quintana and more from his other rivals.