Chris Froome fends off too-close Tour de France fan with punch to the face

Fans get extra close to Britain's Chris Froome (center) and Colombia’s Nairo Quintana. 

Peter Dejong/AP

Chris Froome secured the coveted yellow jersey by winning stage eight of the Tour de France on Saturday, but the defending champion found himself having to change his attack at certain points of the leg. 

Specifically, the British cyclist was seen punching an exuberant fan who had gotten a little too close to the action while riding through the Pyrenees. 

The fan was wearing a Colombia national soccer jersey, apparently in support of two-time Tour runner-up Nairo Quintana, and Froome’s main rival. 

”I have absolutely nothing against the Colombian fans. I think they’re fantastic. They bring great (spirit) to the race," Froom said, via the Associated Press. "But this guy in particular was running right next to my handlebars.

"He had a flag that was flying out behind him and it was just getting dangerous so I pushed him away," Froome explained. "I lashed out and pushed him away."

Froome was fined 200 Swiss francs for "incorrect behavior" by race officials. But the two-time Tour champion defended his actions. 

"It’s fantastic having so many fans out on the road but please, don’t try and run with the riders," Froome implored. "It gets really dangerous for the guys behind you."