The picture you've been waiting for.probablyNow Kona Clump rider Dave Watson is safely back in North America it can confired that he gap-jumped the Tour de France peloton during the Alp d'Huez stage. The jump took place just before the summit of the col de Galibier.
The set-up and preparation had to be done in secret, as the reaction of the fans and organisers was unknown. Showing up several days before hand, Dave with help from some staff at Big Bike, a French-based Freeride magazine, built the jump and cleared the landing before many fans showed up.
With three Freeride Entertainment 16mm cameras rolling to catch the action and Scott Markewitz shooting stills, tension was high as the helicopters appeared on the horizon marking the arrival of the lead group. The amount of police and the mayhem created by the fans on the take-off and landing meant that jumping the lead group was out of the question. With communication hardly possible due to the noise created by the fans, a group of about twelve riders was sighted in the distance and the jump was on. Frantic preparations were made to clear the landing of spectators and take-off jump.
Dave patiently waited as the riders rounded the corner. Prior to the jump, Dave had not even had a chance to take a run in to the jump for fear of giving away his intentions. Jump time came and Dave climbed aboard his Stab Primo and punched it toward the lip with no hesitation.
Jumping just over the back of the peleton as to take no chances of injuring riders on an unknown jump, Dave sailed approximately 45 ft before touching down. Due to a last minute brake check to ensure the safety of the riders below, Dave came up slightly short and was bucked by his bike into the rocky tranny. Fans rushed to Dave to see the extent of his injuries. Slightly dazed with paramedics and police surrounding him, the crew was unsure what the outcome would be.
Thankfully the end of this story is a happy one. The paramedics insisted on taking Dave on a two-hour ride out of the mountains to the hospital and the police didn't seem to mind since the only person potentially hurt was Dave. Released from the hospital with a partially separated shoulder, sore back, neck, and a severely bruised groin, Dave will recover fully.
Stay tuned for footage of the historic jump at the release of Disorder IV - Ride the Lightning!