Froome is the Tour race leader due to German Tony Martin’s abandonment after breaking his collarbone in a crash at the end of Thursday’s sixth stage.
“For those asking, I won’t be wearing yellow today! All the best to @tonymartin85 with his op & recovery,” said Froome on his official Twitter page.
— Chris Froome (@chrisfroome) July 10, 2015
Had Martin been able to continue in this year’s race he would have remained in yellow but the 30-year-old was forced out of the race due to his broken collarbone.
It means the yellow jersey passes to Froome, who had been trailing Martin by 12sec in the overall standings.
But the 30-year-old Briton decided as a mark of respect to the man who should be enjoying the honour to pass up on the opportunity.
There is precedent for such a move by Froome.
In 1980 Dutchman Joop Zoetemelk turned down the opportunity to wear yellow after race leader Bernard Hinault quit following stage 12 due to tendinitis in his knee.
American Greg Lemond did likewise in 1991 after Dane Rolf Sorensen crashed just before the finish in Valenciennes.
But the most famous such incident was when Belgian great Eddy Merckx refused the jersey after Spain’s Luis Ocana crashed in 1971.
Most recently, Alberto Contador declined to wear the jersey in 2007 after Denmark’s Michael Rasmussen was forced out of the race due to a doping scandal.