Froome fights back from bike breakdown, retains yellow jersey

17 Juillet, 2017, 15:57 | Author: Marie-Claire Cellier
  • Froome fights back from bike breakdown, retains yellow jersey

Chris Froome rescued his Tour de France hopes after they had looked to be disappearing into the ravines and gorges of the Massif Central yesterday. "I am very grateful for my teammates doing the work to help me".

QUOTE OF THE DAY: "They all emptied themselves to get me back into the race". I had no option. I'm shocked to see the same time gaps here as from that day in the Pyrenees and I'm just glad to have bounced back from that day.

The final selection came from a 28-rider breakaway that rolled on the first climb of the day, the Montée de Naves d'Aubrac. I had to get back by the top of the climb. "And if you believe, you can go really, really far in your life, and I did that", Federer said. I can't blame them. Yet with just six stages left the general classification candidates will start to make their moves, though they may wait until after the final stage in which sprinters are likely to prevail.

With Bardet being a local hero, roadside fans revelled in Froome's situation and reportedly jeered the Briton as he gave chase.

However, it was not just Froome's "great escape" that drove the compelling narrative.

Dutch rider Bauke Mollema claimed the 15th Tour de France stage for Trek-Segafredo.

In Mollema's wake came a peloton in tatters.

The tension among the top contenders for overall victory was personified by Irishman Dan Martin.

Mollema in a post-race press conference joined a growing chorus of industry insiders that have dismissed the tightly-timed double as a realistic objective and cited Nairo Quintana (Movistar) as evidence.

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Martin (Quick-Step Floors) was the first of the main overall contenders home in 25th place at 6m 11s to Mollema and in a group of four riders.

Froome suffered a mechanical problem due to a broken spoke in his back wheel and found himself distanced as he had to stop and change a wheel with team-mate Michal Kwiatkowski.

Aru stuck to Froome like glue on the stage, showing a cool head and strong legs as he rode much of the way without any teammates, who couldn't stay with the pace of their group. He struggled badly on Thursday's Pyrenean stage, falling out of overall contention and when he was dropped early on Friday by the peloton, he chose to call it quits.

"If the race is on, it does not matter what happens to the yellow jersey, he's got a team and that is what a team is for".

The very next day he joined Alberto Contador in a breakaway and gained nearly two minutes on his own team leader by the finish, moving up to fifth overall, just over minute back. But I made it. I panicked a little bit, it was a bit of a stressful moment.

I don't have a problem with any attacks that happen once the hammer is down towards the finish - that's racing. "I thought if I got a gap it would be hard to get back so I took the opportunity".

Sunday's outcome was only in doubt for about 20 minutes, the amount of time it took Federer to grab his first lead.

Federer last won the grass-court major in 2012, but he took the Australian Open title this year before skipping the French Open to focus on the remainder of the season.

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