Monday, 28 May, 2018

Aru takes yellow off Froome as Bardet wins stage 12

2017 Tour de France: Red-hot Marcel Kittel claims fifth Tour de France stage win Tour de France: Chris Froome loses yellow jersey, Romain Bardet wins dramatic stage 12
Sammy Stanley | 15 July, 2017, 03:40

Frenchman Romain Bardet won the first Pyrenean stage of the Tour de France on Thursday, as Chris Froome lost the race leader's yellow jersey to Fabio Aru.

Froome's teammates had set a fast tempo that prevented others from attacking - a tactic that prepared the ground for Froome's expected assault in the steep final section leading to the finish in the ski station of Peyragudes.

Meanwhile the top four on general classification - Aru, Froome, Romain Bardet and Rigoberto Uran - marked each each all the way. finishing just under two minutes behind the first four over the line. Today's big mountain stage in the Pyrenees was meant to be one of the most challenging stages of this year's Tour de France.

Fabio Aru (Astana) claimed his first Tour de France win in stage five after putting up a remarkable performance.

In this episode of the Telegraph Cycling Podcast, Richard Moore, Lionel Birnie and Fran├žois Thomazeau try to read into Froome's rare moment of weakness and weigh up whether this offers hope to his rivals in the second half of the Tour.

Aru remains in yellow, just six seconds ahead, as the Tour moves away from the Pyrenees and into the tough, undulating terrain of the Massif this weekend.

The Italian race leader has barely had a moment to enjoy a day in yellow, therefore, before he finds himself under increasing pressure from Team Sky. Daniel Martin is in sixth after taking nine seconds from Aru and company.

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"I had a bad moment here at the end".

The Tour's Top 3 - Aru, Froome, and Bardet - would finish in a bunch, keeping that same order in the new general classification. "I didn't have the legs in the finale, but there is still a long way to go", Froome told reporters.

"It's one of the most handsome things that can happen to you in life, wearing the yellow jersey", said Aru.

With Team Sky looking strong, Froome had appeared in prime position to extend his 18-second lead, but faded away on the final climb with gradients nearing 20%, coming in ninth, 22 seconds behind. It's as simple as that - I just didn't have the legs on the final kick.

The battle will resume on Friday when the 13th stage takes the peloton over 101km from Saint-Girons to Foix, with three category-one climbs on the menu.

And the Team Dimension Data rider was disappointed that his efforts ultimately fell short of a stage win as Team Sky dragged him back to the pack.

The Auvergnat of Brioude (Haute-Loire), which is 26-year-old, ranked second in the Tour of 2016 behind Froome.

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