There’s still a week to go in the Tour de France but race leader Chris Froome insisted that “every second counts” after surprisingly reclaiming the yellow jersey.
Ulissi finished second ahead of Gallopin in third, with Warren Barguil, who claimed most of the King of the Mountain points and victor of Friday’s Bastille Day 13th stage, fourth at 23 seconds. It was nearly as if I had to attack just to get back. Stage victor Bauke Mollema was named most aggressive rider of the day and will wear a red bib number during Tuesday’s stage. “I thought that could be the yellow jersey changing shoulders again after this stage”, said Froome. ‘I’m so happy. I’ve worked for it so hard in the last few years’. Teammate Michal Kwiatkowski gave him his wheel. So rather than the other contenders having to wait for the Briton – as unwritten race etiquette requires if a Tour leader has a mechanical problem or crash when there is a lull in the action – at this point the racing was “on” and his rivals could therefore legitimately continue to push out the time gaps.
Sunday’s outcome was only in doubt for about 20 minutes, the amount of time it took Federer to grab his first lead.
“It’s a dream come true”, said Matthews, whose Team Sunweb claimed their second stage wins in as many days after Frenchman Warren Barguil claimed stage 13 on Bastille Day.
Sky’s Froome leads the overall by a slender 18 seconds on Fabio Aru (Astana).
But he’s also enjoyed success in some shorter stage races, winning the Tour of Catalonia in 2013 and finishing third at both Paris-Nice and the Criterium du Dauphine this year, even beating Froome in the latter. Thanks to my team mates who helped me, I save myself. “I think it’s great that the fans are getting so into it and involved”.
Landa, who is out of contract at the end of the season and is reportedly being courted by Team Sky rival Movistar, stands sixth overall – just 77 seconds behind Froome.
Part chess-match, part test of speed and climbing strength, Chris Froome and his Team Sky used an array of tactics to try to regain the initiative after he lost the yellow jersey on Thursday to Aru, cracking on a savage final climb.
“This morning he was three minutes back so when someone’s further away in the standings they’re given more space (to get away)”.
As the Tour de France enters its final week, the 2,500-mile race is coming down to nerves and seconds, which makes Daniel Martin’s current strategy of some interest. I needed a chance, but a lot of teams wanted to go up the road today.
Nairo Quintana (Movistar) had a rough day, losing nearly four minutes in the GC battle and moving down to 11th overall.