Aru clings to Tour de France lead

Henrietta Strickland
July 15, 2017

Team Sky rider Chris Froome, finished as the overall leader in stage eleven of Tour de France after wearing the yellow jersey for the second time.

Britain's Chris Froome has lost the yellow jersey to Italian rider Fabio Aru as Frenchman Romain Bardet scored the stage 12 win atop the Peyragudes.

Frenchman Romain Bardet, runner-up past year, won the stage to stay third overall, 25 seconds behind Aru, while Froome slipped to second, six seconds off the pace.

Overall, Aru leads Froome by six seconds and Bardet by 25. First was, a lead group of four riders - Barguil and Quintana chased down Landa and Contador before the summit, and Barguil went over the top first to further cement the polka dot jersey.

The breakaway would ultimately stay away to the finish, with Barguil beating Quintana and Contador in a sprint finish to claim the victory in a time of 2 hour, 36min and 29sec.

The short stage 13 was tipped as potentially crucial in the battle for the overall victory, with three mountain passes opening the possibility for attacks.

But Landa's contract could mean he has to help Froome, who was in a similar position in 2012 when he seemed stronger in the mountains than Sky team mate and eventual champion Bradley Wiggins, all the way to Paris. But considering he is only 6 seconds being the leader and with an ITT yet to come, Froome remains the firm favourite, as he was on 3 July. Then after Monday's rest day, the Tour tackle the Alps and a Stage 20 time trial.

Not only did Aru strip Froome of the yellow jersey but the top of the standings closed up with Frenchman Bardet now third at just 25sec.

Had the general classification contenders possessed sufficient courage to attack Froome sooner in today's stage, Froome would likely have lost significant time in today's stage.

"It's nice to race, and I think everybody at heart who loves this sport has got to be a racer and every now and again you've got to race".

Aru suffered the blow of losing one of the strongest Astana riders, Jakob Fuglsang, during the stage, the last of two in the Pyrenees.

Sky's strength on general classification gives them options should Froome have a bad day.

"I'm based in Spain for the next three months and it's always been a dream to go see the Tour, so I thought I'd go along".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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