After 2 2nd-place finishes, Boasson Hagen wins Tour stage

Ruben Hill
July 21, 2017

And one of those is a time trial race against the clock, a discipline he excels in - having provided him with bronze medals at the Olympics of 2012 and 2016.

Chris Froome will take his narrow Tour de France lead into the Alps on Wednesday after defending it through fierce crosswinds on the road to Romans-sur-Isere.

Although Froome's dominance has been crushing, his likely victory is as much a product of his team's expertise as it is his own panache.

Froome and his Team Sky team-mates eased past the finish line 11 minutes later as the three-time champion conserved energy ahead of the last two stages.

Froome was in no mood to be at the receiving end of another one. I do think at this point it's my [GC] race to lose, I just have to make sure I do everything right, follow all the right processes, and hopefully not have a bad day.

Irishman Dan Martin was active in forcing the pace on the Izoard, and finished within 19 seconds of Bardet and Froome to retain sixth place overall. But Froome quickly caught and passed Bardet and then dropped him on the short descent at Casse Deserte, two kilometres from the top.

The peloton goes hillclimbing
The peloton goes hillclimbing

Frenchman Romain Bardet remains second at 23sec with Rigoberto Uran of Colombia third at 29sec.

"I had a lot hard luck". "I have nothing to regret". "First I will try to get this polka-dot jersey all the way to Paris and I will enjoy all those nice moments, you never know what can happen in life", he said when asked if he was going to focus on the overall classification in next year's Tour. "I normally find the Alps more hard".

Despite the odds stacking in Froome's favor, Bardet isn't ready to concede defeat.

But Froome still leads Bardet by 23 seconds, a margin that the French rider looks unlikely to close before the finish Sunday in Paris.

That said, the Cannondale-Drapac rider conceded 61 seconds to Froome in the opening time trial in Dusseldorf nearly three weeks ago, compared to 39 by AG2R La Mondiale's Bardet. Look to world champion Tony Martin (Katusha-Alpecin) or Stage 17 victor Primoz Roglic (Lott0NL-Jumbo) as the stage favourites, but the key battle will be between Froome and Uran. "But we're in a good position".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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