Monday, 23 October, 2017

Fabio Aru claims yellow jersey, Bardet nabs win

Froome No excuses I didn't have the legs on the final kick Cycling > Tour de FranceVIDEO- Tour de France 2017- Froome No excuses I didn't have the legs on the final kick
Kenny Thornton | 15 July, 2017, 03:39

Chris Froome lost the yellow jersey for only the second time in four year's of Tour de France domination on Thursday, and the new holder's manager believes the Briton is now beatable. The Breton, now leading the King of the Mountains, powered round the outside of the stage's last U-turn bend as the four breakaways approached the finish, using his momentum perfectly to take his first ever Tour stage win and first victory in four years.

Kittel's five stage victories are just one shy of the six won in 2009 by England's Mark Cavendish, who had to bow out of this year's race due to injury.

In this episode of the Telegraph Cycling Podcast, Richard Moore, Lionel Birnie and François 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. Meanwhile, the pressure of leading sits squarely on Aru's increasingly shaky-looking shoulders, and with six riders all within 92 seconds, it will be no easy task controlling the Tour. Uran is 55 seconds behind Aru and Daniel Martin closes out the top 5.

"I did my utmost at the end".

A number of riders were penalised 20 seconds in the general classification standings for taking illegal bottles in the final 10 kilometres of the stage, including Rigoberto Uran who could have otherwise closed to within 35 seconds of the yellow jersey.

Bennett, riding for Team LottoNL-Jumbo, ended up eighth in the stage, 27 seconds behind Bardet, to move up to ninth overall, 4 minutes and 24 seconds behind Aru. In 2014 as leader of Team Sky (after Froome's withdrawal) he was struck down with pneumonia, and in 2016 a puncture at a crucial stage early on marred his chances.

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Team Sky had produced a typically dominant performance, sitting at the front of the bunch all day but when Froome's final domestique, Mikel Landa, peeled off at the foot of the final, brutal ascent, the race leader had nothing to give.

"Beating Alberto Contador, who I mimicked when I won races as a young rider in Brittany, means a lot to me". "I just put on my helmet and it comes out like that".

"It's one of the most attractive things that can happen to you in life, wearing the yellow jersey", said Aru, who rides for the Astana team.

Warren Barguil, who narrowly missed out on the Stage 9 victory, got one today on the short, hard stage to Foix. "Our teammates did such an awesome job today, but I didn't have the legs to finish it off - simple as that", Froome said.

"I knew it could suit me", Bardet said.

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