Tour de France 2017: Froome cracks as Bardet wins stage 12

Amos Gonzales
July 15, 2017

Froome tried an attack in the final metres of the Peguere but was quickly shut down, while the long descent saw a series of attacks and counter-attacks.

Froome remains second in the standings, six seconds off overall leader, Fabio Aru of the Astana team.

With three kilometers to the top of Port de Balès, a strong Cummings made a decision to go solo.

It was in that length of road, situated on a 20 percent gradient, that three-time victor Chris Froome lost the lead in the Tour de France on Thursday.

Not only was he unable to attack, the British rider also cracked during the climb.

Britain's Chris Froome retained the overall leader's yellow jersey on a relaxed day for Team Sky's defending champion, but some of his rivals did not have a quiet day.

Bardet is third overall, 25 seconds off the pace.

"It was certainly a tough day for me at the end", said Froome. No excuses. I just didn't have the legs in the final. "Simple as that. No excuses".

In an awesome finish on an uphill airstrip with a vertiginous 20 percent gradient, Aru went on the attack in the last few hundred metres. He ended up crossing the line in seventh place, 22 seconds behind Bardet.

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"We've got a lot of faith in Mikel and we showed that today", Froome added. "I just put on my helmet and it comes out like that". "There was not much to do before that with the wind and the Sky train".

He too was reluctant to start banging nails into Froome's coffin, though.

"I dedicate this jersey to my teammates, who have been doing everything to help me", said Aru. "But I didn't have the legs to follow", he said. Today's 101km stage from Saint-Girons to Foix is expected to be a full-on battle.

Fabio Aru (Astana) claimed his first Tour de France win in stage five after putting up a remarkable performance. "Let's hope our guys find more motivation".

Start Time: 11 a.m. (BST), 12 p.m.

Although Froome relinquished the maillot jaune to Tony Martin for two days in the 2015 Tour, this is the first time the Briton has lost the yellow jersey during the Tour to another general classification contender.

An exhausting six hours of racing featured two category-one climbs, either side of the hors-category ascent of the Port de Bales, before the category-two finish to Peyragudes.

Other reports by BadHub

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