Bike problem nearly derails Froome on Stage 15
LE PUY-EN-VELAY, France — Chris Froome has fought back from a bike breakdown to cling onto his race leader’s yellow jersey on the tricky Stage 15 of the Tour de France, won with a courageous solo breakaway by Bauke Mollema of the Netherlands. Three-time Tour champion Froome suffered a backwheel problem at the worst possible time, just as the AG2R team of close rival Romain Bardet was picking up the pace ahead of the last big climb of the day, an 8.3-kilometre slog up the steep col de Peyra Taillade — scaled for the very first time by the Tour.
By the time Froome had stopped, taken a wheel off his teammate Michal Kwiatkowski and got going again, Bardet’s group was already way ahead. Froome had to work furiously to catch them.