Froome sur­vives un­scathed but loses team­mate

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT - Three-time cham­pion Froome. “I want to thank the other rid­ers, who did not at­tack,” he added, say­ing he did not see Aru at­tack­ing past him as he raised his arms to ask for as­sis­tance. He was al­ready with­out team­mate Geraint Thomas, who aban­doned af­ter cra

HAMBERY: Chris Froome es­caped un­scathed af­ter an ac­tion-packed ninth stage of the Tour de France as one his main ri­vals and his Team Sky lieu­tenant crashed out of the race yes­ter­day.

The de­fend­ing cham­pion, who was at­tacked by Fabio Aru just as he suf­fered a me­chan­i­cal on the last climb, ended up third at the end of a 181-5km trek in the Jura moun­tains won by Colom­bian Rigob­erto Uran ahead of France’s War­ren Bar­guil.

Froome had his ri­vals to thank, how­ever, as none of them took turns in front while he was chang­ing his bike in the lung-bust­ing as­cent to the Mont du Chat.

“I had a me­chan­i­cal prob­lem with my gears, I had to change bike,” said Florence Pom­mery said.

Last year’s run­ner-up Ro­main Bardet of France ped­alled away in the fi­nal de­scent but was reined in by Froome, Uran, Bar­guil, Aru and his As­tana team­mate Jakob Fuglsang two km from the fin­ish line.

“There will be other great bat­tles to fight in the Pyre­nees and the Alps,” said Bardet.

Overall, Froome leads Aru by 18 sec­onds and Bardet by 51 as twotime win­ner Al­berto Con­ta­dor of Spain cracked on the last climb and dropped out of con­tention.

Uran is fourth, 55 sec­onds off the pace while As­tana look set to work as a dou­ble act from now on as Dane Fuglsang is fifth, 1:37 be­hind Froome.

Three-time podium fin­isher Nairo Quin­tana of Colom­bia also strug­gled, los­ing 1:15 to Froome and his group. He is now eighth overall, a mas­sive 2:13 off the pace.

To­day is a rest day and the fight for the overall ti­tle is set to re­sume next Thurs­day with the first big Pyre­nean stage.

In-form Porte, how­ever, will not be con­test­ing it af­ter a high-speed crash ru­ined his chances, with the Aus­tralian tak­ing down Ire­land’s Dan Martin with him.

Quick-Step Floors’ Martin got back on his bike but crashed again be­fore lim­it­ing the dam­age on the line. He is now sixth overall, 1:44 be­hind Froome. – Reuters

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