Tour De France 2017

Ebony Scott
July 15, 2017

Frenchman Warren Barguil delivered a Bastille Day victory on stage 13 of the Tour de France as Fabio Aru retained the yellow jersey.

Suddenly, punchier riders like Romain Bardet and Rigoberto Uran Uran grabbed Aru's wheel and Froome began to slip.

Simon Yates of Orica-Scott finished ninth on the stage to remain sixth overall and hold on to the white jersey for the best young rider.

Barguil, along with Nairo Quintana, managed to catch the two-man break of Spaniards Mikel Landa and Alberto Contador and then out-sprinted the trio in the surge for the line at the end of a 101-kilometre stage in Foix.

The new leader is 27-year-old Italian rider Fabio Aru, who started Thursday's stage 18 seconds behind Froome. However, as Team Sky increased the pace strongly led by Michal Kwiatkowski and Vasili Kiryienka and the gradients increased even further, the gap was minimized.

There was speculation overnight that Landa's late dig into Peyragudes - where he beat Froome to the line on Thursday - meant the Spaniard was not 100 per cent behind Sky's three-time Tour victor and looking out for his own interests.

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End result: Sky has two riders - Froome and Landa - in the top five. "We'll continue to do that, but it went perfectly for us today".

Aru had been isolated throughout nearly the entire stage, but was able to rely on help from other teams whose general classification positions were threatened by Contador, Landa and Quintana gaining time. This was a seismic moment, for it marked the first time ever that Froome has ever lost the jersey to a general classification opponent. Rivals might feel more deputized to take shots at Froome over the back nine of this Tour, especially with a time trial looming on the penultimate day.

In 1985, although he was possibly as strong as his leader, LeMond was riding in support of Bernard Hinault, who promised he would help the American win the following year.

Sky's strength on general classification gives them options should Froome have a bad day.

LeMond added that Bardet and Aru should pile the pressure on Froome and not hesitate to play mind games as the three-time champion is still the favourite. If either Landa or Froome tries zooming off ahead of him, Aru will have to chase them both or risk losing his yellow jersey.

Other reports by GizPress

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