Chris Froome retains yellow jersey at Tour de France

Solenn Plantier
Juillet 17, 2017

Meanwhile, Chris Froome bounced back an early mechanical failure to pursue French rider Romain Bardet and hold on to the yellow jersey ahead of Italian Fabio Aru.

All in all I am just happy to have got through without any major losses. I had no option.

Froome needed a wheel change approaching the Col de Peyra Taillade, and lost nearly a minute before an 8km chase back to the main contenders.

I broke a spoke coming into the bottom of the last climb.

He was then paced back to the group by team-mates Mikel Nieve and Mikel Landa of Spain.

Last week, Bennett was penalised 20 seconds for accepting a drink from a bystander, but later had the penalty withdrawn on appeal. "I said before the start it would be good if a Frenchman won". I can't blame them.

With Bardet being a local hero, roadside fans revelled in Froome's situation and reportedly jeered the Briton as he gave chase. "For a guy who's doing so well in the classics and capable of winning Liege-Bastogne-Liege and Lombardy, and Fleche Wallonne, which he hasn't yet (second in 2014 and 2017) but he will some day, I'm sure, to come here to the Tour and riding for GC, very few riders can say that", added Roche. With the Spaniard struggling apart from a strong ride on the stage to Foix, Trek have lowered their sights to getting in breakaways and targeting stage wins.

"I thought, 'Oof. That was close, '" Kittel said of Bodnar's effort.

However, it was not just Froome's "great escape" that drove the compelling narrative.

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Froome retains yellow jersey, Mollema wins Tour de France stage

In Mollema's wake came a peloton in tatters.

Froome congratulated him, saying: "The race is certainly on now". Descending the Mont du Chat, the Quick-Step Floors rider was with the leaders, but the crash could have easily dented his yellow jersey chances.

Bardet's AG2R La Mondiale team had upped the pace as the category one Peyra Taillaide - the penultimate climb of the day - approached with around 40km left, and had already distanced Froome once before the Team Sky man was forced to pull over.

Froome had lost the jersey to Aru in the opening Pyrenean stage, but normal service resumed on Saturday when he was the first of the overall favorites over the line. Stage 15 Results will be posted here as well as the GC Overall Standings. "Really clever as well", said the yellow jersey holder.

All the key protagonists for the overall race finished together, around six minutes behind Mollema, with riders further back in the general classification scattered in between. Porte fractured a hip and a collarbone, while Martin, though hurt, was able to continue despite losing time on the leaders. "I think he has made the right moves at the right times".

"It was a stressful moment", Froome said.

"I knew it was downhill to the finish". You get shepherded back in.

"We've got a lot of faith in Mikel, and I think that he showed today that he's a real threat now for the overall title in Paris", said the 32-year-old.

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