Aru signals Tour ambitions with blistering attack

Solenn Plantier
Juillet 6, 2017

Italian champion Aru launched a blistering attack in the final stretches of the fifth stage, jumping away from the leading group with 2.3km left of the 5.9km climb at a lung-busting average gradient of 8.5 per cent.

Italian national champion Fabio Aru escaped on the steep climb to the Vosges ski station to take stage honours ahead of Irishman Dan Martin, but Froome's third place saw him swap positions with Thomas at the top of the general classification.

Last year's runner-up, Romain Bardet of France, took fifth, a further four seconds behind.

"When Aru went, I still had team mates (to do the work) so I waited for the others to react".

"The goal now is for us to keep the jersey all the way to Paris", said Froome, who is seeking a fourth Tour title and third in a row.

Colombian Nairo Quintana, tipped as one of Froome's main challengers, struggled to finish ninth, 36 seconds back, and Spain's Alberto Contador limited the damage in eighth place, 26 seconds behind Aru. With another gruelling trip across the Alps and Pyrenees, who will wear the yellow jersey on the Champs-Elysees? With a 10-second time bonus on the line, he moved up to third overall, at just 14 seconds behind Froome. "I did not have the stage win in mind but obviously it's a great day".

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