Forget loyalty, Landa should go for the Tour title - LeMond

Jerome Frank
July 17, 2017

Le Puy-en-Velay: Chris Froome survived an attempted coup by Romain Bardet's AG2R-La Mondiale team in a treacherous 15th stage to retain the Tour de France overall leader's yellow jersey on Sunday. On that occasion though, the rider in third place, Samuel Sanchez, was two minutes off the lead.

Since then though, Martin has chipped away at the time gap earned by the leaders as he looks to become the first Irish cyclist to reach the podium on the Champs Elysees since Roche's win 30 years ago.

But the three-time Tour victor held on and retains his lead of 18 seconds over Italian Fabio Aru, with Frenchman Romain Bardet a further five secondsback.

"To mark history here at Wimbledon really means a lot to me just because of all of that, really", he said.

Froome had needed a wheel change when the race was on approaching the Col de Peyra Taillade, and lost nearly a minute before spending eight kilometres chasing his way back to the group of main contenders.

Another factor is the vulnerability Froome has shown in this year's race. In the three Tours he won, he had the race all but wrapped up at this point.

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"It's magical, really", Federer said.

On Friday's Bastille Day to Foix, Martin made a late attack to gain nine seconds; here, he zipped out of the group containing Froome and the other favourites on a small rise some 10 kilometres from the finish. But Sky promised they won't be caught off guard. "Otherwise it was game over for me." - three-time Tour champion Chris Froome, referring after suffering a mechanical issue with his bike. "They managed to do all they could to keep me in the front group".

"It's clear we have to move on those two days in the Alps - we have high hopes for those two stages", said Jurdie. He was one of the greatest and most aggressive riders of any era but I don't remember him ever attacking a rival who was having bad luck. "There aren't just a few seconds difference now between me and Froome, but there aren't so many either". 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. "Certainly in the final, once we hit the category 4 climb with 14km to go, Romain Bardet tried, Rigoberto [Uran] tried over the top - I wouldn't say the GC [general classification] guys didn't try today". That put Aru, riding for Astana, six seconds ahead of the Englishman and primed for the biggest week of his career, which already includes a Grand Tour win - the 2015 Spanish Vuelta.

Dutch rider Bauke Mollema claimed the 15th Tour de France stage for Trek-Segafredo.

For many observers, though, it seemed to be an opportunity missed for Froome's main rivals, who could have worked together on the climb to prevent him regaining contact, something he himself feared. "It's going to be every second, at this point - every second all the way until Paris".

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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