Tour: Aru still 18 secs down on Froome

Rosalie Stanley
July 19, 2017

"To get another stage win in the same Tour de France... normally I can only win one stage in a Tour, to get my second win in three days, I don't really know what to say".

German Marcel Kittel, who was dropped early in the stage after failing to sustain the pace in the first climb, was 3.2kph slower on average than Australian stage victor Michael Matthews.

While Tuesday's finish didn't have a significant impact on the top of the standings, Matthews and Norway's Edvald Boasson Hagen engaged in an epic sprint to the finish line.

Degenkolb gesticulated at Matthews as the pair crossed the line, appearing to indicate that he felt the Australian had pushed him dangerously close to the barriers.

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It all went out the window with the crosswinds on Stage 16. "I left a space between me and the barrier", Matthews said, adding that Degenkolb had grabbed him by the neck after the finish.

It was Team Sky that forced the move that broke the peloton into pieces, and Chris Froome was among the riders on the right side of it and retains the race lead. "I didn't change my line, I sprinted in a straight line", Matthews responded. They'd taken five stage wins behind sprinter Marcel Kittel, who also established a solid lead in the green jersey competition. "I think it won't sink in until tomorrow morning". Both cyclist still finished with identical times.

Frenchman Romain Bardet was nearly caught out but was paced back to the lead group by team-mate Oliver Naesen, while Fabio Aru had to bridge a small gap by himself.

Froome stayed 18 seconds ahead of Fabio Aru in the general classification after staying out of trouble following a rest day, which was more than welcome after he endured a scare on Sunday.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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