Froome's failure on final slope sets stage for thrilling Tour finale

Faith Castro
July 15, 2017

And - crucially for the French after 12 years without one of their own having won a Tour stage on Bastille Day - it had a French victor in Warren Barguil. The biggest cycling tournament includes 21 stages and will continue till July 23.

Chris Froome insists the pressure's on Astana to control the race, and believes it's quite nice for Team Sky to have a bit of a break.

We are just past the halfway stage in this year's Tour and that means many teams would be reviewing where they stand in the race vis-a-vis their goals.

Add to that the prospect of also winning the green jersey which is awarded to first place in the points competition, and which is now held by German sprinter Marcel Kittel (Quick-Step Floors). Arnaud Démare (FDJ) came second, followed by André Greipel (Lotto Soudal) and Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) who finished fourth.

They were joined by a counter-attack from Barguil and Colombian Nairo Quintana of Movistar on the punishing Mur de Peguere, and once they had crested that with a lead of over two minutes it was clear they would contest stage honours between them.

After two repeat stages in 10 and 11 that saw the same victor and same Yellow Jersey wearer, with Marcel Kittel and Chris Froome each taking the respective honors in two straight mornings, Thursday switched things up a bit.

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Marcel Kittel (Quick-Step Floors) recorded his second stage victory after grabbing the top position in stage six of Tour de France in Troyes. Froome, Aru and Mikel Nieve misjudged a turn in the downhill but the race leader and his rival pushed hard on the brakes to avoid a crash.

It was also the first time that the Briton has surrendered in such a fashion in a mountain stage. "Now we have to do our best in the final part".

The new leader is 27-year-old Italian rider Fabio Aru, who started Thursday's stage 18 seconds behind Froome. "I was really on top of it". He won the stage ten by an impressive margin.

Alberto Contador (Trek Segafredo) is the experienced professional who has reached the pinnacle of the sport and is now playing catch up.

France's Warren Barguil won stage 13 of the Tour de France, becoming the first Frenchman to triumph on Bastille Day in 12 years.

Chris Froome lost his yellow jersey to Fabio Aru as Romain Bardet clinched glory at the end of a gruelling stage 12 in the Tour de France on Thursday.

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