RODEZ, France (AP) — Fabio Aru was dropped within the final 500 meters of Stage 14 of the Tour de France gained by Michael Matthews and relinquished the yellow jersey to Chris Froome on Saturday.
Aru misplaced contact with the leaders within the closing quick, sharp ascent of the Cote de Saint Pierre within the city of Rodez and crossed the road 25 seconds behind Matthews.
It was unclear whether or not the Italy champion suffered a mechanical downside within the closing phases, or just made a mistake by driving on the again.
Froome, who trailed Aru by six seconds in the beginning of the stage in Blagnac, was effectively positioned on the entrance and had no downside tackling the ultimate climb. He completed sizzling on the heels of Matthews.
Whereas the Group Sky prepare hit the entrance within the closing kilometers, Aru was on the again and did not assault earlier than the peloton break up within the climb.
“It is a gorgeous shock immediately,” Froome stated. He misplaced his jersey within the Pyrenees after enduring a nasty day on the street to the ski station of Peyragudes.
“I must say thanks to my teammates who rode on the entrance within the closing 10 kilometers,” he stated. “Within the closing climb we made a giant distinction on different favorites. Each second counts at this Tour.”
Froome enjoys an 18-second benefit over Aru, who’s paying for the weak point of his Astana crew, which misplaced key member Jakon Fuglsang on Friday after he broke a wrist and elbow.
French rider Romain Bardet, the runner-up to Froome final 12 months, is 23 seconds again from the chief, in third place.
In fourth is Rigoberto Uran, who caught with Froome on the ultimate climb. He trails the Briton by 29 seconds general.
Froome might hardly consider he gained again a lot time and recovered the yellow jersey on a stage that, on paper, did not appear set as much as pose such difficulties for Aru.
Froome stated his teammates performed an important position in protecting him on the entrance, permitting him to pounce on the ultimate climb whereas Aru was caught.
Within the final frenzied sprint, Froome stated teammate Michal Kwiatowski was urging him on over their radio system, yelling: “Froomey, go, go, go! There are gaps in every single place!”
Froome remained cautious, as a result of the highest 5 have been nonetheless very shut. He stated he’d at all times anticipated this Tour to be very open, with its atypical route over all 5 of France’s mountain ranges, a prediction that’s coming true, with simply 29 seconds separating the highest 4.
“Everyone seems to be combating for each second they’ll get,” Froome stated. “The time I made up immediately might be very important.”
Matthews, who beat Olympic champion Greg Van Avermaet within the dash to say his second stage win on the Tour, stated he’d focused the stage win all 12 months, and skilled particularly for the final climb.
The Australian rider additionally eyed this stage when the Tour final visited Rodez in 2015. However he was driving injured that 12 months, with 4 damaged ribs. He stated he deliberate to have a good time the stage victory with champagne.
It was the second consecutive win for the Sunweb crew, after Warren Barguil’s victory on Friday, Bastille Day.
Matthews described his feelings crossing the road as “disbelief.”
He was so assured of victory that he sat up on the finish and cruised over the road.
“I have been dreaming of profitable like that since I began biking,” he stated. “I might sit up and benefit from the win within the Tour de France.”
Properly earlier than the frenetic finale, veteran French rider Thomas Voeckler launched hostilities on the outskirts of Toulouse.
Beneath a vibrant sunshine, Voeckler was joined on the entrance by 4 different riders who took benefit of the peloton’s apathy.
The pack, nevertheless, saved the quintet on a leash as they rolled by the Aveyron province, protecting its deficit beneath 2 half of minutes.
With lower than 100 kilometers left, the peloton handed Carmaux, the hometown of French Socialist chief Jean Jaures. However there was no signal of rebellion inside the pack, with the Sunweb, Bahrain, and BMC groups driving on the entrance at a pedestrian tempo.
However when the street started to climb, the main group struggled to remain collectively. Thomas De Gendt went solo with 36.5 kilometers left however the Lotto rider lacked stamina and couldn’t resist the peloton’s chase on roads with fixed ups and downs.
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