Froome keeps jersey despite Mollema win

Yolanda Curtis
July 17, 2017

As they hit the final climb, Nairo Quintana (Movistar) also started to suffer and was soon on the back of Froome's chasing group and then spat out again. After the summit, the Dutchman Bauke Mollema has emerged to reach the finish solo.

The British Chris Froome (Sky) retained the leader's yellow jersey, on the eve of the second rest day.

Froome, a three-time victor of the Tour, remains 18 seconds clear of Astana's Italian rider Fabio Aru.

"They all emptied themselves to get me back into the race", Froome said of his teammates.

He battled back on, but nearly immediately had a mechanical issue, depriving him of the services of Michal Kwiatkowski, who gave his rear wheel to his team leader.

After Federer raced to a 3-0 lead in the second set, Cilic cried while he was visited by a doctor and trainer, and during a later medical timeout, his left foot was retaped by the trainer.

In the closing kilometres to this town on the Santiago de Compostela pilgrim trail, Martin was the only one of the magic circle immediately behind Froome to gain the slightest amount of time, once Romain Bardet's attempt to put the race leader under pressure had been snuffed out.

"It's a dream come true", said Matthews, whose Team Sunweb claimed their second stage wins in as many days after Frenchman Warren Barguil claimed stage 13 on Bastille Day.

Froome remains as the overall leader, with Italian national champion Fabio Aru still lying in second place 18 seconds behind.

Froome was keen to thank all of his team-mates for their help, but it was the sight of Landa dropping back which was most notable.

"I think you can do it successfully, but not for GC", White said.

You know who's in the top 10 overall, but what about the race's other competitions? "I'm so happy to win a stage at the Tour de France".

The main group of contenders marked each other over the rolling final kilometres, but Martin was allowed to pull clear with around eight kilometres left and claw back more time. Meanwhile his team-mate, and room-mate, Michael Matthews again ate into Marcel Kittel's lead in the green points jersey standings, infiltrating the 28-man lead group that dominated the stage, and taking maximum points in the intermediate sprint. With the way Froome and Team Sky are riding now, it's going to take a team effort to give someone else a shot at the overall lead.

Friday's stage saw the Birmingham-born rider close the gap by a further nine seconds on the likes Aru and Chris Froome.

"I very rarely make a plan, it is just [about] opportunities", said Martin afterwards.

Sky sent Froome's teammate, Mikel Landa, racing off ahead on the first climb in a quick succession of three tough ascents.

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