Fri, Jul 14, 9:24am by Head Editor
It took until the 12th stage for the yellow jersey to end up on the back of a rider from a team other than Team Sky, with Astana rider Fabio Aru’s third place finish on the stage enough to see him squeeze past Chris Froome by just six seconds.
Frenchman Romain Bardet powered away to win the stage into Peyragudes, much to the delight of the home fans. The stage was yet another picturesque one, but the riders weren’t concerned about that, as they had to deal with an ultra-steep finale after a 214 km, six-hour battle.
The stage win sees the Frenchman move in from $12 to $6 for the title, as he’s now just 25 seconds off the pace, while Aru’s quote has been cut from $5.50 to $3.50. As a neutral, this stage result is a good one, as it had looked like Froome was in control up until this point.
Froome had held the yellow jersey for seven days, but lost touch with a kilometre to go, which means he’ll have to relinquish it, for now. The Brit was part of the lead group all day, but ended up 22 seconds off the pace.
Ireland’s Daniel Martin moved into fifth in the general classification, despite admitting that he is still struggling with back soreness after being caught up in the stage nine crash that ended Aussie Richie Porte’s race. He trails by 1 minute and 41 seconds, and is at $51.
Friday’s stage falls on Bastille Day, which is France’s National Day, commemorating the storming of the Bastille on July 14, 1789.
It’s a day of celebration all over France, so Bardet, and his AGR2 La Mondiale team, which is a French outfit, will be hoping to continue those celebrations with another stage win.
If they are to get that win, then the pressure will continue to mount on Froome, as many of his rivals now know, that he is beatable.
Tour de France overall standings after stage 12
Chris Froome $1.80
Fabio Aru $3.50
Romain Bardet $6
Rigoberto Uran $13
Daniel Martin $51
Mikel Landa $81
Simon Yates $126
George Bennett $251
Nairo Quintana $301
Louis Meintjes $401
Damiano Caruso $501
Emanuel Buchmann $501
Bauke Mollema $501
Carlos Betancur $501
Sergio Henao $501
Warren Barguil $501
Mikel Nieve $501
Pierre Roger Latour $501
Alberto Contador $501
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