Bardet, Aru and Uran missed chance of a lifetime to win Tour


Team Sky star Chris Froome faces a fight if he's to retain the 2017 Tour de France's yellow jersey after stage 15 on Sunday, a particularly testing route that will threaten to rumble the general classification's current order.

Dutchman Mollema attacked in the closing stages of the 189.5km ride from Laissac-Severac L'Eglise to take the first Tour win of his career.

It looked like a missed opportunity for Froome's rivals as they could not capitalise on the effort he had spent making his way back over some of the steepest sections of the climb - hearing boos from the strongly pro-Bardet crowd as he went.

Bennett finished 32nd, 6min 25sec behind Dutch stage victor Bauke Mollema, with several of his rivals finishing ahead of him.

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He started the day six seconds ahead of the three-time champion but, before yesterday's 15th stage, trailed Froome by 18 seconds after coming home 30th overall, 25sec behind stage 14 victor Michael Matthews of Team Sunweb. After Chris Froome lost his overall lead to Fabio Aru, the team has worked hard to get it back for him. So rather than the other contenders having to wait for the Briton - as unwritten race etiquette requires if a Tour leader has a mechanical problem or crash when there is a lull in the action - at this point the racing was "on" and his rivals could therefore legitimately continue to push out the time gaps.

As a result, Martin gained 14 seconds on the race leaders and rose from sixth overall to fifth at 1m 12s.

The win moves Federer past both Pete Sampras and William Renshaw, who each won seven titles at the grass-court major, for the most men's titles in the history of the event first held in 1877.

Michal Kwiatkowski turned mechanic by removing his back wheel and fitting it onto colleague Froome's bike, rather than wait for a Team Sky vehicle.

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Froome's back wheel punctured just before the final climb of the 117.7-mile stage that ended in Le Puy-en-Velay. Thanks to my team-mates, Sergio Henao and Mikel Nieve, who helped me.

I hope to keep the yellow jersey until the time trial in Marseille. Contador has already lost 5:15 overall, but could still ruin the Team Sky masterplan with some relentless attacks on his favorite ground.

Michael Matthews believes the call of nature may have prevented him from claiming a second-straight Tour de France stage victory. But I made it.

"I just gave it a try in the last 30km".

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For everything he has accomplished, for all the bright lights and big settings to which he's become accustomed, the guy whom many have labeled the greatest of all time admits to feeling heavy legs and jumbled thoughts at important on-court moments to this day.