Fabio Aru of Team Astana won stage five of the 2017 Tour de France, breaking away in the final two kilometers of the climb at La Planche des Belles Filles.
Italy's Fabio Aru earned victory on the fifth stage of the Tour de France as Britain's three-time victor Chris Froome moved into the overall race lead in La Planche des Belles Filles.
While the sprinters were the centre of attention in a chaotic finale yesterday the general classification contenders were the focus in the closing kilometres of today's 160.5 kilometre race from Vittel.
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With competition in the Champions League alongside three domestic competitions, 2017/18 will be a strong test of their fitness levels.
But it is worth noting that on both previous occasions the man wearing yellow at the end of the day - Sir Bradley Wiggins in 2012 and Vincenzo Nibali in 2014 - was wearing it in Paris at the end of the race. "I knew I just had to wait for a sprint and if Fabio was close enough I'll be able to catch him but in the end it didn't work out". A natural puncheur and someone who excels at races like Liège-Bastogne-Liège, the Quick-Step Floors rider, could later today be adding a second Tour de France stage to his palmarès and I'm wondering if team-mate Phillipe Gilbert has gone off up the road as some sort of decoy.
Last year's runner up, Romain Bardet came home fifth at 24sec behind Aru, to now sit seventh overall at 47sec.
Colombian Nairo Quintana, tipped as one of Froome's main challengers, struggled to finish ninth, 36 seconds back, while Spain's Alberto Contador limited the damage in eighth place, 26 seconds behind Aru.
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US judge Chris Flores and Ramon Cerdan of Argentina each scored it much closer at 115-113. "It could have gone either way". Commentators from ESPN, which broadcast the fight live in the USA , were among the most vocal critics of the outcome.
Team Sky's Froome led BMC Racing Team's Porte over the line at 20 seconds down, with Bardet, representing AG2R La Mondiale, a further four seconds back.
Nobody responded when Aru launched his move just before the gradients - which average 8.5% over the course of the 5.9km climb - began to ease off slightly, and the Italian was quickly out of reach.
"It's an fantastic feeling to be back in yellow, but having said that I know race far, far from over, it's only just begun for me", said Froome.
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