Aru signals Tour de France ambitions as Froome takes yellow

Fabio Aru

Fabio Aru claimed his maiden Tour de France win on Wednesday, as defending champion Chris Froome snatched a yellow jersey he intends to wear all the way back to Paris.

Aru launched a blistering attack in the final stretches of the fifth stage, jumping away from the leading group with 2.3km left of the 5.9km climb at a lung-busting average gradient of 8.5 per cent.

On a searing hot day in eastern France, the 2015 Vuelta champion of the Astana team became the third winner at the top of La Planche des Belles Filles, where Team Sky’s Froome came to prominence in 2012 and Italy’s Vincenzo Nibali prevailed in 2014, the year he won the Tour.

“I had seen a video of Nibali’s win and I tried to do the same to see what would happen,” said the 27-year-old Aru. “I wanted to test my rivals, I did not have the stage win in mind but obviously it’s a great day.”

Dan Martin took second place, 16 seconds behind, while Froome was 20 seconds off the pace in third, with his rival Richie Porte in his tracks. Another top contender, last year’s runner-up Romain Bardet of France, took fifth place, a further four seconds behind.

“When Aru went, I still had team mates so I waited for the others to react. Nobody moved so I thought I had to go to see what I could do,” said Froome, who added he felt fresher than on his previous dominant rides on the Tour.

Nairo Quintana, tipped as one of Froome’s main challengers, struggled to finish ninth, 36 seconds back, while Alberto Contador limited the damage in eighth place, 26 seconds behind Aru.

Froome took the yellow jersey from team mate Geraint Thomas, who could not sustain the pace on the climb’s steepest parts. Overall, three-time champion Froome leads Thomas by 12 seconds with Aru in third a further two seconds behind.

Tour de France 2017 – stage 5 results (Vittel – La Planche des Belles Filles):

1 Fabio Aru (Astana)


2 Daniel Martin (Quick-Step Floors)


3 Christopher Froome (Team Sky)


4 Richie Porte (BMC)


5 Romain Bardet (AG2R)


6 Simon Yates (Orica-Scott)


7 Rigoberto Uran (Cannondale-Drapac)


8 Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo)


9 Nairo Quintana (Movistar)


10 Geraint Thomas (Team Sky)


11 Louis Meintjes (UAE Team Emirates)


12 Rafal Majka (Bora-hansgrohe)


13 Nicolas Roche (BMC)


14 George Bennett (LottoNl-Jumbo)


15 Mikel Landa (Team Sky)


16 Jakob Fuglsang (Astana)


17 Pierre Latour (AG2R)


18 Serge Pauwels (Dimension Data)


19 Guillaume Martin (Wanty – Groupe Gobert)


20 Damiano Caruso (BMC)


General classification after stage 5:

1 Christopher Froome (Team Sky)


2 Geraint Thomas (Team Sky)


3 Fabio Aru (Astana)


4 Daniel Martin (Quick-Step Floors)


5 Richie Porte (BMC)


6 Simon Yates (Orica-Scott)


7 Romain Bardet (AG2R)


8 Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo)


9 Nairo Quintana (Movistar)


10 Rafal Majka (Bora-hansgrohe)


11 Rigoberto Uran (Cannondale-Drapac)


12 Pierre Latour (AG2R)


13 Louis Meintjes (UAE Team Emirates)


14 Emanuel Buchmann (Bora-hansgrohe)


15 Jakob Fuglsang (Astana)


16 Mikel Landa (Team Sky)


17 Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal)


18 Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky)


19 Andrew Talansky (Cannondale-Drapac)


20 Serge Pauwels (Dimension Data)



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