Chris Froome: Giving Aru that much space to go was a mistake

Chris Froome

Chris Froome moved into the yellow jersey at the Tour de France after claiming third place on the first summit finish of the race.

Froome latched onto the attack of rival Richie Porte in the final metres and was able to secure a podium and four bonus seconds at top of La Planche des Belles Filles. That was enough to elevate him into the maillot jaune, 12 seconds ahead of team-mate Geraint Thomas.

After pulling on the yellow jersey in a fourth Tour de France, Froome summed up his feelings, confirming: “It’s an amazing feeling to be back in yellow. Having said that I know the race is far from over. It’s only just begun for me.

“I think as a team we’re in a great position, first and second. We can take confidence away from that and I think it gives us options going forward in terms of being able to play both cards.

“Today went really well. The team did a great job, keeping me out of trouble and then setting that pace on the final climb. If anything we made a little mistake in the final giving Aru that much space to go. But with it being flat before that final kick, I think no one really wanted to be left pulling at that point. [Aru] showed already at the Dauphine he’s in great form and today just confirmed that.”

After the stage Sport Director Nicolas Portal explained the tactics that went into the summit finish.

“We didn’t want to pull all day so we gave some special attention to the breakaway as it was important to get that one right. BMC took the responsibility and chapeau – they rode really well all day. That allowed us to save our rouleurs like Christian Knees and Luke Rowe. It was pretty fast all day and you could see the time gap was always just over two minutes.

“The plan was to take our pace on the final climb and see what the other guys would do. We’ve been in a good situation since the time trial so this was a different way for us to ride. We didn’t need to be aggressive and we also tried to save some guys. Paris is quite far away!”


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