RODEZ, France, (Reuters) – Chris Froome reclaimed the overall lead on the Tour de France after he left Italian Fabio Aru trailing in a punchy finish of the 14th stage, a 181.5-km ride from Blagnac yesterday.
The defending champion came seventh, one second behind stage winner Michael Matthews of Australia as Aru, who started the day with the yellow jersey on his shoulders, lost 25 seconds to the Briton in the final effort, a 600-metre climb at an average gradient of 9.6 per cent.
Aru was out of position in the run-in to the climb and as he crossed the line his face wore a mask of pain after more than four hours on the saddle battling strong winds.
Overall, Briton Froome now leads Aru by 18 seconds and last year’s runner-up Romain Bardet by 23 seconds after the Frenchman finished five seconds off the pace.
Froome had lost the jersey to Aru in the opening Pyrenean stage, but normal service resumed yesterday when he was the first of the overall favourites over the line.
Colombian Rigoberto Uran, who finished with Froome, remains fourth, six seconds behind Bardet ahead of a tricky 15th stage in the Massif Central, which features two first-category climbs.