Tour de France 2017: Luke Rowe backs Chris Froome for fourth success


Froome was booed and abused by some of the French support on a climb on stage fifteen of the 104th Tour De France and speaking about the three times race victor, Bardet said; "I heard that Froome was abused at times".

Sunday's 189.5km stage is perhaps the most lovely on this year's race, which organisers believe will showcase "exceptional landscapes that highlight the charm of France" as it passes through the stunning Massif Central mountain range.

"All the team did nice work", Landa said. "Personally, if I was one of them, I would have gone flat out, no team mates left", the American said.

Froome could hardly believe he won back so much time on a stage that, on paper, didn't seem set up to pose such difficulties for Aru.

For a full breakdown of the remaining stage schedule, visit the race's official website.

The second rest day will provide exactly that for Froome ahead of the final week of what is being considered the closest Tour in recent history with just 29 seconds separating the top four on general classification. It's a shame I got second place but I performed to my maximum. "It was that or I didn't go over the climb with the favourites".

But Froome had been perfectly positioned by Team Sky while Aru's weakened Astana outfit could not give him the same protection. With the way Froome and Team Sky are riding now, it's going to take a team effort to give someone else a shot at the overall lead.

Of the overall contenders, only Rigoberto Uran and Dan Martin stuck with Froome. My life is not going to change if I win the Tour de France.

Froome was impressed. "He has ridden a very good race so far". He had a lead of 1:47 after Stage 14 in 2016, of 3:10 in 2015 and 2:28 in 2013. "The time I made up today could be very vital".

In last Sunday's Stage 9, Martin lost one minute and fifteen seconds on the leaders as a result of the crash.

Irishman Stephen Roche, the Tour victor in 1987, said he thought Landa was the biggest threat to Froome winning a fourth title.

He was so assured of victory that he sat up at the end and cruised over the line.

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. Christian Prudhomme, the race director, said at the route's unveiling last October that it should entice more attacks and prevent one team (pointedly, Sky) from controlling the race. They'll need to continue to attack the Sky leader in the mountains, and hope that the defending champion has another bad day.

The defending champion came seventh, one second behind stage victor 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.



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