Barguil wins for France on Bastille Day as Froome stays second overall

Warren Barguil

Warren Barguil became the first French rider in 12 years to win on Bastille Day

Britain’s Chris Froome failed to reclaim the leader’s yellow jersey as Frenchman Warren Barguil took stage 13 of the Tour de France on Bastille Day.

Italy’s Fabio Aru retained the overall lead as Team Sky rider Froome finished eighth on a thrilling 101km stage.

Sunweb rider Barguil won in a sprint finish from a four-man breakaway in Foix, beating Nairo Quintana, Alberto Contador and Team Sky’s Mikel Landa.

Britain’s Simon Yates extended his lead in the best young rider’s white jersey.

Froome trails Astana rider Aru by six seconds, but is now joined in the top five on general classification by team-mate Landa.

Barguil is the first French rider to win a Tour stage on Bastille Day – France’s national day – since David Moncoutie in 2005.

Barguil produces Bastille Day fireworks

The Tour organisers were clearly hoping to encourage attacking riding on this stage – the shortest of this year’s event barring time trials and one that included three challenging category one climbs before a rapid descent into Foix.

The riders duly obliged in one of the most engrossing days in recent Tour history. A frantic start saw plenty of groups try to break away, while others were being dropped behind, before two-time champion Contador and Landa went clear with over 60km to go.

Barguil hit out in search of points to extend his lead in the polka-dot jersey mountains classification as he and Colombia’s Nairo Quintana finally bridged across to the Spanish duo on the punishing upper slopes of the final climb, the Mur de Peguere.

The Frenchman duly sprinted to take first place over the summit but then smartly conserved his energy on the run-in, his final kick proving too powerful for his fellow climbers.

The 25-year-old cried after thinking he had won stage nine, only to then be told Rigoberto Uran had edged him on the line.

There was no doubt this time, however, as Barguil finally secured his first Tour de France stage victory, with Quintana – who gained almost two minutes to perhaps put himself back into contention – second and Contador third.

Landa ‘threat’ to Froome?

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Great to ‘race for the win’ – Chris Froome

Looking to take the yellow jersey back from Aru, Team Sky were shrewd in sending Landa up the road, while Michal Kwiatkowski also struck out with Quintana and Barguil before dropping back to help Froome later on.

Spaniard Landa – who started the stage two minutes 55 seconds behind Aru – at one point needed just 10 more seconds to overhaul the Italian and become the virtual yellow jersey.

Meanwhile, Aru was isolated behind, shorn of all his Astana team-mates as Jakob Fuglsang finally abandoned the race following the wrist and elbow fractures he sustained in a crash on stage 11.

Yet instead of forcing Aru to chase alone, Froome launched attacks of his own and used Kwiatkowski to cover other attempts to break clear by third-placed Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale) and fourth-placed Uran (Cannondale-Drapac).

Only in the final few kilometres did the Sky duo let Yates and Ireland’s Dan Martin escape to finish fifth and sixth on the stage respectively, by which time Landa’s chances of taking yellow had eroded.

“It was a great card to play – I’ve got a lot of faith in Mikel and he showed that,” Froome told ITV4. “He’s a real threat for the overall title.”

However, the way Froome rode – showing better form than when he cracked on Thursday – suggests he is looking to avoid a leadership contest at Team Sky in this Tour.

‘Sky did half a good job’ – analysis

Olympic cycling medallist and BBC Radio 5 live summariser Rob Hayles

Putting Landa up the road was a good idea as it was looking like he had the potential to ride himself into yellow.

Had that happened, Team Sky could have had yellow and third on general classification, which would obviously have been a very strong position. But the way Froome and Kwiatkowski rode behind maybe that was never part of the plan, which is a shame.

Second and fifth is still a good result but could have been so much better. To me it’s like they’ve done half a good job.

A puncheur’s chance on stage 14

Saturday’s stage 14 is a 181.5km route from Blagnac to Rodez, with the final 100km predominantly uphill, although none of the climbs are tougher than category three.

A breakaway could go the distance but if they do not, the uphill drag to the finish line suits a ‘puncheur’ – a rider adept at racing up short, steep climbs.

With Peter Sagan out of the race, expect the likes of Sunweb’s Michael Matthews and BMC’s Greg van Avermaet to contend.

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Saturday’s stage 14 features a 570m climb with an average gradient of 9.6% to finish

Stage 13 result:

1. Warren Barguil (Fra/Team Sunweb) 2hrs 36mins 29secs

2. Nairo Quintana (Col/Movistar) Same time

3. Alberto Contador (Spa/Trek-Segafredo)

4. Mikel Landa (Spa/Team Sky) +2secs

5. Simon Yates (GB/Orica) +1min 39secs

6. Dan Martin (Ire/Quick-Step) Same time

7. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol/Team Sky) +1min 48secs

8. Chris Froome (GB/Team Sky) Same time

9. Fabio Aru (Ita/Astana)

10. Rigoberto Uran (Col/Cannondale-Drapac)

Selected others:

11. Romain Bardet (Fra/AG2R La Mondiale) Same time

12. Louis Meintjes (SA/Team UAE Emirates)

General classification after Stage 13:

1. Fabio Aru (Ita/Astana) 55hrs 30mins 06secs

2. Chris Froome (GB/Team Sky) +6secs

3. Romain Bardet (Fra/AG2R) +25secs

4. Rigoberto Uran (Col/Cannondale-Drapac) +35secs

5. Mikel Landa (Spa/Team Sky) +1min 09secs

6. Dan Martin (Ire/Quick-Step) +1min 32secs

7. Simon Yates (GB/Orica) +2min 04secs

8. Nairo Quintana (Col/Movistar) +2min 07secs

9. Louis Meintjes (SA/Team UAE Emirates) +4mins 51secs

10. Alberto Contador (Spa/Trek) +5mins 22secs

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/40610769

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