Tour de France 2017: Britain’s Chris Froome takes the yellow jersey as Fabio Aru wins stage five

Fabio Aru

Italian national champion Aru mounted a brilliantly timed attack to take stage five

Britain’s Chris Froome took the yellow jersey from Team Sky team-mate Geraint Thomas as Italy’s Fabio Aru won the fifth stage of the Tour de France.

Astana rider Aru attacked with 2.3km to go on the final 6km climb up La Planche des Belles Filles and could not be caught by defending champion Froome.

Irishman Dan Martin (Quick-Step Floors) was second, 16 seconds adrift as Froome finished third, four seconds back.

Froome, 32, leads Welshman Thomas by 12 seconds in the general classification.

He was unable to repeat his first Tour stage win in 2012 on La Planche des Belles Filles, a mountain climb that has featured on the Tour twice before.

On both occasions, the rider with the yellow jersey at the end of the stage (Bradley Wiggins in 2012 and Vincenzo Nibali in 2014) went on to win the title.

Italian national champion Aru is up to third, 14 seconds behind Froome, and also takes the King of the Mountain’s polka dot jersey.

The 27-year-old has Grand Tour form, having won the Vuelta a Espana in 2015 and being runner-up in the Giro d’Italia earlier that year,

  • Read: Stage six – a sprint in Troyes?
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Thomas, who had led the race since winning stage one’s individual time trial, knew he was likely to lose the yellow jersey on stage five – a 160.5km race from Vittel – saying before it started that his priority lay with helping his team leader.

He duly paced Froome, along with Michal Kwiatkowski and Mikel Landa, on the final climb which featured sections at 13% and averaged 8.5% before eventually being left behind as the favourites for the overall win upped their tempo.


Thomas (left) worked selflessly for team-mate Froome (second left) despite being the race leader

“It’s an amazing feeling to be back in yellow but the race is far from over, it’s just beginning for me,” said Froome, who is chasing a third successive Tour title, and fourth in five years.

“As a team we’re in a great position with first and second and that gives us great confidence and options going forward.

“Today went really well, although if anything, I made a bit of a mistake in letting Aru go clear. He showed in the Criterium du Dauphine (Tour warm-up race) he was in great form and today confirmed that.”

Froome will be buoyed by the fact he put more time between himself and the majority of his rivals, with Richie Porte, two time winner Alberto Contador, and two-time runner-up Nairo Quintana all finishing behind him.

Porte falls further back


Porte kept pace with Froome on La Planche des Belle Filles but had hoped to win the stage

An elite group of eight riders, including Belgium’s former world champion Philippe Gilbert, broke clear as the race left Vittel and they quickly built a lead of more than three minutes.

That prompted the BMC Racing team to set the pace in the peloton because their leader Porte had earmarked the stage as one he could win.

The Australian lost more than 30 seconds to Froome on the opening time trial and had hoped to claw some of that back with 10 bonus seconds on offer to the stage winner.

However, his team-mates quickly disappeared on the final ascent, leaving Porte to follow other riders.

He kept pace with Froome on the upper slopes of the mountain, which touched 20% on one section, and crossed the line just behind to be awarded the same finishing time.

However, he lost another four seconds – the bonus on offer for third place.

Yates takes white jersey


Yates showed his ambition with an attack on the final ascent

Bury-born Simon Yates showed his rising class with a solid ride for sixth on the stage to make it three British riders in the top six.

The Orica-Scott climber tried to set off in pursuit of Aru and although he later conceded he “did not have the legs”, the 24-year-old finished just two seconds behind another of the race favourites Romain Bardet of France.

His efforts saw him take possession of the white jersey, which is awarded to the quickest rider aged 25 or under.

Simon’s twin brother Adam won the classification last year, on his way to finishing fourth overall.

Stage six for the sprinters

Thursday’s stage is a 216km race from Vesoul with a sprint finish expected on the wide boulevards of Troyes.


Stage five result:

1. Fabio Aru (Ita/Astana) 3hrs 44mins 06secs

2. Daniel Martin (Ire/Quick-Step) +16secs

3. Chris Froome (GB/Team Sky) +20secs

4. Richie Porte (Aus/BMC Racing) Same time

5. Romain Bardet (Fra/AG2R) +24secs

6. Simon Yates (GB/Orica) +26secs

7. Rigoberto Uran (Col/Cannondale) Same time

8. Alberto Contador (Spa/Trek)

9. Nairo Quintana (Col/Movistar) +34secs

10. Geraint Thomas (GB/Team Sky) +40secs

General classification after stage five:

1. Chris Froome (GB/Team Sky) 18hrs 38mins 59secs

2. Geraint Thomas (GB/Team Sky) +12secs

3. Fabio Aru (Ita/Astana) +14secs

4. Daniel Martin (Ire/Quick-Step) +25secs

5. Richie Porte (Aus/BMC Racing) +39secs

6. Simon Yates (GB/Orica) +43secs

7. Romain Bardet (Fra/AG2R) +47secs

8. Alberto Contador (Spa/Trek) +52secs

9. Nairo Quintana (Col/Movistar) +54secs

10. Rafal Majka (Pol/BORA) +1min 01secs

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