After Gruelling Battle Froome Maintains Tour de France Lead
After his excellent performance on Saturday afternoon Chris Froome put in another stunning display on Sunday over four Category One climbs in the Pyrenees.
While Dan Martin won the stage, Froome held on to his 1 min 25 second lead over his nearest challenger Alejandro Valverde. Froome described it as “one of the hardest days I’ve ever had on a bike.”
Overall Sunday’s stage was a disaster for the Sky Team, Vasil Kiryienka failed to beat the time limit and was out of the race, Kennaugh fell off his bike and Richie Porte dropped from second overall to 33rd after losing 17 minutes. However, Froome maintained his composure throughout the day and summed it up with, “This is bike racing. Today showed us there is a lot more to it than going fast up a mountain finish.”
Throughout the day the other racers were after Froome. At least six times over the course Froome had to chase down different attacks. Four times in two kilometers Nairo Quintana tried to nail him, but each time Froome hit back.
However, as usual Froome proved unflappable, “They did go for me. It is not easy to follow Quintana. He’s a light little Colombian who can fly up hills so to cover his attacks definitely wasn’t easy. But I was ready for more attacks.”