Tour de France 2017

Erica Murray
July 17, 2017

Mollema would subsequently attack from a much reduced front group with 27 kilometres remaining, and despite being chased by a quartet comprising Barguil plus Diego Ulissi of UAE Team Emirates, Lotto Belisol's Tony Gallopin and Primoz Roglic of LottoNL-Jumbo, he would hold on to win by 19 seconds.

In kph, the average speed of stage victor Bauke Mollema in the last 30km of the stage after the Dutchman went solo.

"I really thought that could be the yellow jersey changing hands again", added Froome.

He started the day six seconds ahead of the three-time champion but, before yesterday's 15th stage, trailed Froome by 18 seconds after coming home 30th overall, 25sec behind stage 14 victor Michael Matthews of Team Sunweb.

Mollema was able to revel in his first stage win, after timing his attack perfectly on the descent of the Col de Peyra Taillade, but Lotto Soudal's Tim Wellens was an early casualty on Sunday's stage as he abandoned.

But he's also enjoyed success in some shorter stage races, winning the Tour of Catalonia in 2013 and finishing third at both Paris-Nice and the Criterium du Dauphine this year, even beating Froome in the latter.

"It couldn't have come at a worst time".

But by then AG2R's brown and blue cohorts were flagging too in the enormous heat, and Froome - ignoring some boos from what appeared to be a few fans on the climb - could, at last, latch onto the back end of the group. "I'm very grateful for my teammates doing the work to help me". Just before the climb I had a problem with my back wheel, it was damaged.

On a windy day in the south of France, Froome and his teammates showed their superiority by riding at the front when the peloton stretched out and managed to put 24 seconds into their leader's closest rival. Certainly the speed was probably at the highest point of the race, coming in to the foot of that last climb.

Since then though, Martin has chipped away at the time gap earned by the leaders as he looks to become the first Irish cyclist to reach the podium on the Champs Elysees since Roche's win 30 years ago.

"I think Chris was strong because he was calm".

Race leader Chris Froome survived a scare on a gruelling 15th stage of the Tour de France. With Froome only six seconds behind him overall, the leader of the Astana team knows he can't afford to let the Briton get away from him.

Bardet's AG2R La Mondiale team had upped the pace as the category one Peyra Taillaide approached with 40km left, and had already distanced Froome once before the Team Sky man was forced to pull over. I'm going to pass out tonight.

The big loser of the day was Colombia's Nairo Quintana, who dropped out of the overall top 10. From seventh overall at the start of the stage, Landa is fifth, just 1:09 behind Aru.

I prefer to be ahead on GC at this point than having to make up time. I've just tried to be a little bit more calculating.

Other reports by Insurance News

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