Despite main rival crashing out, Froome remains in charge
CHRIS Froome escaped unscathed after an action-packed ninth stage of the Tour de France as one his main rivals and his Team Sky lieutenant crashed out of the race yesterday.
The defending champion, who was attacked by Fabio Aru just as he suffered mechanical trouble on the last climb, ended up third at the end of a 181.5km trek in the Jura mountains won by Colombian Rigoberto Uran ahead of France’s Warren Barguil.
Briton Froome had his rivals to thank, however, as none of them took turns in front while he was changing his bike in the lung-busting ascent to the Mont du Chat.
The scene was reminiscent of the 2010 Tour when Alberto Contador attacked Andy Schleck on the ascent to the Port de Bales when his rival’s chain snapped.
“I had a mechanical problem with my gears, I had to change bike,” said three-times champion Froome.
“I want to thank the other riders, who did not attack,” he added, saying he did not see Aru attacking past him as he raised his arm to ask for assistance.
“Richie (Porte) was quite instrumental in slowing that group down, saying this is not the time to attack the leader of the race, so thanks to Richie and I hope he makes a speedy recovery.” – Reuters