Bennett holds firm at Tour de France

Bruno Cirelli
Luglio 17, 2017

But after a mad 20km chase, he latched back onto the group ahead, with Landa, who had stayed alongside the other favourites, dropping back at the last moment to help Froome bridge up after Sergio Henao and Mikel Nieve had provided most of the chase effort.

The Quick-Step Floors rider picked up 13 seconds to move up to fifth place ahead of Landa, 72 seconds off yellow.

With six stages to go, including a time-trial at Marseille's Velodrome and the processional finish in Paris, Martin has realistically just two mountains stages in the Pyrennes to force his way onto the podium in Paris.

Sunday's outcome was only in doubt for about 20 minutes, the amount of time it took Federer to grab his first lead.

'I panicked a little, ' said Froome, who clawed his way back to keep his 18-second lead.

"This morning he was three minutes back so when someone's further away in the standings they're given more space (to get away)".

German sprinter Marcel Kittel steered clear of trouble and claimed the stage in a sprint finish, taking his tally to five stage wins since the race started.

Stage 15 covers 189.5km travel by the riders from Laissac-Sévérac l'Église to Le Puy-en-Velay.

"It's a big loss for me and the whole team", admitted Aru, who had already seen another team-mate in Dario Cataldo crash out on Wednesday. For everything he's accomplished, for all of the bright lights and big settings to which he's become accustomed, the guy many have labeled the "GOAT" - Greatest of All Time - admits to feeling heavy legs and jumbled thoughts at important on-court moments to this day.

Mollema was preceded by 19 seconds, his first pursuers, the Italian Diego Ulissi, france's Tony Gallopin, the Slovenian Primoz Roglic, followed by another Frenchman, Warren Barguil. "It's really no surprise, as this week has been brutal", said Martin.

Froome suffered a mechanical problem due to a broken spoke in his back wheel and found himself distanced as he had to stop and change a wheel with team-mate Michal Kwiatkowski.

Dan Martin may have crashed twice on one stage during the Tour de France but he could still finish on the podium, his uncle and former victor Stephen Roche believes. It was close to the chases at the end. But the French have been [going] so well [with] the stage wins and Bardet fighting for the win.

"Going from fourth to third is a big, big step, and from third to first is an even bigger step, but Dan's a fighter and even if it's always going to be hard for him to win the Tour, he definitely believes he can win it".

While Froome avoided time losses against the odds, Nairo Quintana's bid for Tour glory looks to be decisively over as he cracked on the Peyra Taillaide and gave up four minutes to tumble out of the top 10.

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