Chris Froome satisfied as Briton defies hail and torrential rain to consolidate Tour de France lead

 
Frank Dalleres
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Le Tour de France 2016 - Stage Nine
Chris Froome emerged unscathed from a five-way fight in torrential conditions on stage nine (Source: Getty)

Defending champion Chris Froome declared himself satisfied with the first week of the Tour de France after consolidating his lead in treacherous conditions on Sunday.

Froome finished alongside yellow jersey rival Nairo Quintana and fellow Briton Adam Yates, more than six minutes behind Dutchman Tom Dumoulin, who won stage nine in Andorra in torrential rain.

The two-time winner earlier saw another Tour title hopeful, Spaniard Alberto Contador, abandon his attempts to win a third crown after struggling with illness.

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“I’m really happy with that,” said Froome, who leads Yates by 16 seconds in the general classification.

“Of course, it would be nice to take a bit more time to have a bit more of a buffer in the yellow jersey, but all in all, I’m really happy. The race is still very open and a lot of guys are still up there in contention.”

Froome was involved in a five-way fight with Yates, Ireland’s Dan Martin, Quintana and former Team Sky colleague Ritchie Porte in the steep final 10km but none of their attacks succeeded and all finished within two seconds of each other.

Contador, who crashed twice during the first week and had been suffering from a fever, quit the race with more than 100km of the stage remaining.

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