Tour de France 2017: Froome moves into yellow after proving his mettle in the mountains

 
Oliver Gill
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Le Tour de France 2017 - Stage Five
Team Sky's Chris Froome will wear the leader's yellow jersey for the 45th time tomorrow (Source: Getty)

Three-times Tour de France champion Chris Froome revealed he is facing his “hardest-fought battle” in his quest for victory after today moving into the race leader’s yellow jersey.

The Briton swapped positions with his Sky team-mate Geraint Thomas as the favourites took on the Tour’s first mountain test on the fifth stage from Vittel to La Planche des Belles Filles.

Italian national champion Fabio Aru slipped away from an ever-dwindling bunch on the final 6km climb to the ski station in the Vosges mountains.

Read more: Froome survives peloton pile-up scare

"I remember the first time I was in yellow in 2013. It was a bit of an overwhelming experience to be honest, but I think I've spent enough days in yellow now to get used to that,” he said.

I know what I'm up against. This is going to be the hardest-fought battle in terms of the general classification and I know my rivals are right up there.

Froome won his first ever Tour de France stage on the same ascent in 2012 pipping eventual winner Bradley Wiggins.

Aru took off as the gradients reached 20 per cent, while the main pack quickly whittled down a quartet of Froome, Richie Porte, Dan Martin and Romain Bardet.

The Italian won by 16 seconds from Irishman Martin who stole four seconds in the final sprint for the line. Porte and Froome crested the mountain together with Bardet four seconds further back.

Thomas fell to second place overall, finishing in 10th place, 20 seconds behind Froome.

Read more: Skydiving? Millar reveals why Team Sky's days are far from numbered

Bury-born rider Simon Yates made it three Britons in the top 10, securing sixth place. Proving he is able to mix it with the main contenders the Orica-Scott rider moved into the lead of the young rider’s competition and is sixth overall. His twin brother Adam took the title last year.

Yates said:

The podium girls and the staff said: ‘Hello again’. I was like, ‘I’m someone different’!.

Meanwhile, Nairo Quintana, historically one of Froome’s biggest rivals, finished 34 seconds behind Aru in ninth place.

Froome added: “I made a little bit of a mistake at the final by giving Aru that much space to go... But with it being flat on the final kick, no-one wanted to be left pulling on that final point.”

Aru attacks

Stage result

RANK RIDER TEAM TIMES GAP
1 ARU FABIO ASTANA PRO TEAM 03H 44' 06''
2 MARTIN DANIEL QUICK - STEP FLOORS 03H 44' 22'' 00' 16''
3 FROOME CHRISTOPHER TEAM SKY 03H 44' 26'' 00' 20''
4 PORTE RICHIE BMC RACING TEAM 03H 44' 26'' 00' 20''
5 BARDET ROMAIN AG2R LA MONDIALE 03H 44' 30'' 00' 24''
6 YATES SIMON ORICA - SCOTT 03H 44' 32'' 00' 26''
7 URAN RIGOBERTO CANNONDALE DRAPAC 03H 44' 32'' 00' 26''
8 CONTADOR ALBERTO TREK - SEGAFREDO 03H 44' 32'' 00' 26''
9 QUINTANA NAIRO MOVISTAR TEAM 03H 44' 40'' 00' 34''
10 THOMAS GERAINT TEAM SKY 03H 44' 46'' 00' 40''

General Classification

RANK RIDER TEAM TIMES GAP
1 FROOME CHRISTOPHER TEAM SKY 18H 38' 59''
2 THOMAS GERAINT TEAM SKY 18H 39' 11'' 00' 12''
3 ARU FABIO ASTANA PRO TEAM 18H 39' 13'' 00' 14''
4 MARTIN DANIEL QUICK - STEP FLOORS 18H 39' 24'' 00' 25''
5 PORTE RICHIE BMC RACING TEAM 18H 39' 38'' 00' 39''
6 YATES SIMON ORICA - SCOTT 18H 39' 42'' 00' 43''
7 BARDET ROMAIN AG2R LA MONDIALE 18H 39' 46'' 00' 47''
8 CONTADOR ALBERTO TREK - SEGAFREDO 18H 39' 51'' 00' 52''
9 QUINTANA NAIRO MOVISTAR TEAM 18H 39' 53'' 00' 54''
10 MAJKA RAFAL BORA - HANSGROHE 18H 40' 00'' 01' 01''

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