Tour de France 2017 stage 14: Team Sky's Chris Froome takes back the yellow jersey after Fabio Aru flounders

 
Oliver Gill
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Le Tour de France 2017 - Stage Fourteen
One of Chris Froome's team-mates said he had no plans on giving the yellow jersey away again (Source: Getty)

Team Sky’s Chris Froome stunned Italy’s Fabio Aru by outfoxing him at the end of stage 14 and recaptured the Tour de France leader’s yellow jersey.

Australian Michael Matthews won the 182km stage from Blagnac to Rodez, pipping Belgian Greg van Avermaet on an uphill sprint.

Metres behind, Froome caught Aru napping as gaps appeared on a steep final 500m. The Briton, six seconds behind the Italian at the stage of the day, now has a 19 seconds lead.

Froome admitted he didn’t expect to reclaim the jersey so soon.

He added: “I'm back in yellow because the team kept me at the front. Without their job, there's no way I could keep my position.”

Read more: Froome buckles in Pyrenees and surrenders yellow jersey

With the peloton assembled together at the foot of the final steep ascent, Team Sky kept Froome well-placed near the front. Meanwhile, Aru ­– visible in the yellow jersey – could be seen poorly positioned further back.

And as double-digit gradients took their toll, splits emerged among the riders. It quickly became clear Froome had an unexpected chance of retaking the overall lead.

Froome said:

In the last 500 metres, I heard shouting in the [team] radio, ‘push, push, push'… It's amazing to hear that.

The result means Team Sky bookends the overall standings. Briton Luke Rowe sits in last place – itself a prestigious prize known as the “Lantern Rouge” – as he sacrifices his position to assist Froome's quest for a fourth Tour de France title.

Rowe explained Sky had planned to keep Froome at the front of the race in the final kilometres.

He said: “All it takes is 500 metres at 10 per cent and you see guys really struggling.

We’ve given up the yellow jersey once and I’ve seen a pretty disappointed Froomey when he had to hand that yellow jersey over and he won’t want to do it again.

Read more: Britain's Dan McLay decides not to die waiting at the Tour de France

Stage result

RANK RIDER TEAM TIMES GAP
1 MATTHEWS MICHAEL TEAM SUNWEB 04H 21' 56''
2 VAN AVERMAET GREG BMC RACING TEAM 04H 21' 56'' + 00' 00''
3 BOASSON HAGEN EDVALD TEAM DIMENSION DATA 04H 21' 57'' + 00' 01''
4 GILBERT PHILIPPE QUICK - STEP FLOORS 04H 21' 57'' + 00' 01''
5 MC CARTHY JAY BORA - HANSGROHE 04H 21' 57'' + 00' 01''
6 COLBRELLI SONNY BAHRAIN - MERIDA 04H 21' 57'' + 00' 01''
7 FROOME CHRISTOPHER TEAM SKY 04H 21' 57'' + 00' 01''
8 MARTIN DANIEL QUICK - STEP FLOORS 04H 21' 57'' + 00' 01''
9 URAN RIGOBERTO CANNONDALE DRAPAC 04H 21' 57'' + 00' 01''
10 BENOOT TIESJ LOTTO SOUDAL 04H 22' 01'' + 00' 05''

General classification

RANK RIDER TEAM TIMES GAP
1 FROOME CHRISTOPHER TEAM SKY 59H 52' 09''
2 ARU FABIO ASTANA PRO TEAM 59H 52' 27'' + 00' 18''
3 BARDET ROMAIN AG2R LA MONDIALE 59H 52' 32'' + 00' 23''
4 URAN RIGOBERTO CANNONDALE DRAPAC 59H 52' 38'' + 00' 29''
5 LANDA MIKEL TEAM SKY 59H 53' 26'' + 01' 17''
6 MARTIN DANIEL QUICK - STEP FLOORS 59H 53' 35'' + 01' 26''
7 YATES SIMON ORICA - SCOTT 59H 54' 11'' + 02' 02''
8 QUINTANA NAIRO MOVISTAR TEAM 59H 54' 31'' + 02' 22''
9 MEINTJES LOUIS UAE TEAM EMIRATES 59H 57' 18'' + 05' 09''
10 CONTADOR ALBERTO TREK - SEGAFREDO 59H 57' 46'' + 05' 37