Tour de France 2017 stage 18: Chris Froome wary of threat from Rigoberto Uran despite taking a big step towards victory

 
Oliver Gill
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Froome thinks third-placed Uran (left, in green) will be his biggest rival on Saturday's time trial (Source: Getty)

Defending champion Chris Froome insists the battle for the yellow jersey is far from over, despite taking a huge step on his quest to win a fourth Tour de France title today.

The Briton crossed the line fourth on the summit finish to the Col d’Izoard, just behind home favourite Romain Bardet, who moved up to second overall.

But the Team Sky leader is 23 seconds ahead of the Frenchman on general classification, with Colombian Rigoberto Uran a further six seconds adrift in third.

Frenchman Warren Barguil, the leader in the king of the mountains competition, won the 180km stage from Briancon.

Read more: Britain's Lizzie Deignan makes strong start to La Course

Froome said he had “no regret” about not taking the stage victory, adding: “The hardest part of the Tour is behind now. We passed the Pyrenees and now the Alps.”

Friday’s stage tilts downwards with limited opportunity for the main protagonists to gain time on one another. But it is Saturday’s 22.5km time trial in Marseille that concerns Froome.

"Rigo [Uran] is definitely my biggest threat,” he said.

From the general classification riders, he's the next strongest time triallist and he's only 29 seconds down. I imagine he'll be the guy to look out for in Marseille.

Break

Thursday’s second of two crucial days in the Alps witnessed a large group break away early on. But this fractured as the riders navigated the 2,109m Col de Vars and finally the 2,360m Izoard.

Only the pair of Barguil and Colombian Darwin Atapuma, who finished 20 seconds behind the Frenchman, were able to keep the general classification contenders at bay – most of whom were scattered across the final climb.

Britain’s Simon Yates successfully defended the white jersey for the best young rider, despite shedding 22 seconds to South African Louis Meintjes. His cushion of over two minutes requires a monumental effort to overturn.

“I'm pretty happy," said Yates. “I had much better legs than yesterday. I didn't lose that much time. I'm more confident after today.”

Read more: Simon Yates bounces back from ban with Vuelta stage win

Stage result

RANK RIDER TEAM TIMES GAP
1 BARGUIL WARREN TEAM SUNWEB 04H 40' 33''
2 ATAPUMA JOHN DARWIN UAE TEAM EMIRATES 04H 40' 53'' + 00' 20''
3 BARDET ROMAIN AG2R LA MONDIALE 04H 40' 53'' + 00' 20''
4 FROOME CHRISTOPHER TEAM SKY 04H 40' 53'' + 00' 20''
5 URAN RIGOBERTO CANNONDALE DRAPAC 04H 40' 55'' + 00' 22''
6 LANDA MIKEL TEAM SKY 04H 41' 05'' + 00' 32''
7 MEINTJES LOUIS UAE TEAM EMIRATES 04H 41' 10'' + 00' 37''
8 MARTIN DANIEL QUICK - STEP FLOORS 04H 41' 12'' + 00' 39''
9 YATES SIMON ORICA - SCOTT 04H 41' 32'' + 00' 59''
10 CONTADOR ALBERTO TREK - SEGAFREDO 04H 41' 42'' + 01' 09''

General classification

RANK RIDER TEAM TIMES GAP
1 FROOME CHRISTOPHER TEAM SKY 78H 08' 19''
2 BARDET ROMAIN AG2R LA MONDIALE 78H 08' 42'' + 00' 23''
3 URAN RIGOBERTO CANNONDALE DRAPAC 78H 08' 48'' + 00' 29''
4 LANDA MIKEL TEAM SKY 78H 09' 55'' + 01' 36''
5 ARU FABIO ASTANA PRO TEAM 78H 10' 14'' + 01' 55''
6 MARTIN DANIEL QUICK - STEP FLOORS 78H 11' 15'' + 02' 56''
7 YATES SIMON ORICA - SCOTT 78H 13' 05'' + 04' 46''
8 MEINTJES LOUIS UAE TEAM EMIRATES 78H 15' 11'' + 06' 52''
9 BARGUIL WARREN TEAM SUNWEB 78H 16' 41'' + 08' 22''
10 CONTADOR ALBERTO TREK - SEGAFREDO 78H 16' 53'' + 08' 34''

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