Froome comes out strengthened from the 9th stage

Sport 9 July, 2017

Photo: Christophe Ena Associated Press
The British Chris Froome

The yellow jersey of Chris Froome came out stronger from the dramatic storyline of the 9th stage of the Tour de France, won Sunday in Chambery by the Colombian Rigoberto Uran, after the abandonment on the collapse of Richie Porte and the failure of Alberto Contador.


Froome placed third in the stage behind Uran and the French Warren Barguil, broken only by the photo finish. The classification above is now 18 seconds the champion of Italy, Fabio Aru, and 51 seconds French Romain Bardet, on the eve of the first rest day.


The Colombian Nairo Quintana, three times on the podium of the Tour since 2013, has been distanced in the last of the seven climbs of the day, the mont du Chat. He crossed the line with a delay of 1 min 15 sec and confessed : “The forces are beginning to miss it after the bet we made this year” (a double Giro and Tour).


The mont du Chat has cost even more expensive to Contador, dropped by the favorites group at 3 kilometers of the summit. “The legs did not respond as I had hoped,” admitted the Spaniard, a double winner of the Tour (2007, 2009), which gave way eventually to more than four minutes… and the last of his chances of winning the Tour 2017, except in the improbable drama.


A collar fearsome


The col, climbed only once by the Tower earlier (in 1974), has thus justified its reputation as fearsome. His descent even more, since the Door had made a serious fall in the first part, while it had been included in the group of favorites led by Froome in the hunting of the last survivor of the breakaway of the day (Barguil).


On the television pictures, the Australian has committed an error of trajectory. It hit violently the ground next to a ravine before bouncing against the rock wall, the other side of the road, cutting in its path Dan Martin. The Irish, saved by his helmet, was able, and then up on the bike and finish it.


Door, victim including a head injury without neurological disorders, has been evacuated to the hospital of Chambéry, where he spent the first medical examination.


These have revealed the presence of two fractures to the right clavicle, and pelvis, without moving. The Australian will be unavailable for at least four weeks, ” said Dr. Testa, the physician of the BMC team.


Froome has had a word for Door, a long time teammate before becoming his rival (5th Round 2016) : “no one wants to see a protagonist of the Tour to leave the race like that, it was terrifying ! “


Abandonment of Thomas


The Uk has also noted with regret the abandonment of his lieutenant, favorite, Welsh Geraint Thomas, to land him also. The first yellow jersey of the Tour 2017 fell in the descent, very technical of the neck of the Doe, more than 100 kilometers from the finish and fractured his right collarbone.


As for the French champion, Arnaud Démare, he has lived a nightmare. Distanced from the first hundred meters, he managed to finish with a delay of nearly an hour, beyond the time period allowed.


His team FDJ lost at the same time three other riders (Delage, Konovalovas and Guarnieri), who have waited for the winner of the stage to Vittel. “Arnaud is in a weakened state, surprisingly enough. We will do analysis [medical], ” said the manager of the French team, Marc Madiot.


In this step of 181,5 kilometers, crossed three passes out of class (Doe, Grand Colombier, mont du Chat), The AG2R la Mondiale team, at home, since his office is based at the gates of Chambery, has tightened the race in the downhill. But, after the Grand Colombier, it is the formation of Froome who has worked to bring the survivors of the early breakaway.


At the top of the very tough climb of the mont du Chat (8.7 km at 10.3 %), the group of favorites has shifted shortly after Barguil. Bardet, master-chute, then released without being able to conclude. The dauphin Froome in the Tour in 2016 has been taken on the part of dish (13 km), leading to Chambéry, at the threshold of the final two kilometres.


“He has not missed much,” responded Bardet, legitimately disappointed. “And in the sprint, I have a speed that skips to the time where I’m starting. “


Barguil also was able to feed of regret after having believed is to be imposed in front of Uran. By way of consolation, the Breton, already in sight the day before, took the polka dot jersey of best climber.


After the finish, Froome has defused the controversy looming because of the behavior of the champion of Italy, Fabio Aru, who has started in the mont du Chat immediately after a mechanical failure suffered by the yellow jersey.


“I’m still in the lead, I’m very happy with the balance of the day “, has slipped in the Uk before you go take a seat in one of the four aircraft, carrying the squad to the Périgord.