Race report: Fabio Aru strikes and takes stage, Chris Froome takes Yellow
Jul 05 2017 11:11 pm CET

Race report: Fabio Aru strikes and takes stage, Chris Froome takes Yellow

Fabio Aru has taken the victory at the fifth stage of the Tour de France, the first mountain test for the General Classification contenders. The rider crossed the line ahead of Dan Martin and Chris Froome.

The fifth stage of La Grande Boucle was set to be the first test for the main candidates for the General Classification. Over 160.5 kilometres, the route took the riders through the first day in the mountains, finishing with a first category climb to La Planche des Belles Filles.

Early in the race, a luxury breakaway was formed. The group conformed by Jan Bakelants (AG2R-La Mondiale), Mickaël Delage (FDJ), Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension Data), Philippe Gilbert (Quick-Step Floors), Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal), Thomas Voeckler (Direct Energie), Dylan Van Baarle (Cannondale-Drapac) and Pierre-Luc Périchon (Fortuneo-Oscaro), managed to be more than three minutes ahead of the peloton.

Behind them, a very motivated BMC working for its leader Richie Porte increased the pace to catch the front group. Later on teams like Sky, Trek-Segafredo and Astana joined in the chase.

The ascent to the Cote d'Esmoulieres broke the front group, allowing Bakelants to get a gap that was soon closed by some of the other escapees, although Delage and De Gendt couldn't keep with the rhythm and were soon reeled back in by the pack.

In the prelude of the final ascent, Gilbert attacked from the front group and only Bakelants could stay on his wheel. Behind them, Boasson Hagen, Perichon and Voeckler chased them trying to get back to the front.

The last climb finished with the hopes of the breakaway to make it to the end and with four kilometres to go its last remaining members, Gilbert and Bakelants, were caught by a bunch led by Sky.

The first attack of the GC contenders came from Fabio Aru (Astana) who quickly got some distance over the rest. Then Simon Yates (Orica-Scott) made a move to position himself in front of the reduced pack.

Moments later, it was Chris Froome's turn to set the pace and only Porte, Romain Bardet (AG2R-La Mondiale) and Dan Martin (Quick-Step) followed, leaving behind other favourites like Nairo Quintana (Movistar) and Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo).

The Italian champion crossed the finish line solo and behind him Martin, Froome, Porte and Bardet completed the top five of the day.

Froome takes the Yellow Jersey from Geraint Thomas, who is now in the second place of the General Classification. Aru, Martin and Porte follow them in the overall standings.
Photo of Fabio Aru (cropped) by Astana Pro Team



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