Tour de France - Chris Froome: I'd be happy to reach the time trial with these gaps
Jul 19 2017 06:19 pm CET

Tour de France - Chris Froome: I'd be happy to reach the time trial with these gaps
Tour de France - Chris Froome: I'd be happy to reach the time trial with these gaps
Photo of Chris Froome by the A.S.O.

Chris Froome kept things well under control in the penultimate mountain stage of this year's Tour de France and remains in Yellow with the Izoard and the time trial left to go.

The defending champion did well to counter any attack by his rivals on the climb of the Galibier in Wednesday's stage 17, and eventually crossed the finish line in third place behind stage winner Primoz Roglic and Rigoberto Uran.

In doing so, Froome gains some time as former number two Fabio Aru lost about half a minute and drops off the podium with Romain Bardet now moving into second and Uran into third.

"I expected that it was going to be a shadow-chasing match between the main GC guys and that was my mentality going over the climb today; just to do enough to follow the other guys and not necessarily doing too much with tomorrow in mind," said the Team Sky rider.

"It's interesting to see, this late in the game, some guys struggling out there. Fabio Aru was the most noticeable GC contender who list a bit of time today. Tomorrow is the last hard stage with mountain top finish on the Izoard. I think it's still all to race for."

Asked about the form of his key rivals during Wednesday's stage, Froome said they mostly performed as expected.

"I expected them to be up there. I didn't expect Fabio Aru to lose time today so that was probably the surprise of the day.

"Again I have to thank my teammates. They emptied themselves today, each and every one of them, to make sure I was safe until the final. I'm really happy with how the day panned out.

"Izoard is the last big mountain stage for us in this year's Tour de France but the time trial on Saturday is certainly something I'm looking forward to. It's something I worked really hard at before coming to this Tour de France. I've been to Marseille and looked at the route already, and I think it's a good route for me.

"I'd be happy to go into the time trial with these same gaps that we have now."




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