Sport Chris Froome expecting to peak as Tour de France reaches crunch time

17:05  17 july  2017
17:05  17 july  2017 Source:   pressassociation.com

Chris Froome relishing challenge of the mountains

  Chris Froome relishing challenge of the mountains The battle for the yellow jersey will return to the forefront in the Tour de France this weekend as the race goes back to the mountains. Team Sky’s Chris Froome leads the general classification by 12 seconds from team-mate Geraint Thomas, with Italian national champion Fabio Aru of Astana third, 14 seconds down and Richie Porte of BMC - seen as Froome’s main rival - fourth, 39 seconds down.After two long sprint days Saturday will see the riders contest a rolling 187.5km stage from Dole to Station des Rousses before Sunday’s mountainous route between Nantua and Chambery sends the peloton over three hors categorie climbs.

Next up: Tour de France bikes: Chris Froome 's Pinarello Dogma F10 (video). Froome hopes for an exciting race for the fans, expecting a close race for yellow. Henry Robertshaw.

Chris Froome enjoyed a straightforward 10th stage to retain his overall lead at the Tour de France . Chris Froome . There's a lot of racing still coming up and I think it's going to still be quite an open race.

Chris Froome is facing a battle to defend his Tour de France title: 2016 Tour de France - Stage 21 - Chantilly to Paris Champs-Elysees © PA WIRE 2016 Tour de France - Stage 21 - Chantilly to Paris Champs-Elysees

Chris Froome expects to be on his best form in the final week of the Tour de France as he fights to hold on to the yellow jersey in the closest battle this race has ever seen.

Just 29 seconds cover the top four as Team Sky’s Froome leads by 18 seconds from Italian national champion Fabio Aru, with Frenchman Romain Bardet a further five seconds back in third and former Sky rider Rigoberto Uran of Colombia looking ominous in fourth.

The race will head towards the Alps after Monday’s rest day, with stages on Wednesday and Thursday potentially decisive before Saturday’s time trial in Marseille.

Lilian Calmejane wins stage eight of Tour de France despite suffering from cramp

  Lilian Calmejane wins stage eight of Tour de France despite suffering from cramp Frenchman Lilian Calmejane overcame cramp to win stage eight of the Tour de France as Chris Froome survived a brief off-road excursion to retain his yellow jersey. Having attacked out of a breakaway on the final climb of the day, Calmejane cramped up around five kilometres from the finish of the 187.5 kilometre stage from Dole to Station des Rousses, allowing the chasing Dutchman Robert Gesink to close in.But Direct-Energie's Calmejane stretched himself out and got going again to win by 37 seconds from the LottoNL-Jumbo rider.

Bergerac ( France ) (AFP). Chris Froome said it was a "huge honour" to discover on Tuesday he had racked up a half century of days in the Tour de France yellow jersey. He's now up to joint fourth overall in the all- time list, level with five- time Tour winner Jacques Anquetil.

Chris Froome surrendered the yellow jersey to Fabio Aru as Romain Bardet won stage 12 of the Tour de France in Peyragudes. Three- time Tour winner Froome faded badly on the brutal final climb of the 214.5 kilometre stage from Pau while Aru finished third to take the final bonus seconds on offer.

Three-time Tour winner Froome is used to beginning the final week of the race with a decent cushion to defend, but struggles in the Pyrenees saw him temporarily surrender yellow and left his rivals bunched up behind him.

However, after taking a different approach to his preparation this year, Froome believes he is just about to peak.

“I certainly feel as if I’m on an upward curve,” the Briton said. “I came in with the least amount of race days ever coming into a Tour de France. I really do feel as if I’m coming up and the last few days have been evidence of that.

“I had a bad day in the Pyrenees about a week ago but hopefully I’m on track to be at my best in the last week.”

Froome lost yellow on stage 12 to Peyragudes on Thursday but reclaimed it 48 hours later.

Chris Froome still has the edge in Tour de France

  Chris Froome still has the edge in Tour de France Chris Froome will take his narrow Tour de France lead into the Alps on Wednesday after defending it through fierce crosswinds on the road to Romans-sur-Isere. If the peloton had taken a moment to look up during the frantic finish to stage 16, they would have seen the Alps rising up above the finish town as an ominous warning of what is to come next.Three-time Tour winner Froome leads by just 18 seconds from Italian national champion Fabio Aru, 23 seconds from Frenchman Romain Bardet and 29 seconds from Colombian Rigoberto Uran - the closest the Tour has ever been at this stage.

Chris Froome slipped to second overall at the Tour de France after a gruelling finish to stage 12. The stage had unfolded as expected , with a strong break going clear, then the team took up the pace. Luke Rowe and Christian Knees did a long stint on the front of the peloton, before Vasil Kiryienka took

PEYRAGUDES, France — For his three previous victories at the Tour de France , Chris Froome took advantage of the first big mountain stage to deliver the decisive blow. On Thursday (Friday, Manila time ), that tried and trusted strategy never got going

However, he had to be at his best just to retain it on Sunday as a broken spoke on his bike left him a minute down on his rivals at the foot of the Col de Peyra Taillade, and the 32-year-old had to go into the red just to save the day as Bardet’s AG2R La Mondiale team drove the race on.

The route for this year’s Tour is a big part of the reason everything is so close. There are only three summit finishes and very few time trial kilometres - with most of them still to come next Saturday.

Battles against the clock tend to strongly favour Froome, but he will not be lulled into relying on the time trial to claw back time knowing that Cannondale-Drapac’s Uran poses a strong threat in such a setting.

“Rigoberto is more the dark horse,” Froome said when asked about his main rivals. “He slips under the radar a little bit. He’s probably the strongest time trialist of this group of GC contenders so with Marseille in mind he’s a big threat.”

Froome strengthens hold on yellow jersey as former ski jumper Roglic wins stage

  Froome strengthens hold on yellow jersey as former ski jumper Roglic wins stage Primoz Roglic won stage 17 of the Tour de France to Serre-Chevalier as Chris Froome finished third to retain the yellow jersey. Slovenian Roglic led by 90 seconds at the top of the Galibier and the former junior world ski jump champion showed no fear on the long fast descent to the finish to win by 73 seconds.Rigoberto Uran finished second to take six vital bonus seconds in the close battle for yellow, with Froome taking four for this third place by pipping Romain Bardet to the line.Three-time Tour winner Froome now leads by 27 seconds, with Colombian Uran and Frenchman Bardet tied for second place.

Australian Michael Matthews claimed victory on stage 14 of the Tour de France but Team Sky's Froome was the biggest It was as unexpected as it was welcome for the three- time Tour winner. "It's the last day before the rest day so I expect it will be all hands on deck again," Froome said.

LE PUY-EN-VELAY, France (AP) — Chris Froome fought back from a bike breakdown to cling onto his race leader’s yellow jersey on the tricky Stage 15 of the Tour de France , won Sunday with a courageous solo breakaway by Bauke Mollema of the Netherlands. The back wheel of three- time

Aru was the man to take yellow from Froome in the Pyrenees, and he also impressed by winning on the first summit finish to La Planche des Belles Filles, only to give up the race lead when he faded badly on the finish to Rodez on Saturday.

There is also a sense it is Bardet and Uran who pose the bigger threats due to the weakness of Aru’s Astana team.

“(Fabio) perhaps didn’t have such a good day a couple of days ago but he’s been strong in the third week before so we will have to wait and see how he goes,” Froome said.

“Bardet has also been strong in the last week and he has also got the team to back him up. He put me under a lot of pressure yesterday and we really had to use the whole team to control the situation.”

This might be as close as the Tour has ever been at this stage, but Froome insisted he was not surprised to see the race like it is given how few opportunities this year’s route presents.

“It’s stressful but we knew coming into to this year’s race it was going to be one of the closest fought battles and one of the biggest challenges of my career,” he said. “It’s shaping up to be just that.”

Chris Froome in good heart as he closes in on Tour title .
Chris Froome was happy to put the mountains behind him as he closed in on a fourth Tour de France title. His rivals are fast running out of opportunities to deny the Team Sky rider a third consecutive Tour crown after he conceded only four seconds on stage 18 to the top of the Col d’Izoard to keep a 23-second cushion over Frenchman Romain Bardet.With a relatively flat stage on Friday to Salon-de-Provence - where the only apparent danger is the slight chance of crosswinds late in the day - before a time trial in Marseille which should suit the 32-year-old, Froome is odds on to be in yellow in Paris once again.

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