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emfizz.com July 24, 2017


Tour de France 2017

17 July 2017, 03:57 | Andy Ferguson

Netherlands Bauke Mollema celebrates as he crosses the finish line to win Stage 15 of the Tour de France on Sunday. Peter Dejong AP

Netherlands Bauke Mollema celebrates as he crosses the finish line to win Stage 15 of the Tour de France on Sunday. Peter Dejong  AP

After winning the Tour of California and emerging as an early Tour de France contender, all of a sudden everyone wants a piece of the man from Nelson.

Instead of what riders call a "transition" day, with a comfortable run to the gateway to the Pyrenees mountains, Stage 11 proved to be a brutal experience for some of the top riders after a series of crashes left them nursing cuts and bruises.

"Now I'm back in the GC race". There are two likely sprint finishes left and a possible third, all of which favor Kittel, so Matthews would have to score serious points on stages 16 and 17, with Kittel drawing nearly none, to really have any shot at taking the lead. He hit the deck and slightly hurt his knee, but the AG2R La Mondiale rider was able to continue after changing bikes and did not lose any time. Froome who has until now has avoided any hostility from the Tour crowd, said he understood: "This is Romain Bardet's home stage I think that it's to be expected the support for him".

"I gave it my best", Cilic said. That put Aru, riding for Astana, six seconds ahead of the Englishman and primed for the biggest week of his career, which already includes a Grand Tour win - the 2015 Spanish Vuelta.

"He's only a minute down now, just over a minute in fifth place €" that's fantastic for us. There was a true feeling that the race was going to spin out of control. However, they will not prevent him from starting Thursday's stage.

"If the race is on, it does not matter what happens to the yellow jersey, he's got a team and that is what a team is for". "Everything was good on our side". Landa, after his controversial Stage 12 distancing of team leader Froome, dropped back from the group of GC contenders and was critical in Froome's return to the group.

There was drama down the road in the yellow jersey group when AG2R-La Mondiale picked up the pace to boost Romain Bardet's general classification hopes.

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"All three of them missed an opportunity".

Froome described the finish as "quite savage".

Approaching the 50 kilometres to go mark, the French team were grouped en masse at the front of the main group, forcing the pace, their efforts rewarded as defending champion Froome lost contact.

"One of the really key stages of this year's race".

Froome also expects Contador to try and wreak havoc during Friday's shorter stage to Foix.

"He's never shy to attack from far out". I need things to go my way, I need people not to get in lucky breakaways and this little bug I've got can't develop into anything.

Bauke Mollema wins stage 15 while Chris Froome manages to hang on to the leader's yellow jersey after breaking a spoke on his rear wheel on Sunday. Meanwhile his team-mate, and room-mate, Michael Matthews again ate into Marcel Kittel's lead in the green points jersey standings, infiltrating the 28-man lead group that dominated the stage, and taking maximum points in the intermediate sprint.



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