Fabio Aru Takes the Tour’s Yellow Jersey

Statistic, quote and fact of the day after the 13th stage of the Tour de France, a 101-km ride from Saint-Girons on Friday.Bardet took the stage and Aru wrested the yellow jersey away from the clutches of Sky, who’ve had it since the first day of racing.The Sunweb team rider sped into the finish in Foix, overlooked by its imposing 11th century castle decorated with a French tricolor of red, white and blue, as part of a four-man group that included Landa, two-time Tour champion Alberto Contador, and Nairo Quintana, a podium finisher at three previous Tours.Froome looked imperious in his three Tour victories in 2013, 2015 and past year, never giving his rivals a chance.Although Froome could not follow Bardet, Aru and others in the final 200 metres, where the gradient rose to nearly 20 percent, the Briton remains in contention and with a final time trial that will favour him in the penultimate stage.On Thursday Froome’s Spanish team-mate Mikel Landa had been criticised by Sky sports director Nico Portal, after he failed to wait for the Briton when Froome struggled on the final climb. Froome put in a better effort that gave the former yellow jersey wearer a six-second gap on his rivals, but it, too was slowly hauled in, this time by Aru.Aru’s depleted backing in Astana became even clearer as he lost one of his top support riders, Dane Jakob Fuglsang. Fabio Aru (Italy / Astana Pro Team) 4. The first stage of the tournament was won by Geriant Thomas (Team Sky), as he delivered a stunning performance, covering 14km track in a time of 16:04 to grab the yellow jersey.Sky, however, can play the Landa card again as he is fifth overall, 1:09 behind race leader Fabio Aru, and both Landa and Froome could work as a double act. Overall, Froome is a mere six seconds behind Aru and bookmakers remain confident that the British cyclist will triumph. The French hope overhauled Aru and won by two seconds from Colombian Rigoberto Uran, who finished in the same time as Aru.”It’s flawless for us”, Froome said.Friday’s Stage 13 of the 2017 Tour de France takes place on France’s Bastille Day. Later in his post-stage interview, Froome regretted giving the Italian the freedom to attack and that mistake must be haunting him all the more after Thursday.