Tour de France 2015: Chris Froome extends overall lead with stage ten win

Team Sky man, in the yellow jersey, solos to victory on La-Pierre-Saint-Martin

Chris Froome (Team Sky) soloed to victory on stage ten of the Tour de France, in the yellow jersey, to power clear atop the general classification.

The 2013 champion burst clear of his rivals on La-Pierre-Saint-Martin after some excellent pace-setting from Geraint Thomas and Richie Porte had put several of the big names in trouble.

Only Nairo Quintana (Movistar) remained on his wheel with six kilometres to go, but when Froome dropped the hammer he could not be matched, storming clear.

Chris Froome soloed to victory on stage ten of the Tour de France to extend his overall lead (pic: Sirotti)

His advantage was more than a minute on the day as he reached the final straight, and with Porte sealing a Team Sky one-two it was a day to remember for the British team.

Froome’s overall lead now stands at 2’52” to second-placed Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing), with Nairo Quintana (3’09”) the only other rider within four minutes.

Earlier, Pierrick Fedrigo (Bretagne-Seche Environnement) and Kenneth Vanbilsen (Cofidis) formed the day’s break, and were allowed a lead of more than 11 minutes as the peloton eased back into racing.

Andre Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) reclaimed the points classification lead at the intermediate sprint, which with only two men in the break proved lucrative for the sprinters in the bunch.

Giant-Alpecin led it out for John Degenkolb, but Greipel outsprinted his compatriot, alongside previous leader Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo) and Mark Cavendish (Etixx-QuickStep), with Greipel’s team-mate Marcel Sieberg also stealing points from their rivals.

After that flurry of action, the attention then turned back to the bid for the stage and the general classification, with the breakaway still several minutes up the road.

FDJ helped to bring the gap back, but Movistar did the bulk of the pace-setting – Team Sky next in line – with Alex Dowsett and Adriano Malori on the front and the lead tumbled as a result.

The Spanish team’s climbers took over as they hit the final climb, the pace still high and accounting for Rui Costa (Lampre-Merida) and Michal Kwiatkowski (Etixx-QuickStep) almost immediately.

Andrew Talansky (Cannondale-Garmin) and French trio Romain Bardet (Ag2r-La Mondiale), Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) and Jean-Christophe Peraud (Ag2r) were also dropped, denying them the chance of a Bastille Day victory.

With an ever-decreasing peloton, Robert Gesink (LottoNL-Jumbo) attacked off the front, at the same time Fedrigo was reeled back – Vanbilsen having been caught much earlier.

Movistar continued with the pace-setting, but Rafael Valls (Lampre-Merida) accelerated as he set off in pursuit of Gesink.

Defending champion Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) lost contact with the back of the bunch with more than ten kilometres still to climb meanwhile, with Bauke Mollema (Trek Factory Racing) alongside him.

Sky took over the pace-setting shortly afterwards, with Wout Poels putting a dig in, with Thomas, Porte and Froome lined out behind him.

That pace put Nibali’s group – which also contained Rigoberto Uran (Etixx-QuickStep) and then Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha)– in even bigger trouble as the gap at the back grew, but Gesink continued to ride well up the road.

Valls made contact but could not stick with the Dutchman, and he was swept back up again as Alejandro Valverde launched the first part of Movistar’s two-pronged attack – and appeared to hurt Froome in the process as he momentarily lost Porte’s back wheel.

With Valverde up the road, Quintana was on the radio to his team-mate and the Spaniard repeatedly changed the tempo, even after Thomas had brought him back, to ask big questions of Froome.

Thomas continued on the front though, and Adam Yates was dropped before Alberto Contador, Valverde and Tony Gallopin (Lotto-Soudal) also popped.

Richie Porte took over on the front, with the group now down to just Froome and Quintana behind him – van Garderen also going backwards with the now caught Gesink.

Any worry about Froome’s form were then extinguished as he blasted up the road with six kilometres remaining.

Quintana could not match the pace, the gap going out by the pedal stroke as the race leader hit the more gentle terrain.

After negotiating a throng of supporters, whom he angrily waved out of his way, all that remained was for Froome to power to victory alone.

The last time he won on Bastille Day, two years ago, he went on to win the yellow jersey overall and his lead atop the general classification is already a commanding one this time out.

Tour de France 2015: stage ten – result

1) Chris Froome (GBR) – Team Sky – 4.22.07hrs
2) Richie Porte (AUS) – Team Sky +59″
3) Nairo Quintana (COL) – Movistar +1.04
4) Robert Gesink (NED) – LottoNL-Jumbo +1.33
5) Alejandro Valverde (ESP) – Movistar +2.01
6) Geraint Thomas (GBR) – Team Sky – ST
7) Adam Yates (GBR) – Orica-GreenEDGE +2.04
8) Pierre Rolland (FRA) – Team Europcar – ST
9) Tony Gallopin (FRA) – Lotto-Soudal +2.22
10) Tejay van Garderen (USA) – BMC Racing +2.30

General classification

1) Chris Froome (GBR) – Team Sky – 35.56.09hrs
2) Tejay van Garderen (USA) – BMC Racing +2.52
3) Nairo Quintana (COL) – Movistar +3.09
4) Alejandro Valverde (ESP) – Movistar +4.01
5) Geraint Thomas (GBR) – Team Sky +4.03
6) Alberto Contador (ESP) – Tinkoff-Saxo +4.04
7) Tony Gallopin (FRA) – Lotto-Soudal +4.33
8) Robert Gesink (NED) – LottoNL-Jumbo +4.35
9) Warren Barguil (FRA) – Giant-Alpecin +6.12
10) Vincenzo Nibali (ITA) – Astana +6.57


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