Aru team-mate Fuglsang quits Tour de France

Chris Froome held a slim lead entering Thursday's stage 12 at the Tour de France

Chris Froome held a slim lead entering Thursday's stage 12 at the Tour de France

Warren Barguil became the first Frenchman to win a stage of the Tour de France on Bastille Day since 2005 after triumphing on today's 101 kilometre route from Saint-Girons to Foix.

Froome's teammates had set a fast tempo that prevented others from attacking - a tactic that prepared the ground for Froome's expected assault in the steep final section leading to the finish in the ski station of Peyragudes.

Froome and Aru finished a minute and 48 seconds down on Sunweb rider Barguil, who outpaced Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) at the finish to claim his third Grand Tour stage triumph, having won twice on the 2013 Vuelta a Espana. "I was patient. I made the difference on the final hill".

Aru took a six-second lead in the overall standings after Great Britain's Chris Froome faded on the final climb of the stage from Pau.

"It's not the end of the world", said Team Sky sports director Nicolas Portal, who saw some positives in Froome losing the yellow jersey.

The Italian Fabio Aru (Astana) has dispossessed the British Chris Froome in the yellow jersey at the end of this first of two days in the pyrenees.

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The short stage 13 was tipped as potentially crucial in the battle for the overall victory, with three mountain passes opening the possibility for attacks.

"Yesterday was a hard day for me but today I felt a lot better and we played a good game strategically", Froome told French television. At the start of their descent, they had roughly two and a half minutes over an elite chase comprised of Aru, Froome, Michal Kwiatkowski, Romaine Bardet, Dan Martin, Simon Yates, Louis Meintjes, and Rigoberto Uran.

"It's more enjoyable. We've been at this race for so long where all we do is defend, defend, defend, defend". "We'll continue to do that, but it went perfectly for us today".

Friday July 14 is Bastille Day in France, which could well inspire AG2R La Mondiale's French general classification hope Romain Bardet on this, the shortest of all the stages in this year's Tour. The 36-year-old Briton, a two-time Tour stage victor, led by two minutes as he began the Col de Peyresourde but blew midway up and was reeled in by Team Sky.

"Mikel was a way off overall, but I can't follow everybody when they attack, I'll give him less room for manoeuvre from now on", Aru commented.

We are just past the halfway stage in this year's Tour and that means many teams would be reviewing where they stand in the race vis-a-vis their goals.

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