Froome retains yellow jersey, Mollema wins Tour de France stage

Flecha breaks down stage 14 summit finish

Flecha breaks down stage 14 summit finish

Rodez: Australian Michael Matthews won the 14th stage of the Tour de France yesterday as Chris Froome retook the yellow jersey from Fabio Aru.

Dutchman Bauke Mollema won the stage after a fearless solo break on a lumpy 190km stage from Laissac-Severac l'Eglise to Le Puy-en-Velay.

"I'm not having a go at any riders, I would do the same - just get them out of the way".

"That was extremely stressful, panic station", said Froome after the 15th stage that was won by Dutchman Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo).

He started the day six seconds ahead of the three-time champion but, before yesterday's 15th stage, trailed Froome by 18 seconds after coming home 30th overall, 25sec behind stage 14 victor Michael Matthews of Team Sunweb. I've worked for it so hard in the last few years. "Kwaitkowski gave me his wheel because the team vehicle was far away.We did all we could to return to the top of the race".

They were joined by a further 18 riders as the race reached the second of four climbs of the day, which came with almost 100km remaining.

Truly, this outcome was only in doubt for about 20 minutes, the amount of time it took Federer to grab his first lead.

Bennett stayed near the front, finishing 22 seconds behind Australian stage victor Michael Matthews.

Ryan Fox holes out for hole-in-three
DeChambeau played the front nine in even par, then birdied six of the final nine holes to surge to the top of the leaderboard. Now he would be hitting three, and bogey or worse appeared inevitable. "Obviously Bryson shot a great one", said Rodgers.

Team Sky's Dave Brailsford said Chris Froome's mechanical problem on stage 15 could have ended his challenge, but the team reacted perfectly to the crisis.

After Monday's final rest day, there will be six further stages before the race finishes in Paris on 23 July.

Despite the drama, Froome retained his lead of 18sec over Aru, with Bardet a further five seconds down in third place.

Froome was keen to thank all of his team-mates for their help, but it was the sight of Landa dropping back which was most notable. The win in Le Puy-en-Velay marked his first ever Tour de France stage win. "He is a super-strong rider and he showed today that he is really in control". On the steepest part of the climb Froome had to call back Landa from the group of a dozen favourites to ensure he regained contact. Mikel Landa (Spain / Team Sky) +1:17'; 7.

Then, on the penultimate stage, comes a 22.5km time trial in Marseille, where many predict Froome will post a time substantially better than his GC rivals.

All in all I am just happy to have got through without any major losses.

For everything he has accomplished, for all the bright lights and big settings to which he's become accustomed, the guy whom many have labeled the greatest of all time admits to feeling heavy legs and jumbled thoughts at important on-court moments to this day. "I think he has made the right moves at the right times".

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