Agosto 13, 2020

Tour de France 2017: stage 15

17 Julio 2017, 08:45 | Bibiana Flor

Team Sky star Chris Froome faces a fight if he's to retain the 2017 Tour de France's yellow jersey after stage 15 on Sunday, a particularly testing route that will threaten to rumble the general classification's current order.

They couldn't catch the Trek-Segafredo rider, who was determined to secure his first-ever win at the Tour.

Froome's hopes of claiming a fourth title in five years looked to be fading fast when the Team Sky rider suffered a mechanical problem at a point when he was already under pressure from a split in the peloton that saw his main rivals, Fabio Aru (Astana) and Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale), threaten to pull clear.

"I always believed that I could maybe come back and do it again". This was a finale worthy of a one-day Classic, and not surprisingly Mollema shines in these as well, having won last year's Clasica de San Sebastian. Conversely, all three points won by Federer in that game were thanks to forehand miscues by Cilic.

"It's magical, really", Federer said. "I'm very grateful for my teammates doing the work to help me". 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. The thrillingly tight grouping at the top promises vigorous battles between them in the last week of racing. Who will win the stage 15 of Tour de France 2017? "I knew if I didn't get back to the group before the top of the climb, we could be looking at some pretty big losses - so it was critical".

The Team Sunweb rider, 26, said: "When we finished here two years ago, I had four broken ribs and skin off all over my body from a crash". "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". 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. "There aren't just a few seconds difference now between me and Froome, but there aren't so many either. Really clever as well", said the yellow jersey holder.

"But, still, I think we put him in some trouble".

"I rode aggressively but maybe a bit recklessly". Froome has showed a vulnerability this year that we haven't seen in the past, and his rivals - especially Ag2r La Mondiale - have showed a willingness to target that vulnerability.

George Bennett has held onto 11th place in the Tour de France after a solid ride in a tricky 14th stage. The race for yellow is still incredibly tight and with two hard days in the mountains to come, just about anything can still happen.

For many observers, though, it seemed to be an opportunity missed for Froome's main rivals, who could have worked together on the climb to prevent him regaining contact, something he himself feared.

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