Wednesday, 15 July 2015
#TDF2015: Chris Froome dominates his rivals
Top 21 finshers on Stage 10 – from Froome to Nibali – 4.25 down.
Overall after Stage 10: comfort zone Froome for the moment
With his attack 6.3 kilometres from the finish, Chris Froome crushed his remaining rivals on the first mountain stage of this year's Tour. As suspected the climb to La Pierre-Saint-Martin found out a huge number of the riders who had difficulty adjusting from riding on the relative flat for nine days to riding up a steep climb.
After Moviestar team failed to break Chris Froome and Sky on the lower slopes, Sky – Geraint Thomas, Richie Porte and Chris Froome – took over forcing the pace, which dropped all of their opponents apart from Nairo Quintana. When Froome attacked Quintana had no response and finished 1.04 down overtaken close to the line by Richie Porte.
Froome's other leading rivals lost even more time – Alejandro Valverde (2.01), Tejay Van Garderen (2.30), Alberto Contador (2.51), Bauke Mollema (4.09) and Vincenzo Nibali, who was dropped early on, came in 4.25 down.
As well as Sky's Richie Porte (59") and Geraint Thomas (2.01), there were good rides from Robert Gesink (1.33) Adam Yates (2.04), Pierre Rolland (2.04), Tony Gallopin (2.22) and Warren Barguil (3.19) despite a nasty crash earlier on in the stage. It was another horrible day for Thibaut Pinot, who was dropped very early and came in 10.03 down. It was wasn't a lot better for another young French hope – Romain Bardet who lost 8.50.
All of Froome's leading rivals appeared to have heavy legs – even the normally impressive Quintana lacked zip.
Although the Tour is far from over Chris Froome has a very comfortable lead. He has 2.52 on Van Garderen (2nd), Quintana (3.09 – 3rd), Valverde (4.01 - 4th), Contador (4.01 - 6th) and Vincenzo Nibali (6.57 – 10th). Chris' fellow Sky rider Geraint Thomas is 5th at 4.03 down.
Stage 11: Pau to Cauterets: 188 kms
If yesterday's stage was tough today's is even tougher with six categorised climbs including the Col d'Aspin (1st) and the Tourmalet (HC). Will Froome again take time on his rivals or can they surprise him and Sky – perhaps with an attack on the long descent from the Tourmalet ? Will Sky allow a breakway to make it all the way? Will Nibali lose yet more time?
The intermediate sprint is at 56.5 kms so all the sprinters should still be in and they may try to prevent a breakaway succeeding before this sprint. In yesterday's sprint André Griepel took back the Green Jersey from Peter Sagan.