Chris Froome fought again from a motorcycle breakdown to cling onto his race chief’s yellow jersey on the tough Stage 15 of the Tour de France, gained Sunday with a brave solo breakaway by Bauke Mollema of the Netherlands.
The again wheel of three-time Tour champion Froome broke on the worst potential time, simply because the AG2R workforce of shut rival Romain Bardet was choosing up the tempo forward of the final huge climb of the day, an eight.three-kilometer (5-mile) slog up the steep Col de Peyra Taillade — scaled for the very first time by the Tour.
By the point Froome had stopped, taken a wheel off his teammate Michal Kwiatkowski and obtained going once more, Bardet’s group was already means forward — about one minute forward of him down the street.
Except for Bardet, different prime riders have been additionally in that group, together with Fabio Aru and Rigoberto Uran — all inside 30 seconds of Froome within the general standings. Froome had two decisions: catch them or lose the general race lead and the famed yellow jersey that goes with it.
He hared after them and, helped first by teammates Mikel Nieve after which by Mikel Landa, Froome labored furiously on the climb to reel in Bardet’s group — previous cheering crowds with some individuals who booed him as he labored previous them.
“It was a traumatic second,” Froome stated. “I assumed I won’t get again to the entrance.”
By recovering from the mishap, Froome now takes the jersey and an 18-second general lead into Monday’s relaxation day, the final of two on the 104th Tour, forward of an important final week of racing within the Alps and with a time trial in Marseille.
Mollema, a prime-10 finisher on the Excursions of 2013, 2014 and 2015, sped away on the descent from the Peyra Taillade climb and labored like a coal miner during the last 30 kilometers (20 miles) to remain out in entrance of a gaggle of 4 riders who laid chase.
They could not catch the Trek-Segafredo rider.
Mollema held his arms out in a cross form as he sped throughout the end line in Le Puy-en-Velay, the beginning of a famed Christian pilgrimage path to Spain.