Stressed Froome survives in yellow as Mollema wins stage

Team Sky manager downplays talk of issues between Mikel Landa and Chris Froome

Tour de France 2017, Stage 15 begins on July 16th, 2017 at 7:30 AM EST from Laissac-Sévérac-l'Église and covers a distance of 189.5 km ending in Le Puy-en-Velay.

The stage win went to Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) after he went clear of his breakaway companions. By recovering from the misfortune, Froome takes the yellow jersey and an 18-second lead into today's rest day, the last of two at the Tour, ahead of a crucial last week of racing in the Alps.

Riders will tackle Stage 16 as competitors attempt to reduce the lead held by Team Sky's Chris Froome in the general classification standings on a relatively flat stage covering 165 kilometres.

In last Sunday's Stage 9, Martin lost one minute and fifteen seconds on the leaders as a result of the crash.

Bardet is third overall in this year's Tour, 23 seconds behind race leader Froome, having finished as runner-up to the Briton last year.

Froome had needed a wheel change when the race was on approaching the Col de Peyra Taillade, and lost nearly a minute before spending eight kilometres chasing his way back to the group of main contenders.

The stage went through Carmaux, the hometown of Jean Jaures, one of the great figures of the French left and a committed anti-militarist who was assassinated in 1914 just after World War One broke out.

"It would have been really helpful to have done this before and to have been in this situation but suddenly you're in the spotlight and it's weird and something you thought you'd look forward to but in reality I'd much go under the radar and be able to do a bike race and not the other stuff that comes with it". Just before the climb I had a problem with my back wheel, it was damaged.

"I did the first climb full gas, trying to bridge to the first group".

"It's a dream come true", said Matthews, whose Team Sunweb claimed their second stage wins in as many days after Frenchman Warren Barguil claimed stage 13 on Bastille Day.

As they hit the final climb, Nairo Quintana (Movistar) also started to suffer and was soon on the back of Froome's chasing group and then spat out again.

"I had a problem with a broken back wheel, my team vehicle was stuck behind so I had to take a wheel from Michal Kwiatkowski", Froome said afterward.

"My life's not going to change if I win the Tour de France".

"Bardet used the team properly, but then you're not going to distance Froome using the team mates who are already exhausted having ridden in the front all day".

After narrowly averting disaster in the Massif Central, Chris Froome believes he is ready for the final stretch of the Tour de France with a handful of rivals breathing down his neck. Fabio Aru (Astana) + 0.18s 3.

"That was extremely stressful, panic stations really".

"Kwiatkowski is sharp, super sharp, and I guarantee he'd have made the call and he did well", Brailsford said.

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