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TdF #15: Froome on the top of the moon

July 18, 2013

The infamous climb on Ventoux had long been highlighted as a stage that would be key to deciding the podium. The long brutal climb can ruin the race for the weak and ill. The climb has been in many Tours and to win on this 100th edition would be a great honour.

It was not surprising that a break raced clear on the rolling roads that made up the first 227km of the stage. However, the peleton kept working for longer than would be expected as the teams who felt they had missed out wanted to close the break down. The GC contenders were happy to let the break go, as there were no threats. Sagan made the break and added a very worthwhile 20 points to increase his lead in the green jersey competition.

It was the last 21km that all wanted to see. Sky took control of the peleton on the approach and worked hard up the first half of the climb. Quintana escaped early and floated up the hill with incredible grace. One by one Froome’s team mates worked until they could give no more. When Porte left Froome to finish the climb, there was only Contador on his wheel. The rest had been dropped. Froome soon sprinted away from the Spaniard using a cadence that was so fast it seemed impossible. Only Quintana was left ahead and Froome soon caught him. They rode together for a while, but Froome attacked again when they were up into the exposed heights. Quintana had too little energy left and Froome flew to his most impressive stage win. He put enough time into all his rivals that he now has one hand on the title. Mollema is closest but he lost 1:46 and is now over 4m back. Evans lost over 8m and his hope for a high finish is gone. There is a still a good battle for the lower podium places, but can anyone touch the man from Africa?

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