Astana rider Fabio Aru holds onto the yellow jersey of the G.C. leader in the 2017 Tour de France. of the general classification. Today’s stage from Saint-Girons to Foix, though short at 101km, was the second day in the Pyrenees and included three 1st category climbs.
“We expected that the stage (would) be very hard and exhausting,” said Aru. “There were a lot of attacks, especially, on the last downhill. But, I tried to keep my concentration and act with a cool head and without too much stress. Finally, it worked well and it is another day in the yellow jersey for me. I try to take my leaderships calmly. There is a long way to Paris, we have to pass through many tough stages. Tomorrow is another day and another stage, which will request all our forces. So, we will keep on fighting.”
At the first climb of the day Col de Latrape two strong riders, Alberto Contador and Mikel Landa went in a breakaway. A group with Nairo Quintana, Michal Kwiatkowski and Warren Barguil began to chase the leaders, while the yellow jersey group of Fabio Aru stayed behind them.
At the last climb Mur de Péguère and on the downhill there were a number of attacks from the yellow jersey group, but every time Fabio Aru was able to follow it. Finally, almost all GC contenders came together to the finish line in Foix, while Fabio Aru (9th place at the stage) conserved his overall lead.
Mountains classification leader Warren Bargiul won today’s stage ahead of Nairo Quintana and Alberto Contador.
Unfortunately, due to his injury, Jakob Fuglsang was forced to quit the race.
“I did all I could, but all left part of my body just did not want to work,” explained Fuglsang. “I had no power to stay in the group. Right from the start the speed of the peloton was very high, so I had to continue following my own rhythm. But before the last climb I’ve realized, it is just too much for me, I had to give up. It is not easy at all to leave the Tour de France and my team, but there is nothing to do. The main goal for me now is to get a full recovery.”
Stage winner Warren Barguil was involved in the day’s first attack. Though he spent 10 kilometers off the front, the peloton never allowed him more than a ten second lead and his attack was soon neutralized before he rejoined the peloton to calculate his next move.
Team Sunweb’s attention then shifted to the intermediate sprint which came at kilometre 13.5. Michael Matthews won the sprint from the bunch, placing third and adding 13 points to his points tally.
Almost immediately after the sprint the road began to rise again and Barguil launched a counter attack less than one kilometre from the summit of Col de Latrape to chase down a three-rider breakaway that had gotten away. His effort paid off as he collected eight points in the king of the mountains classification, later adding a further six atop Col d’Agnes.
A regrouping at the front of the race saw two riders up the road and Barguil inside a chasing group. An impressive ride from the Frenchman saw him cling onto the group of favorites as it reduced down to just him and one other. After a huge effort in his pursuit of the two leaders he reached and passed the leading duo in time to take maximum KOM points atop Mur de Péguère.
With 10 kilometres to go, Barguil and Movistar’s Nairo Quintana held a two minute advantage. After collecting a bundle of king of the mountains points Barguil was left to duke out the stage victory. On the home straight he maintained second wheel in the group and on the final corner before the line, used every inch of road to accelerate past his rivals to the stage victory.
Stage 13 Brief Results:
- Warren Barguil (France / Team Sunweb) 2:36:29″
- Nairo Quintana (Colombia / Movistar Team) ST
- Alberto Contador (Spain / Trek-Segafredo)
- Mikel Landa (Spain / Team Sky) +2″
- Simon Yates (Britain / Orica-Scott) +1:39″
- Daniel Martin (Ireland / Quick-Step Floors)
- Michal Kwiatkowski (Poland / Team Sky) +1:48″
- Chris Froome (Britain / Team Sky)
- Fabio Aru (Italy / Astana Pro Team)
- Rigoberto Uran (Colombia / Cannondale-Drapac)
General Classification After Stage 13:
- Fabio Aru (Italy / Astana Pro Team) 55:30:06″
- Chris Froome (Britain / Team Sky) +6″
- Romain Bardet (France / AG2R La Mondiale) +25″
- Rigoberto Uran (Colombia / Cannondale-Drapac) +35″
- Mikel Landa (Spain / Team Sky) +1:09″
- Daniel Martin (Ireland / Quick-Step Floors) +1:32″
- Simon Yates (Britain / Orica-Scott) +2:04″
- Nairo Quintana (Colombia / Movistar Team) +2:07″
- Louis Meintjes (South Africa / UAE Team Emirates) +4:51″
- Alberto Contador (Spain / Trek-Segafredo) +5:22″