Froome cracks and loses Tour yellow jersey
- Romain Bardet wins stage 12 in Tour de France
- Italy’s Fabio Aru, 27, seizes overall lead
Though the Team Sky rider had worn yellow since stage five of this year’s race, he won’t be come Friday, following a 214 kilometer slog from Pau to Peyragudes.
Frenchman Romain Bardet broke away in the last 300 meters to win the 12th stage on the eve of Bastille Day, but the drama affecting the general classification was happening behind him.
Colombia’s Rigoberto Urán (Cannondale–Drapac) and Italy’s Fabio Aru (Astana) both crossed the line just two seconds back, ensuring the latter seizes control of the race for the first time, and will embark from Saint-Girons atop the overall classification.
Aru now leads Froome by six seconds, with Bardet just 25 seconds behind.
Team Sky were looking strong and Froome had appeared in prime position to extend his 18-second lead, but he faded away on the final climb with gradients nearing 20%, coming in ninth, 22 seconds behind.
It is only the second time in 32-year-old’s career that he has lost the yellow jersey mid-race, having briefly surrendered supremacy to Etixx-Quick-Step’s Tony Martin between stages four and seven in 2015.
With some tough stages still to come — notably the 18th and it’s brutal Col d’Izoard climax — the 104th Tour de France has been blown wide open by Aru and Bardet.