Today was a first big test for the GC contenders, a stage of 167 kilometres from Tarbes to La Pierre-Saint-Martin with finish on an hors catégorie climb. It was a good day for Chris Froome. He won the stage and has reinforced his first position in the general classification. Lotto Soudal rider Tony Gallopin finished ninth at the top. The Frenchman is now seventh overall, 4’33” behind Froome. The man who wore yellow on the way to La Planche des Belles Filles exactly one year ago had a big smile after the finish.
Tony Gallopin: “With the team we agreed that I would see how far I got on the last climb. Tim and Adam could join a big group that had a chance to stay ahead. The first goal was to win the intermediate sprint with André, which we did, and then it were the teams of the GC riders who set a high pace on the way to the climb. I was amazed I could hang on and even when big names got dropped I could stay in the yellow jersey group. The steady pace of Sky was perfect for me. It was only when they raised the tempo and ten riders were left that I was distanced.”
“Of course I’m happy with the ninth place today and the seventh place overall. The legs felt very good, even when the group was already considerably reduced. On the one hand this place on GC is very nice, on the other hand I might get less space to aim for a stage win. But we’ll look at that again with the team and we’ll discuss what the next days will bring.”
André Greipel reclaimed the green jersey today. He won the battle at the intermediate sprint for fifteen points. The German now has a lead of three points on Peter Sagan.