Froome's all-star Sky team: what they did and how they rated

Froome's all-star Sky team: what they did and how they rated”

Winners do their homework, too. His route proved shorter.

The team's new "freedom" strategy paid off Friday afternoon on the streets of Salon-de-Provence. He brought Nikias Arndt (Sunweb) with him, but the Norwegian dropped him in the final 2km for a decisive run in to the finish.

"We plan for every metre of the end of these stages and we knew he had to go around the roundabout to the right". "He's one of those riders, give him 10 meters and he's gone".

Boasson Hagen won a stage at the Tour for the third time overall but it was his win since 2011.

From there, Barguil labored on alone to win the first stage to finish at the summit of Izoard in the 114-year history of the Tour. I tried everything to bring maybe Jens back for the sprint, but there were no legs left after a tough last 25km.

FACT OF THE DAY: Tour leader Chris Froome has a 23-second lead going into Saturday's time trial but will not be able to wear his controversial "aerodynamic" Team Sky skinsuit because he is wearing the race organisers' standard yellow jersey suit.

Chris Froome retains to lead the yellow jersey after his Sky team finished safely in the peloton.

Norwegian Boasson Hagen ended Team Dimension Data's wait for a stage win this year with a superb solo burst at the end of a hot and humid 222km ride from the Alps into Provence.

The peloton eventually rolled in at a leisurely place more than 12 minutes after Boasson Hagen claimed the first stage win for the Dimension Data team at this tour.

Froome's nearest challenger for the yellow jersey is Frenchman Romain Bardet, who he beat by 39 seconds in the Tour's opening time trial in Duesseldorf.

"It would have been nice to take a bit of time today, but all in all I'm happy with that", the 32-year-old Froome said.

Attacks on the descent and flats failed, but an injection of pace from Keukeleire split the group. Boasson Hagen was third on stage 11 into Pau, again behind Kittel, and then he almost won stage 16's sprint.

Peter Sagan was thrown off the race on stage four for his part in a crash which also saw Mark Cavendish leave the race injured.

"We deliberated about this stage for a long time last night", Hammond said.

The logic would be the same place Bardet behind Uran, separated from the French by a difference of just 6 seconds.

"It's definitely a fast course, very fast, small climb out the back of Marseille", Froome commented.

The time-trial will start and finish in Marseille's iconic Velodrome football stadium, which began life in 1937 as a multi-sport arena hosting track cycling, athletics and rugby, as well as football, to which it has since become dedicated as the home ground of Olympique Marseille.

"It's still a close race", Froome said.

The pck of 20 had whittled down to only 8 when Boassan Hagen made a late attack with only 2.7m to go.

"I had a lot hard luck".

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