Italian Aru won the 160.5km stage that finished on the La Planche des Belles Filles climb. Froome came home third behind Ireland’s Dan Martin in second, and took over the yellow jersey from Sky team-mate Geraint Thomas.
Fabio Aru emulated compatriot Vincenzo Nibali in winning the fifth stage of the Tour de France on Wednesday as reigning champion Chris Froome took over the race lead.
Aru launched his attack with 2.4km left and finished 16 seconds clear of Martin. With a 10-second time bonus on the line, he moved up to third overall, at just 14 seconds behind Froome. But more importantly, the 2015 Vuelta winner made a statement that he is a genuine challenger to end Froome’s Tour reign.
Having previously won stages at the Giro d’Italia and Vuelta, this completed a Grand Tour stage sweep for Aru. “First of all I’m going to enjoy this moment because I had a great spring and won the Italian title but before that I had a tough time,” said Aru, who had to pull out of May’s Giro due to injury.
The top 10 separated by one minute
Briton Froome came home 20 seconds behind the winner, with Australia’s Richie Porte just behind him, but Colombian Nairo Quintana struggled and lost 14 seconds to Froome. “It’s amazing for me to be back in yellow but having said that the race is far from over,” warned Froome.
Last year’s runner up, Romain Bardet, came home fifth at 24sec behind Aru, to now sit seventh overall at 47sec.Thomas, who started the day 12 seconds clear, dropped to second at 12sec behind his team leader.
But at the end of the first mountain summit finish of this year’s race, the overall standings took on a familiar look as the overall contenders flexed their muscles for the first time.
The top 10 are now separated by one minute with all the big guns in there, including two-time former winner Alberto Contador, now eighth at 52sec. Porte moved up to fifth at 39sec, with Quintana ninth at 54sec.
Date created : 2017-07-05