Froome: It's up to the others to attack on Planche des Belles Filles

Team Sky rider not expecting big time gaps on first mountain stage

After four days of racing at the Tour de France, Chris Froome and Team Sky are sitting in a very comfortable position at the top of the overall standings. As the race heads into the first mountain test on the Planche des Belles Fille, the team is in yellow and second place.

With a healthy margin over the rest of their rivals, after a strong time trial showing on the opening day, Froome says that it is up to them to go on the attack.

"I think, as a team, we're in a really good position at the moment with G leading and myself in second and Kwiatko in the top 10," said Froome. "I think, we will probably ride more of a defensive race tomorrow and try to look after our position. It's up to the others to go on the offensive tomorrow."

Planche des Belles Filles was the scene of Froome's first Tour de France stage victory back in 2012. Rather than team leader, he was playing the role of domestique for eventual winner Bradley Wiggins. He was allowed to race away for victory, putting himself into the polka-dot jersey in the process. He didn't make it to the climb when the race returned to it for just the second time in its history after crashing out of the race earlier in the week.

"I've got some pretty cool memories from 2012, my first stage win of the Tour de France," Froome explained. "Having said that, as it was in 2012, it was the first opportunity to test our legs on the climbs at the Tour de France and see exactly where all our rivals are at. I imagine it will be, especially considering how the time trial went, I expect some of my rivals will be looking to make up time and going on the offensive tomorrow."

In both 2012 and 2014, the time differences at the top of the climb were not too much and with very little climbing ahead of the summit finish, Froome believes it will be a fairly similar affair on Wednesday.

"I don't really see any major time losses or gains tomorrow. I think it's definitely a good test and show of where everyone is at. But, as in the time trial, I don't really see there being more than 20 or 30 seconds between the main GC rivals."

 

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