Chris Froome (Team Sky) was probably hoping to have said goodbye to the responsibility of the yellow jersey until at least the Pyrenees, but he finds himself back in it on stage 7 following Tony Martin’s race-ending crash on Thursday. As he wasn’t awarded the jersey after Thursday's stage, rules dictated that he couldn’t wear it during today’s, but after finishing safely in the bunch he resumes his place at the top of the standings.
“It’s a huge privilege to be in the yellow jersey again but certainly not under these circumstances,” Froome said after collecting his second maillot jaune of the race. "It wasn’t ideal to get yellow in this way. I wish Tony a speedy recovery but unfortunately that’s bike racing and the Tour goes on."
Much has been said already this week about Froome’s calmer and more relaxed demeanour both on and off the bike. The 2013 Tour de France champion was almost caught up in the crash that ended Martin’s tenure in yellow, and in the race as a whole, but a nifty bit of bike handling saw him escape unscathed, bar a minor dispute with Vincenzo Nibali. Twelve months ago, the incident could well have seen him on the deck. Froome puts this more confident attitude down to a conscious effort to change his approach and the help of his classics teammates.
“I think especially because of what happened last year it was really a big goal for me this week, probably mentally more than physically, to really arrive here with the attitude that I’m here to ride at the front of the race and really just do everything I can to stay out of trouble and to get to this part without any major issues,” Froome explained. “I think having the guys around me, guys like Ian Stannard, Geraint Thomas, Luke Rowe, these guys are classics specialist and they’re always up there in the classics themselves, it’s given me a lot of confidence. They’ve been showing me the lines and it makes my job a lot easier.”