Bauke Mollema won his first Tour de France stage, soloing into Le-Puy-en-Valey after a turbulent stage. The Trek-Segafredo rider attacked the day's 28-rider breakaway on the descent with 29km to go, and held off a concerted four-man chase, led to the line by Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates) ahead of Tony Gallopin (Lotto-Soudal).
Chris Froome and Team Sky were in panic stations as the race leader was caught out by an attack from AG2R La Mondiale before the day's main climb with 40km to go and, to make matters worse, he then had to stop to swap a rear wheel with teammate Michal Kwiatkowski. As AG2R continued to drive the pace, Froome chased with Mikel Nieve and Sergio Henao, making contact just before the top of the climb with the help of Mikel Landa, who dropped back briefly from the group ahead.
Froome admitted after the stage that he wasn't sure he would ever make it back to the group. "AG2R rode their race and rode fast. Just before the climb, I had a problem with my back wheel, it was damaged. Kwiatkowski gave me his wheel because the team car was stuck behind. I gave it my maximum to get back up to the leaders.
"I've got to thanks my teammates yet again for helping me. Sergio Henao and Mikel Nieve gave their maximum. Landa too. He helped me a lot on the climb."
Despite late attack first from Simon Yates and then a successful move by Dan Martin, Froome keeps his lead of 18 seconds over Fabio Aru (Astana) by 18 seconds, with Romain Bardet (AG2R) still at 23 seconds. Martin gained 14 seconds to move into fifth overall, swapping places with Mikel Landa. Nairo Quintana showed more weakness and lost several more minutes after being dropped on the climb.
"It up to my rivals to attack me," Froome said. "They have to gain time before the time trial. For now, I'm just happy to have the jersey and to have a rest day tomorrow."
Mollema was all smiles after a heroic effort to hold off the chasers who, at one point, came within 10 seconds of catching him. "I'm so happy to finally win a stage of the Tour de France," he said.
"I've been close a few times but this year I really wanted to go for a stage. That was a big goal for me and yesterday I knew this was a chance. In the beginning of the stage, it was close because there was a strong breakaway with 10 guys and a lot of teams wanted to block the road so we couldn't pass and then the break took like one and a half minutes."
Mollema finally attacked on the climb and then made it across to the move with a large group. "That was the first goal. And finally, I felt so good, I just gave it a try in the last 30 kilometres. I think I never did so long riding alone and in the end, it was close.
"The Tour de France has always been the most important race for me, it's always been my dream performing here and I've finally won a stage. So I'm incredibly happy."
How it unfolded
It was another hot, sunny and busy day. Again, almost directly from the start in Laissac-Severac l'eglise, a group of 10 got away: Warren Barguil (Sunweb), Dylan Van Baarle (Cannondale-Drapac), Robert Kiserlovski and Tony Martin (Katusha-Alepcin), Tsgabu Grmay (Bahrain Merida), Damiano Caruso (BMC), Serge Pauwels (Dimension Data), Marcus Burghardt (Bora-Hansgrohe), Marcel Sieberg (Lotto Soudal) and Angel Luis Maté (Cofidis).
However, the first of the day's four climbs kicked up only 19km after the start, and the non-climbers were soon shed. Mate and the three Germans Martin, Sieberg and Burghardt dropped back, with the other six carrying on with 1:40 over the peloton. Three more fell back, with polka dot jersey holder Barguil, Pauwels and Caruso heading up the category 1 Montee de Naves d'Aubrac with more than two minutes over the field, but with chasers scattered down the climb.
The day's only abandon was Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal). He said that he suffered from a sun allergy in the hot weather, and refused to accept a TUE for treatment for the problem.
Barguil took the first mountain points out of the group of three, and on the short descent a handful of riders who had dropped from the lead group came across, followed by a large chasing group at just under two minutes, and the yellow jersey group at around three minutes.
Grmay and Van Baarle caught up again with the three leaders with 156km to go. The Sky-led peloton was happy to keep the gap at over three minutes, with a 23-rider group in between containing both yesterday's stage winner Michael Matthews (Sunweb) and Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo).
The road soon went up again, to the category 3 Cote de Vieurals, with Barguil again taking the maximum points.
Having reached the top of the plateau, the 23-man group caught up with the five leaders with 130 km to go. The newcomers were: Jan Bakelants (AG2R La Mondiale), Alessandro De Marchi, Amael Moinard, and Nicolas Roche (BMC), Daniel Navarro and Luis Mate (Cofidis), Lilian Calmejane and Romain Sicard (Direct Energie), Thibaut Pinot (FDJ), Pierre-Luc Perichon and Romain Hardy (Fortuneo-Oscaro), Maurits Lammertink, Robert Kiserlovski and Tony Martin (Katusha), Thomas De Gendt, Tiesj Benoot and Tony Gallopin (Lotto-Soudal), Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo), Michael Matthews and Simon Geschke (Sunweb), Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo), Diego Ulissi and Kristijan Durasek (UAE Team Emirates).
The gap back to the Sky-led peloton had grown to 4:20. Green jersey Marcel Kittel (QuickStep Floors), who had dropped back early on the previous day, was easily staying with the group on this day.
Sky was happy with this group and took things down a step allowing the gap to yawn to six minutes, since Caruso, the highest placed rider in the attack, was over 11 minutes behind in the standings.
Read more on this article
- Quintana tumbles from Tour de France top 10 as accumulated fatigue sets in
- Tour de France: Landa ordered to wait for Froome in Massif Central crisis
- Tour de France: Aru and Astana look to the Alps for hope and inspiration
- Tour de France: Bardet, AG2R La Mondiale make a statement of intent in Massif Central
- Dan Martin: Every second counts at the Tour de France
- Froome survives attacks and mechanical in the Massif Central
With the race now taking place on the long rolling plateau, the next excitement didn't come until the intermediate sprint. With three riders in the lead group, Sunweb had no problem setting things up for Matthews to claim the points and move closer to his goal of the green jersey.
Tony Martin launched an audacious attack from the breakaway before the drop from the plateau with just over 64km to go. He slowly built up a lead and then getting into full time trial mode, pushed the gap up to a minute. Meanwhile, the gap to the peloton was stretching towards the eight-minute mark.
Behind Martin, the large group sensed the danger of letting the world time trial champion get away. The group split and then came back together as the chase picked up speed. The speed also increased the gap to the peloton to nine minutes.
Panic for Froome on Col de Payra Taillade
The next hurdle soon appeared, the category 1 Col de Peyra Taillade. Martin took a lead of a minute and a half with him as he started up.
AG2R La Mondiale came to the front on the narrow, twisting roads through Bardet's home training roads, and set a blistering pace in the peloton, splitting the field ahead of Froome, who had only Nieve with him. The yellow jersey was already on the defensive, having had to close the gap alone when he had a problem with his rear wheel. There was no question of the field waiting for him. He got a spare from a Kwiatkowski, and Henao and Nieve had to drive the pace furiously with nearly a minute to make up.
Seeing a chance of moving Bardet into the race lead, AG2R put its full team at the front of their group, to drop the yellow jersey group, who were working their way up through groups of dropped riders on the climb, one of which was Quintana. The Movistar rider would lose nearly four minutes by the day's end.
Froome soon dropped his only helper, Nieve, and continued on with Cannondale-Drapac's Alberto Bettiol before hooking up again with Landa, and together they caught on to the end of the Bardet-Aru group.
Up ahead, the climb proved too much for Tony Martin, who fell and was replaced by Barguil at the head of the race, followed by Pauwels. The Frenchman showed why he was wearing the polka dot jersey, as he stayed away to easily take the maximum number of points. He then waited for a handful of riders to join him.
Bardet realized he was losing his chance, with Froome having come back, and took off on the ascent. Uran went with him, but Froome caught up with them, bringing the small group with him that included Aru, Contador, Yates and Dan Martin.
Mollema makes his move
Mollema was the next to attack out of the leading group as they headed into a long, gradual descent. The gap to the yellow jersey group was 6:31 with 29km to go, and Quintana another minute down.
With 17 km, and yet another climb coming, Mollema had 38 seconds on the Barguil group, with the yellow jersey at 6.36.
The final climb of the day was the category 4 Cote de Saint-Vidal, only 1.9 km long. Roglic gave chase as the summit neared, followed by Barguil, eager to grab as many points as possible. Ulissi and Gallopin joined Barguil and Roglic on the descent.
With 10km to go, Mollema had only 20 seconds on the four chasers, who were not united in giving chase.
The 30-year old Dutchman stayed away to win by 20 seconds ahead of Ulissi, Gallopin, Roglic and Barguil, as attacks continued in the yellow jersey group behind.
Best young rider Simon Yates tried to get away on the short climb, but Landa moved to the front of the group and caught the Orica-Scott rider. Dan Martin was the next to go and found more success.
Martin soon caught up with various riders from the early breakaway, riding furiously at the front of a small group that ended the stage 12 seconds ahead of the yellow jersey.
Froome sprinted to the finish, crossing the line with an unsatisfied look on his face, with most of the other top riders finishing together with him at 6:25 from the stage winner. Quintana ended the day 10:19 in arrears, tumbling out of the top 10 overall behind Caruso.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo||4:41:47|
|2||Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates||0:00:19|
|3||Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Soudal||Row 2 - Cell 2|
|4||Primoz Roglic (Slo) Team LottoNl-Jumbo||Row 3 - Cell 2|
|5||Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Sunweb||0:00:23|
|6||Nicolas Roche (Irl) BMC Racing Team||0:01:00|
|7||Lilian Calmejane (Fra) Direct Energie||0:01:04|
|8||Jan Bakelants (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale||Row 7 - Cell 2|
|9||Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ||Row 8 - Cell 2|
|10||Serge Pauwels (Bel) Dimension Data||Row 9 - Cell 2|
|11||Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal||Row 10 - Cell 2|
|12||Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC Racing Team||Row 11 - Cell 2|
|13||Daniel Navarro (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits||Row 12 - Cell 2|
|14||Pierre Luc Perichon (Fra) Team Fortuneo - Oscaro||0:01:12|
|15||Amael Moinard (Fra) BMC Racing Team||Row 14 - Cell 2|
|16||Michael Matthews (Aus) Team Sunweb||0:05:04|
|17||Maurits Lammertink (Ned) Katusha-Alpecin||0:05:07|
|18||Luis Angel Mate (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits||0:05:14|
|19||Romain Hardy (Fra) Team Fortuneo - Oscaro||Row 18 - Cell 2|
|20||Tony Martin (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin||Row 19 - Cell 2|
|21||Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) BMC Racing Team||0:05:40|
|22||Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal||0:06:11|
|23||Tsgabu Grmay (Eth) Bahrain-Merida||Row 22 - Cell 2|
|24||Simon Geschke (Ger) Team Sunweb||Row 23 - Cell 2|
|25||Daniel Martin (Irl) Quick-Step Floors||Row 24 - Cell 2|
|26||Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) Katusha-Alpecin||0:06:20|
|27||Simon Yates (GBr) Orica-Scott||0:06:25|
|28||Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky||Row 27 - Cell 2|
|29||Rigoberto Uran (Col) Cannondale-Drapac||Row 28 - Cell 2|
|30||Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale||Row 29 - Cell 2|
|31||Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team||Row 30 - Cell 2|
|32||George Bennett (NZl) Team LottoNl-Jumbo||Row 31 - Cell 2|
|33||Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale||Row 32 - Cell 2|
|34||Louis Meintjes (RSA) UAE Team Emirates||Row 33 - Cell 2|
|35||Mikel Landa (Spa) Team Sky||Row 34 - Cell 2|
|36||Alberto Contador (Spa) Trek-Segafredo||Row 35 - Cell 2|
|37||Romain Sicard (Fra) Direct Energie||0:06:32|
|38||Pierre Latour (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale||0:09:10|
|39||Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe||Row 38 - Cell 2|
|40||Kristijan Durasek (Cro) UAE Team Emirates||Row 39 - Cell 2|
|41||Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Orica-Scott||0:09:12|
|42||Dylan Van Baarle (Ned) Cannondale-Drapac||0:09:17|
|43||Mathias Frank (Swi) AG2R La Mondiale||Row 42 - Cell 2|
|44||Carlos Betancur (Col) Movistar Team||0:10:19|
|45||Brice Feillu (Fra) Team Fortuneo - Oscaro||Row 44 - Cell 2|
|46||Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team||Row 45 - Cell 2|
|47||Mikel Nieve (Spa) Team Sky||Row 46 - Cell 2|
|48||Alberto Bettiol (Ita) Cannondale-Drapac||Row 47 - Cell 2|
|49||Pierre Rolland (Fra) Cannondale-Drapac||Row 48 - Cell 2|
|50||Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Direct Energie||Row 49 - Cell 2|
|51||Andrey Zeits (Kaz) Astana Pro Team||Row 50 - Cell 2|
|52||Guillaume Martin (Fra) Wanty - Groupe Gobert||0:11:40|
|53||Jarlinson Pantano (Col) Trek-Segafredo||Row 52 - Cell 2|
|54||Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica-Scott||Row 53 - Cell 2|
|55||Cyril Gautier (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale||Row 54 - Cell 2|
|56||Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Bahrain-Merida||Row 55 - Cell 2|
|57||Ben Gastauer (Lux) AG2R La Mondiale||Row 56 - Cell 2|
|58||Sergio Henao (Col) Team Sky||Row 57 - Cell 2|
|59||Nathan Brown (USA) Cannondale-Drapac||Row 58 - Cell 2|
|60||Andrey Amador (CRc) Movistar Team||Row 59 - Cell 2|
|61||Marcus Burghardt (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe||0:18:00|
|62||Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Quick-Step Floors||Row 61 - Cell 2|
|63||Koen De Kort (Ned) Trek-Segafredo||Row 62 - Cell 2|
|64||Marco Marcato (Ita) UAE Team Emirates||Row 63 - Cell 2|
|65||Jasha Sütterlin (Ger) Movistar Team||Row 64 - Cell 2|
|66||Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Orica-Scott||Row 65 - Cell 2|
|67||Yukiya Arashiro (Jpn) Bahrain-Merida||Row 66 - Cell 2|
|68||Elie Gesbert (Fra) Team Fortuneo - Oscaro||Row 67 - Cell 2|
|69||Marco Minnaard (Ned) Wanty - Groupe Gobert||Row 68 - Cell 2|
|70||Damien Howson (Aus) Orica-Scott||Row 69 - Cell 2|
|71||Thomas Degand (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert||Row 70 - Cell 2|
|72||Ben Swift (GBr) UAE Team Emirates||Row 71 - Cell 2|
|73||Stefan Küng (Swi) BMC Racing Team||Row 72 - Cell 2|
|74||Axel Domont (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale||Row 73 - Cell 2|
|75||Danilo Wyss (Swi) BMC Racing Team||Row 74 - Cell 2|
|76||Michael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing Team||Row 75 - Cell 2|
|77||Rudy Molard (Fra) FDJ||Row 76 - Cell 2|
|78||Florian Vachon (Fra) Team Fortuneo - Oscaro||Row 77 - Cell 2|
|79||Cyril Lemoine (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits||Row 78 - Cell 2|
|80||Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team||Row 79 - Cell 2|
|81||Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale||Row 80 - Cell 2|
|82||Michael Valgren Andersen (Den) Astana Pro Team||Row 81 - Cell 2|
|83||Andrew Talansky (USA) Cannondale-Drapac||Row 82 - Cell 2|
|84||Dmitriy Gruzdev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team||Row 83 - Cell 2|
|85||Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana Pro Team||Row 84 - Cell 2|
|86||Imanol Erviti (Spa) Movistar Team||Row 85 - Cell 2|
|87||Jonathan Castroviejo (Spa) Movistar Team||Row 86 - Cell 2|
|88||Jesus Herrada (Spa) Movistar Team||Row 87 - Cell 2|
|89||Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Astana Pro Team||Row 88 - Cell 2|
|90||Angelo Tulik (Fra) Direct Energie||Row 89 - Cell 2|
|91||Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Team Sunweb||Row 90 - Cell 2|
|92||Daniele Bennati (Ita) Movistar Team||Row 91 - Cell 2|
|93||Matteo Bono (Ita) UAE Team Emirates||Row 92 - Cell 2|
|94||Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert||0:20:39|
|95||Adrien Petit (Fra) Direct Energie||Row 94 - Cell 2|
|96||Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits||Row 95 - Cell 2|
|97||Maxime Bouet (Fra) Team Fortuneo - Oscaro||Row 96 - Cell 2|
|98||Eduardo Sepulveda (Arg) Team Fortuneo - Oscaro||Row 97 - Cell 2|
|99||Haimar Zubeldia (Spa) Trek-Segafredo||Row 98 - Cell 2|
|100||Paul Martens (Ger) Team LottoNl-Jumbo||Row 99 - Cell 2|
|101||Fabio Sabatini (Ita) Quick-Step Floors||0:23:36|
|102||Michael Albasini (Swi) Orica-Scott||Row 101 - Cell 2|
|103||Roy Curvers (Ned) Team Sunweb||Row 102 - Cell 2|
|104||Yoann Offredo (Fra) Wanty - Groupe Gobert||Row 103 - Cell 2|
|105||Ondrej Cink (Cze) Bahrain-Merida||Row 104 - Cell 2|
|106||Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Quick-Step Floors||Row 105 - Cell 2|
|107||Florian Senechal (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits||Row 106 - Cell 2|
|108||Andrea Pasqualon (Ita) Wanty - Groupe Gobert||Row 107 - Cell 2|
|109||Vasil Kiryienka (Blr) Team Sky||Row 108 - Cell 2|
|110||Thomas Leezer (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo||Row 109 - Cell 2|
|111||Mathew Hayman (Aus) Orica-Scott||Row 110 - Cell 2|
|112||Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica-Scott||Row 111 - Cell 2|
|113||Markel Irizar (Spa) Trek-Segafredo||Row 112 - Cell 2|
|114||Michael Gogl (Aut) Trek-Segafredo||Row 113 - Cell 2|
|115||Olivier Le Gac (Fra) FDJ||Row 114 - Cell 2|
|116||Darwin Atapuma (Col) UAE Team Emirates||Row 115 - Cell 2|
|117||Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) Dimension Data||Row 116 - Cell 2|
|118||Jack Bauer (NZl) Quick-Step Floors||0:26:32|
|119||Adam James Hansen (Aus) Lotto Soudal||Row 118 - Cell 2|
|120||Dion Smith (NZl) Wanty - Groupe Gobert||Row 119 - Cell 2|
|121||Rick Zabel (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin||Row 120 - Cell 2|
|122||Robert Wagner (Ger) Team LottoNl-Jumbo||Row 121 - Cell 2|
|123||John Degenkolb (Ger) Trek-Segafredo||Row 122 - Cell 2|
|124||Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits||Row 123 - Cell 2|
|125||Julien Vermote (Bel) Quick-Step Floors||Row 124 - Cell 2|
|126||Nils Politt (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin||Row 125 - Cell 2|
|127||Marcel Kittel (Ger) Quick-Step Floors||Row 126 - Cell 2|
|128||Nikias Arndt (Ger) Team Sunweb||Row 127 - Cell 2|
|129||Patrick Bevin (NZl) Cannondale-Drapac||Row 128 - Cell 2|
|130||Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Dimension Data||Row 129 - Cell 2|
|131||Marcel Sieberg (Ger) Lotto Soudal||Row 130 - Cell 2|
|132||Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Lotto Soudal||Row 131 - Cell 2|
|133||Marco Haller (Aut) Katusha-Alpecin||Row 132 - Cell 2|
|134||Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension Data||Row 133 - Cell 2|
|135||Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha-Alpecin||Row 134 - Cell 2|
|136||Perrig Quemeneur (Fra) Direct Energie||Row 135 - Cell 2|
|137||Frederik Backaert (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert||Row 136 - Cell 2|
|138||Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned) Team Sunweb||Row 137 - Cell 2|
|139||Lars Ytting Bak (Den) Lotto Soudal||Row 138 - Cell 2|
|140||Timo Roosen (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo||Row 139 - Cell 2|
|141||Pawel Poljanski (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe||Row 140 - Cell 2|
|142||Scott Thwaites (GBr) Dimension Data||Row 141 - Cell 2|
|143||Reto Hollenstein (Swi) Katusha-Alpecin||Row 142 - Cell 2|
|144||Christian Knees (Ger) Team Sky||Row 143 - Cell 2|
|145||Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain-Merida||Row 144 - Cell 2|
|146||Javier Moreno (Spa) Bahrain-Merida||Row 145 - Cell 2|
|147||Luke Rowe (GBr) Team Sky||Row 146 - Cell 2|
|148||Simon Clarke (Aus) Cannondale-Drapac||Row 147 - Cell 2|
|149||Grega Bole (Slo) Bahrain-Merida||Row 148 - Cell 2|
|150||André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Soudal||Row 149 - Cell 2|
|151||Borut Bozic (Slo) Bahrain-Merida||Row 150 - Cell 2|
|152||Vegard Stake Laengen (Nor) UAE Team Emirates||Row 151 - Cell 2|
|153||Julien Simon (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits||Row 152 - Cell 2|
|154||Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Direct Energie||Row 153 - Cell 2|
|155||Davide Cimolai (Ita) FDJ||Row 154 - Cell 2|
|156||Laurent Pichon (Fra) Team Fortuneo - Oscaro||Row 155 - Cell 2|
|157||Stephen Cummings (GBr) Dimension Data||Row 156 - Cell 2|
|158||Jaco Venter (RSA) Dimension Data||Row 157 - Cell 2|
|159||Jay McCarthy (Aus) Bora-Hansgrohe||Row 158 - Cell 2|
|160||Rüdiger Selig (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe||Row 159 - Cell 2|
|161||Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo||Row 160 - Cell 2|
|162||Mike Teunissen (Ned) Team Sunweb||Row 161 - Cell 2|
|163||Albert Timmer (Ned) Team Sunweb||Row 162 - Cell 2|
|164||Tiago Machado (Por) Katusha-Alpecin||Row 163 - Cell 2|
|165||Bakhtiyar Kozhatayev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team||Row 164 - Cell 2|
|166||Taylor Phinney (USA) Cannondale-Drapac||Row 165 - Cell 2|