Tour de France: Mollema wins from breakaway in Le Puy-en-Velay

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.

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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.

Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo4:41:47
2Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates0:00:19
3Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto SoudalRow 2 - Cell 2
4Primoz Roglic (Slo) Team LottoNl-JumboRow 3 - Cell 2
5Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Sunweb0:00:23
6Nicolas Roche (Irl) BMC Racing Team0:01:00
7Lilian Calmejane (Fra) Direct Energie0:01:04
8Jan Bakelants (Bel) AG2R La MondialeRow 7 - Cell 2
9Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJRow 8 - Cell 2
10Serge Pauwels (Bel) Dimension DataRow 9 - Cell 2
11Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 10 - Cell 2
12Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC Racing TeamRow 11 - Cell 2
13Daniel Navarro (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 12 - Cell 2
14Pierre Luc Perichon (Fra) Team Fortuneo - Oscaro0:01:12
15Amael Moinard (Fra) BMC Racing TeamRow 14 - Cell 2
16Michael Matthews (Aus) Team Sunweb0:05:04
17Maurits Lammertink (Ned) Katusha-Alpecin0:05:07
18Luis Angel Mate (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:05:14
19Romain Hardy (Fra) Team Fortuneo - OscaroRow 18 - Cell 2
20Tony Martin (Ger) Katusha-AlpecinRow 19 - Cell 2
21Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) BMC Racing Team0:05:40
22Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:06:11
23Tsgabu Grmay (Eth) Bahrain-MeridaRow 22 - Cell 2
24Simon Geschke (Ger) Team SunwebRow 23 - Cell 2
25Daniel Martin (Irl) Quick-Step FloorsRow 24 - Cell 2
26Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) Katusha-Alpecin0:06:20
27Simon Yates (GBr) Orica-Scott0:06:25
28Christopher Froome (GBr) Team SkyRow 27 - Cell 2
29Rigoberto Uran (Col) Cannondale-DrapacRow 28 - Cell 2
30Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 29 - Cell 2
31Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro TeamRow 30 - Cell 2
32George Bennett (NZl) Team LottoNl-JumboRow 31 - Cell 2
33Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 32 - Cell 2
34Louis Meintjes (RSA) UAE Team EmiratesRow 33 - Cell 2
35Mikel Landa (Spa) Team SkyRow 34 - Cell 2
36Alberto Contador (Spa) Trek-SegafredoRow 35 - Cell 2
37Romain Sicard (Fra) Direct Energie0:06:32
38Pierre Latour (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:09:10
39Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-HansgroheRow 38 - Cell 2
40Kristijan Durasek (Cro) UAE Team EmiratesRow 39 - Cell 2
41Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Orica-Scott0:09:12
42Dylan Van Baarle (Ned) Cannondale-Drapac0:09:17
43Mathias Frank (Swi) AG2R La MondialeRow 42 - Cell 2
44Carlos Betancur (Col) Movistar Team0:10:19
45Brice Feillu (Fra) Team Fortuneo - OscaroRow 44 - Cell 2
46Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar TeamRow 45 - Cell 2
47Mikel Nieve (Spa) Team SkyRow 46 - Cell 2
48Alberto Bettiol (Ita) Cannondale-DrapacRow 47 - Cell 2
49Pierre Rolland (Fra) Cannondale-DrapacRow 48 - Cell 2
50Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Direct EnergieRow 49 - Cell 2
51Andrey Zeits (Kaz) Astana Pro TeamRow 50 - Cell 2
52Guillaume Martin (Fra) Wanty - Groupe Gobert0:11:40
53Jarlinson Pantano (Col) Trek-SegafredoRow 52 - Cell 2
54Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica-ScottRow 53 - Cell 2
55Cyril Gautier (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 54 - Cell 2
56Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Bahrain-MeridaRow 55 - Cell 2
57Ben Gastauer (Lux) AG2R La MondialeRow 56 - Cell 2
58Sergio Henao (Col) Team SkyRow 57 - Cell 2
59Nathan Brown (USA) Cannondale-DrapacRow 58 - Cell 2
60Andrey Amador (CRc) Movistar TeamRow 59 - Cell 2
61Marcus Burghardt (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe0:18:00
62Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Quick-Step FloorsRow 61 - Cell 2
63Koen De Kort (Ned) Trek-SegafredoRow 62 - Cell 2
64Marco Marcato (Ita) UAE Team EmiratesRow 63 - Cell 2
65Jasha Sütterlin (Ger) Movistar TeamRow 64 - Cell 2
66Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Orica-ScottRow 65 - Cell 2
67Yukiya Arashiro (Jpn) Bahrain-MeridaRow 66 - Cell 2
68Elie Gesbert (Fra) Team Fortuneo - OscaroRow 67 - Cell 2
69Marco Minnaard (Ned) Wanty - Groupe GobertRow 68 - Cell 2
70Damien Howson (Aus) Orica-ScottRow 69 - Cell 2
71Thomas Degand (Bel) Wanty - Groupe GobertRow 70 - Cell 2
72Ben Swift (GBr) UAE Team EmiratesRow 71 - Cell 2
73Stefan Küng (Swi) BMC Racing TeamRow 72 - Cell 2
74Axel Domont (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 73 - Cell 2
75Danilo Wyss (Swi) BMC Racing TeamRow 74 - Cell 2
76Michael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing TeamRow 75 - Cell 2
77Rudy Molard (Fra) FDJRow 76 - Cell 2
78Florian Vachon (Fra) Team Fortuneo - OscaroRow 77 - Cell 2
79Cyril Lemoine (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 78 - Cell 2
80Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing TeamRow 79 - Cell 2
81Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R La MondialeRow 80 - Cell 2
82Michael Valgren Andersen (Den) Astana Pro TeamRow 81 - Cell 2
83Andrew Talansky (USA) Cannondale-DrapacRow 82 - Cell 2
84Dmitriy Gruzdev (Kaz) Astana Pro TeamRow 83 - Cell 2
85Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana Pro TeamRow 84 - Cell 2
86Imanol Erviti (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 85 - Cell 2
87Jonathan Castroviejo (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 86 - Cell 2
88Jesus Herrada (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 87 - Cell 2
89Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Astana Pro TeamRow 88 - Cell 2
90Angelo Tulik (Fra) Direct EnergieRow 89 - Cell 2
91Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Team SunwebRow 90 - Cell 2
92Daniele Bennati (Ita) Movistar TeamRow 91 - Cell 2
93Matteo Bono (Ita) UAE Team EmiratesRow 92 - Cell 2
94Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert0:20:39
95Adrien Petit (Fra) Direct EnergieRow 94 - Cell 2
96Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 95 - Cell 2
97Maxime Bouet (Fra) Team Fortuneo - OscaroRow 96 - Cell 2
98Eduardo Sepulveda (Arg) Team Fortuneo - OscaroRow 97 - Cell 2
99Haimar Zubeldia (Spa) Trek-SegafredoRow 98 - Cell 2
100Paul Martens (Ger) Team LottoNl-JumboRow 99 - Cell 2
101Fabio Sabatini (Ita) Quick-Step Floors0:23:36
102Michael Albasini (Swi) Orica-ScottRow 101 - Cell 2
103Roy Curvers (Ned) Team SunwebRow 102 - Cell 2
104Yoann Offredo (Fra) Wanty - Groupe GobertRow 103 - Cell 2
105Ondrej Cink (Cze) Bahrain-MeridaRow 104 - Cell 2
106Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Quick-Step FloorsRow 105 - Cell 2
107Florian Senechal (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 106 - Cell 2
108Andrea Pasqualon (Ita) Wanty - Groupe GobertRow 107 - Cell 2
109Vasil Kiryienka (Blr) Team SkyRow 108 - Cell 2
110Thomas Leezer (Ned) Team LottoNl-JumboRow 109 - Cell 2
111Mathew Hayman (Aus) Orica-ScottRow 110 - Cell 2
112Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica-ScottRow 111 - Cell 2
113Markel Irizar (Spa) Trek-SegafredoRow 112 - Cell 2
114Michael Gogl (Aut) Trek-SegafredoRow 113 - Cell 2
115Olivier Le Gac (Fra) FDJRow 114 - Cell 2
116Darwin Atapuma (Col) UAE Team EmiratesRow 115 - Cell 2
117Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) Dimension DataRow 116 - Cell 2
118Jack Bauer (NZl) Quick-Step Floors0:26:32
119Adam James Hansen (Aus) Lotto SoudalRow 118 - Cell 2
120Dion Smith (NZl) Wanty - Groupe GobertRow 119 - Cell 2
121Rick Zabel (Ger) Katusha-AlpecinRow 120 - Cell 2
122Robert Wagner (Ger) Team LottoNl-JumboRow 121 - Cell 2
123John Degenkolb (Ger) Trek-SegafredoRow 122 - Cell 2
124Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 123 - Cell 2
125Julien Vermote (Bel) Quick-Step FloorsRow 124 - Cell 2
126Nils Politt (Ger) Katusha-AlpecinRow 125 - Cell 2
127Marcel Kittel (Ger) Quick-Step FloorsRow 126 - Cell 2
128Nikias Arndt (Ger) Team SunwebRow 127 - Cell 2
129Patrick Bevin (NZl) Cannondale-DrapacRow 128 - Cell 2
130Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Dimension DataRow 129 - Cell 2
131Marcel Sieberg (Ger) Lotto SoudalRow 130 - Cell 2
132Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 131 - Cell 2
133Marco Haller (Aut) Katusha-AlpecinRow 132 - Cell 2
134Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension DataRow 133 - Cell 2
135Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha-AlpecinRow 134 - Cell 2
136Perrig Quemeneur (Fra) Direct EnergieRow 135 - Cell 2
137Frederik Backaert (Bel) Wanty - Groupe GobertRow 136 - Cell 2
138Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned) Team SunwebRow 137 - Cell 2
139Lars Ytting Bak (Den) Lotto SoudalRow 138 - Cell 2
140Timo Roosen (Ned) Team LottoNl-JumboRow 139 - Cell 2
141Pawel Poljanski (Pol) Bora-HansgroheRow 140 - Cell 2
142Scott Thwaites (GBr) Dimension DataRow 141 - Cell 2
143Reto Hollenstein (Swi) Katusha-AlpecinRow 142 - Cell 2
144Christian Knees (Ger) Team SkyRow 143 - Cell 2
145Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain-MeridaRow 144 - Cell 2
146Javier Moreno (Spa) Bahrain-MeridaRow 145 - Cell 2
147Luke Rowe (GBr) Team SkyRow 146 - Cell 2
148Simon Clarke (Aus) Cannondale-DrapacRow 147 - Cell 2
149Grega Bole (Slo) Bahrain-MeridaRow 148 - Cell 2
150André Greipel (Ger) Lotto SoudalRow 149 - Cell 2
151Borut Bozic (Slo) Bahrain-MeridaRow 150 - Cell 2
152Vegard Stake Laengen (Nor) UAE Team EmiratesRow 151 - Cell 2
153Julien Simon (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 152 - Cell 2
154Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Direct EnergieRow 153 - Cell 2
155Davide Cimolai (Ita) FDJRow 154 - Cell 2
156Laurent Pichon (Fra) Team Fortuneo - OscaroRow 155 - Cell 2
157Stephen Cummings (GBr) Dimension DataRow 156 - Cell 2
158Jaco Venter (RSA) Dimension DataRow 157 - Cell 2
159Jay McCarthy (Aus) Bora-HansgroheRow 158 - Cell 2
160Rüdiger Selig (Ger) Bora-HansgroheRow 159 - Cell 2
161Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) Team LottoNl-JumboRow 160 - Cell 2
162Mike Teunissen (Ned) Team SunwebRow 161 - Cell 2
163Albert Timmer (Ned) Team SunwebRow 162 - Cell 2
164Tiago Machado (Por) Katusha-AlpecinRow 163 - Cell 2
165Bakhtiyar Kozhatayev (Kaz) Astana Pro TeamRow 164 - Cell 2
166Taylor Phinney (USA) Cannondale-DrapacRow 165 - Cell 2
167Christophe Laporte