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Dublin: 5 °C Sunday 25 February, 2018

Chris Froome loses yellow jersey on epic final climb to finish Stage 12

Fabio Aru takes GC lead as Dan Martin finishes a battling sixth.

Source: Le Tour De France/YouTube

CHRIS FROOME CRACKED inside the final kilometre of an epic climb to Peyragudes, allowing Italy’s Fabio Aru to take control of the yellow jersey for the first time at this year’s Tour de France.

At the end of a gruelling marathon stage that was largely controlled by Froome’s Team Sky, Romain Bardet had the most left in his legs, beating Rigoberto Uran and Aru by two seconds.

Ireland’s Dan Martin was right in contention for stage victory but couldn’t stick with the leaders’ final push, and finished in a battling sixth, 13 seconds back.

But for Froome, the day’s good work was undone in the space of a few hundred metres as he finished seventh, 20 seconds behind Aru, surrendering his general classification lead and the yellow jersey to his Italian rival.

Aru, winner of the Vuelta a Espana in 2015, now leads the GC by six seconds from Froome, with Bardet 25 seconds off the lead in third. Martin’s fine showing on Thursday’s stage saw him move up one place to fifth overall, 1:41 off the lead.

Ireland’s other rider, Nicolas Roche, finished a rough day in 70th place, just under 20 minutes behind Bardet.

– An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that Fabio Aru won the 2015 Giro d’Italia; he won the 2015 Vuelta a Espana.

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