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Dublin: 12°C Monday 23 November 2020

Sprint Finish: Froome sweeps to stunning stage victory to stretch lead

The Team Sky rider was supreme on the steepling mountain finish at Mount Ventoux.

Chris Froome is a week away from his first Tour de France win.
Chris Froome is a week away from his first Tour de France win.
Image: Yorick Jansens/Belga/Press Association Images

Result: CHRIS FROOME SWATTED away the competition for his second stage win of this year’s Tour and now leads in the yellow jersey by over four minutes. The Nairobi-born Englishman jumped clear of the leading pack on the final climb of the gruelling Mount Ventoux finish.

Young Colombian cyclist Nairo Quintana tailed the Team sky rider but eventually dropped back to finish 29 seconds behind, leaving all the glory to Froome.

How it happened: The stage, just shy of 250km with a towering 1912m finish was a none-event until midway through the day until a nine-man breakaway chiselled out a 4-minute lead. Movistar, with Quintana leading the way, pushed the peloton to eat into that lead. Froome, in a depleted Team Sky, was happy to have another group do the chasing.

Green Jersey leader Peter Sagan was in the lead group and called the shots at the intermediate sprints, further stretching his lead from Mark Cavendish. Coming up to the 21-kilometre ascent of Mount Ventoux and Froome’s Sky teammates started to earn their corn and back massages, gobbling up the lead group.

With six kilometres to go, Froome made his burst but Quintana was not having it. The lead was swapped several times before the younger rider cracked with just over a kilometre to go. The winning gap was comfortable in the end and Froome deserved the acclaim at the finish line.

The big winner: Chris Froome. Another huge marker laid down. His energy reserves seem endless but he will need his Team Sky colleagues to stay the course over the coming days.

The big loser: If Cadel Evans was still harbouring hope of mounting an epic comeback to claim the yellow jersey in the final week, they are now forlorn. The Australian lost 8 minutes and 46 seconds today and is now over 15 minutes behind Froome.

Who is wearing what jersey?

  • Yellow (Overall): Chris Froome
  • Green (Points): Peter Sagan
  • Polka-Dot (Mountains): Mikel Nieve Iturralde
  • White (Young Rider): Nairo Quintana

What about the Irish? Dan Martin finished 14th but remains 11th overall in the General Classification. He lost 2 minutes 36 seconds on Froome. Nicolas Roche was dropped on the final climb and finished in 57th, some 16 minutes behind the stage winner. The Team Saxo-Tinkoff rider drops two places to 38th in the GC.

What happens tomorrow then? The players will put their feet up on a hard-earned rest day.

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About the author:

Patrick McCarry

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