Aru takes Tour lead (4)

FabioAru- Cropped

Aru, victor 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. A dramatic stage 12 was won by Romain Bardet, who also put himself in the frame for yellow as there was a dramatic tightening at the top of the general classification.

Romain Bardet (Ag2r La Mondiale) might have taken his first win of the season on stage 12 of the Tour de France to Peyragudes, but the Frenchman is anxious about how Team Sky will react on Friday after Chris Froome lost his yellow jersey. "But I didn't have the legs to follow". "I did my utmost at the end". If I'm doing a bike race, I always try to make it as easy as possible and save my legs as much as I can. Bardet is third overall, 25 seconds off the pace. "I was missing the yellow jersey after wearing the pink one at the Giro d'Italia and the red one on the Vuelta".

Rigoberto Uran and Aru were second and third, two seconds behind. "I don't know, I'm not doing anything special", he said.

Rain was falling as the peloton started the stage in Pau, before a breakaway of 12 riders gained a lead of more than six minutes on some fairly flat sections of the course.

The shift in power was sudden for Froome's Team Sky, which had held the yellow jersey since Geraint Thomas' time trial win in Dusseldorf on the opening day.

Aru's team-mate Jakob Fuglsang, who sits fifth overall in the general classification, suffered fractures in his hand and elbow in a crash which ended the race of key domestique Dario Cataldo.

Froome and Aru went off the road in the descent from the Port de Bales, the penultimate climb of the day, but the group of overall contenders waited on them. LeMond added that Bardet and Aru should pile the pressure on Froome and not hesitate to play mind games as the three-time champion is still the favorite.

The Colombian Nairo Quintana, he has been distanced from the slopes of the Peyresourde.

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