Froome regains control as Matthews wins stage 14 of Tour de France

After Monday's second rest day and a likely straightforward stage on Tuesday with a bunch sprint finish, Wednesday sees the Tour head into the Alps for the final mountain showdown of this year's race.

Following two frenetic days of racing in the Pyrenees, no one would have bet a cent on a change of leadership on Saturday after Stage 14, a rolling 181.5-kilometer (113-mile) ride with no major difficulty.

Dan Martin may have crashed twice on one stage during the Tour de France but he could still finish on the podium, his uncle and former victor Stephen Roche believes.

"To have that card to play to put teams under pressure with someone other than Froomey as a GC contender is a great position to be in", said Rowe.

"It was nearly as if I had to attack just to get back to the front group". "It's a close race, but we knew that coming into this year's Tour de France with so few time trial kilometres, so few summit finishes".

For a full breakdown of the remaining stage schedule, visit the race's official website. Fourth-placed Dan Martin only 1 minute, 12 seconds further back.

AG2R leader Bardet was runner-up to Froome last year and this year sits just 23 seconds behind the Sky team leader in third place.

By his own admission, Froome "just didn't have the legs" on the last of four climbs at the end of the 214.5 km slog that took almost six hours to complete and which has thrown the general classification wide open with a week still to go.

But Aru was caught out well down in the peloton as gaps appeared in the finale, allowing reigning champion Froome to retake the jersey he'd lost to the Italian on Thursday. With the way Froome and Team Sky are riding now, it's going to take a team effort to give someone else a shot at the overall lead.

No longer in yellow, Sky's Chris Froome discusses an eventful stage 13 with Simon Yates of the Australian team Orica-Scott.

Team-mate Luke Rowe, last of the 176 riders left, said: "We gave up the yellow jersey once and I saw that Froomey was very disappointed and he won't do the same again".

The first occurred on a key climb of last Sunday's ninth stage to Chambery. He had no challengers at the finish as he rode across the line alone to complete the victory.

Cilic said afterward he developed a painful blister on his left foot during his semifinal Friday, and that affected his ability to move properly or summon the intimidating serves that carried him to his lone Grand Slam title at the 2014 U.S. Open, where he surprisingly beat Federer in the semifinals.

Stage 15 covers 189.5km travel by the riders from Laissac-Sévérac l'Église to Le Puy-en-Velay.

"I'm very grateful that I'm on the right side of the time split at the moment", Froome said. He finished level with Froome, who took over the yellow jersey from Aru in Rodez.

  • Rogelio Becker