Tour de France

Froome on brink of 4th Tour de France crown

2017-07-22 19:00
Chris Froome (AP)

Marseille - Chris Froome all but secured a fourth Tour de France title by finishing third in Saturday's 20th stage time-trial in Marseille as Maciej Bodnar took the stage victory.

Rigoberto Uran moved into second overall at 54 seconds, set to be the tightest winning margin of Froome's four Tour successes, while Romain Bardet held on for third by just one second ahead of Mikel Landa.

"It's incredible, the atmosphere here in Marseille, it's massive being here in the stadium," said Froome, 32, who will nonetheless finish without a stage win this year.

"It's the Tour de France, you can't always win everything," said the Sky team leader.

"We had to put in the effort over three weeks and that's what we did."

For Bodnar, it was sweet revenge have come within a few hundred metres of a solo victory on stage 11, before he was caught by a charging peloton and Marcel Kittel took the sprint finish.

"It's something special for me today. After the stage when I went alone I was thinking, 'I have to do something nice again'.

"Today I got more luck than the other stage, I'm really happy about this."

In what has been the closest Tour battle in years, the top three riders started the day separated by less than 30 seconds, building hope for a grandstand finale in the steamy southern port city ahead of Sunday's procession into Paris.

But any such romantic notions of Frenchman Bardet overturning his 23sec deficit to Froome had disappeared long before the end of Saturday's 22.5km race against the clock, which began and ended in Marseille's iconic Velodrome football stadium.

Bardet started the day second overall but only narrowly escaped the double humiliation of being pushed off the podium by Landa and overtaken by a charging Froome, who started his time-trial two minutes after the Frenchman.

Froome reached the first time check after 10.2km in second place, two seconds behind team-mate Michal Kwiatkowski, with Bodnar third at 6sec.

By then it was already clear there would be no grandstand finish as Uran was 23sec down on Froome having begun with a 29sec deficit, while Bardet had given up 44sec to the British leader.

By the second time check, Colombian Uran was starting to gain back a bit of time and looked certain to take second overall.

But Bardet was in crisis, already 1min 17sec off Kwiatkowski, who still had the best time at the second check, although only fractions of a second ahead of Spanish veteran Alberto Contador, after 15.6km and the climb up to the Notre Dame de la Garde basilica, with Froome fourth at 3sec.

Spaniard Landa, who had started the day 1:13 behind Bardet, was now starting to threaten the Frenchman's podium hopes.

At the finish, Uran almost came a cropper, hitting the side boardings on a tight bend in a technical run-in to the Velodrome.

It cost him a few seconds but disaster was averted as he stayed upright to finish 31 seconds behind four-time Polish time-trial champion Bodnar, whose strong final section took him a second ahead of Kwiatkowski, the 2014 world road race champion.

"Coming second in this race is the most important result in my career," said Uran, 30, who has also twice finished runner-up at the Giro d'Italia.

Landa had finished 51sec back and as Bardet came into the stadium, fans were counting down the seconds to see if he would hang on to third place, while the looming yellow-clad figure of Froome lurked in his rear-view mirrors.

Bardet finished 2:02 behind Bodnar to hold onto third by a single second while Froome crossed the line moments later, to claim third place on the stage and secure a fourth Tour title.

"I'm at my limit, I'm tired, I gave everything," said the 26-year-old.

"I'm delighted to have given it everything and there's a little bit of success in having saved a podium place."

Standings from the 20th stage of Tour de France, a 22.5km time-trial in Marseille on Saturday:

1. Maciej Bodnar (POL/BOR) 22.5 km in 28min 15sec (average: 47,8 km/h)

2. Michal Kwiatkowski (POL/SKY) at 0:01.

3. Christopher Froome (GBR/SKY) 0:06.

4. Tony Martin (GER/KAT) 0:14.

5. Daryl Impey (RSA/ORI) 0:20.

6. Alberto Contador (ESP/TRE) 0:21.

7. Nikias Arndt (GER/SUN) 0:28.

8. Rigoberto Uran (COL/CAN) 0:31.

9. Stefan Kung (SWI/BMC) 0:34.

10. Sylvain Chavanel (FRA/DEN) 0:37.

11. Jack Bauer (NZL/QST) 0:41.

12. Jasha Sütterlin (GER/MOV) 0:42.

13. Nils Politt (GER/KAT) 0:43.

14. Primož Roglic (SLO/LNL) 0:49.

15. Mikel Landa (ESP/SKY) 0:51.

16. Tony Gallopin (FRA/LOT) 0:56.

17. Taylor Phinney (USA/CAN) 1:06.

18. Vasil Kiryienka (BLR/SKY) 1:07.

19. Warren Barguil (FRA/SUN) 1:09.

20. Alexis Vuillermoz (FRA/ALM) 1:11.

21. Damiano Caruso (ITA/BMC) 1:13.

22. Fabio Aru (ITA/AST) 1:16.

23. Tiesj Benoot (BEL/LOT) 1:21.

24. Tylan van Baarle (NED/CAN) 1:22.

25. Nicolas Roche (IRL/BMC) 1:25.

26. Imanol Erviti (ESP/MOV) 1:26.

27. Lilian Calmejane (FRA/DEN) 1:27.

28. Jonathan Castroviejo (ESP/MOV) 1:27.

29. Lars Ytting Bak (DEN/LOT) 1:27.

30. Carlos Betancour (COL/MOV) 1:28.

31. Jay McCarthy (AUS/BOR) 1:28.

32. Simon Yates (GBR/ORI) 1:34.

33. Louis Meintjies (RSA/EAU) 1:34.

34. Bauke Mollema (NED/TRE) 1:36.

35. Alexey Lutsenko (KAZ/AST) 1:36.

36. Nairo Quintana (COL/MOV) 1:42.

37. Thomas De Gendt (BEL/LOT) 1:46.

38. Brice Feillu (FRA/TFO) 1:46.

39. Zdenek Stybar (CZE/QST) 1:47.

40. Daniel Martin (IRL/QST) 1:52.

41. Maxime Bouet (FRA/TFO) 1:52.

42. Diego Ulissi (ITA/EAU) 1:52.

43. Danilo Wyss (SWI/BMC) 1:52.

44. Ben Gastauer (LUX/ALM) 1:52.

45. Nicolas Edet (FRA/COF) 1:54.

46. Albert Timmer (NED/SUN) 1:56.

47. Damien Howson (AUS/ORI) 1:56.

48. Haimar Zubeldia (ESP/TRE) 1:56.

49. Andrej Zeits (KAZ/AST) 1:58.

50. Romain Sicard (FRA/DEN) 2:01.

51. Jan Bakelants (BEL/ALM) 2:01.

52. Romain Bardet (FRA/ALM) 2:03.

53. Julien Vermote (BEL/QST) 2:03.

54. Florian Vachon (FRA/TFO) 2:07.

55. Amaël Moinard (FRA/BMC) 2:08.

56. Michael Andersen (DEN/AST) 2:10.

57. Andriy Grivko (UKR/AST) 2:10.

58. Serge Pauwels (BEL/DDT) 2:11.

59. Marco Marcato (ITA/EAU) 2:11.

60. Dmitriy Gruzdev (KAZ/AST) 2:13.

61. Michael Schär (SWI/BMC) 2:13.

62. Pierre-Roger Latour (FRA/ALM) 2:15.

63. Elie Gesbert (FRA/TFO) 2:16.

64. Robert Wagner (GER/LNL) 2:19.

65. Roman Kreuziger (CZE/ORI) 2:19.

66. Romain Hardy (FRA/TFO) 2:19.

67. Andrew Talansky (USA/CAN) 2:20.

68. Mikel Nieve (ESP/SKY) 2:23.

69. Tiago Machado (POR/KAT) 2:25.

70. Thomas Degand (BEL/AJW) 2:25.

71. Axel Domont (FRA/ALM) 2:25.

72. Emanuel Buchmann (GER/BOR) 2:26.

73. Marcus Burghardt (GER/BOR) 2:26.

74. Michael Albasini (SWI/ORI) 2:26.

75. Julien Simon (FRA/COF) 2:27.

76. Jens Keukeleire (BEL/ORI) 2:28.

77. Markel Irizar (ESP/TRE) 2:28.

78. Michael Matthews (AUS/SUN) 2:30.

79. Frederik Backaert (BEL/AJW) 2:30.

80. Reto Hollenstein (SWI/KAT) 2:32.

81. Pieter Vanspeybrouck (BEL/AJW) 2:33.

82. Mike Teunissen (NED/SUN) 2:34.

83. Pierre-Luc Perichon (FRA/TFO) 2:34.

84. Gianluca Brambilla (ITA/QST) 2:35.

85. Paul Martens (GER/LNL) 2:36.

86. Greg Van Avermaet (BEL/BMC) 2:36.

87. Alberto Bettiol (ITA/CAN) 2:36.

88. Pawel Poljanski (POL/BOR) 2:44.

89. Ramon Sinkeldam (NED/SUN) 2:44.

90. Rudy Molard (FRA/FDJ) 2:44.

91. Koen de Kort (NED/TRE) 2:45.

92. Scott Thwaites (GBR/DDT) 2:46.

93. Angelo Tulik (FRA/DEN) 2:47.

94. Cyril Lemoine (FRA/COF) 2:47.

95. Simon Geschke (GER/SUN) 2:47.

96. Alessandro De Marchi (ITA/BMC) 2:50.

97. Fabio Sabatini (ITA/QST) 2:50.

98. Daniele Bennati (ITA/MOV) 2:50.

99. Grega Bole (SLO/BAH) 2:54.

100. Christophe Laporte (FRA/COF) 2:54.

101. Luke Rowe (GBR/SKY) 2:54.

102. Cyril Gautier (FRA/ALM) 2:56.

103. Florian Sénéchal (FRA/COF) 3:00.

104. Sonny Colbrelli (ITA/BAH) 3:00.

105. Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (BEL/AJW) 3:04.

106. Daniel Navarro (ESP/COF) 3:05.

107. Guillaume Martin (FRA/AJW) 3:05.

108. Yukiya Arashiro (JPN/BAH) 3:05.

109. Laurent Pichon (FRA/TFO) 3:07.

110. Christian Knees (GER/SKY) 3:07.

111. Rüdiger Selig (GER/BOR) 3:07.

112. Edvald Boasson Hagen (NOR/DDT) 3:07.

113. Mathias Frank (SWI/ALM) 3:08.

114. José Herrada Lopez (ESP/MOV) 3:09.

115. Eduardo Sepulveda (ARG/TFO) 3:10.

116. Jürgen Roelandts (BEL/LOT) 3:11.

117. Luis Ángel Maté (ESP/COF) 3:15.

118. Marco Minnaard (NED/AJW) 3:15.

119. Rick Zabel (GER/KAT) 3:18.

120. Patrick Bevin (NZL/CAN) 3:20.

121. Yoann Offredo (FRA/AJW) 3:21.

122. Simon Clarke (AUS/CAN) 3:22.

123. Janez Brajkovic (SLO/BAH) 3:22.

124. André Greipel (GER/LOT) 3:22.

125. Maurits Lammertink (NED/KAT) 3:23.

126. Michael Gogl (AUT/TRE) 3:24.

127. Perrig Quemeneur (FRA/DEN) 3:25.

128. Bakhtiyar Kozhatayev (KAZ/AST) 3:25.

129. Nathan Brown (USA/CAN) 3:25.

130. Olivier Le Gac (FRA/FDJ) 3:25.

131. Andrea Pasqualon (ITA/AJW) 3:26.

132. Kristijan Durasek (CRO/EAU) 3:27.

Sergio Henao (COL/SKY) 3:27.

134. Vegard Laengen (NOR/EAU) 3:27.

Dion Smith (NZL/AJW) 3:27.

136. Stephen Cummings (GBR/DDT) 3:30.

137. Robert Kiserlovski (CRO/KAT) 3:31.

138. Laurens ten Dam (NED/SUN) 3:31.

139. Davide Cimolai (ITA/FDJ) 3:32.

140. Borut Božic (SLO/BAH) 3:38.

141. Thomas Voeckler (FRA/DEN) 3:40.

142. Jaco Venter (RSA/DDT) 3:40.

143. Oliver Naesen (BEL/ALM) 3:41.

144. John Degenkolb (GER/TRE) 3:44.

145. Dylan Groenewegen (NED/LNL) 3:47.

146. Pierre Rolland (FRA/CAN) 3:49.

147. Adrien Petit (FRA/DEN) 3:49.

148. Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (RSA/DDT) 3:51.

149. Tsgabu Grmay (ETH/BAH) 3:51.

150. Thomas Boudat (FRA/DEN) 3:53.

151. Bernhard Eisel (AUT/DDT) 3:57.

152. Adam Hansen (AUS/LOT) 3:58.

153. Marco Haller (AUT/KAT) 3:58.

154. Ben Swift (GBR/EAU) 3:59.

155. Yohann Gene (FRA/DEN) 4:05.

156. Darwin Atapuma (COL/EAU) 4:06.

157. Matthew Hayman (AUS/ORI) 4:09.

158. Esteban Chaves (COL/ORI) 4:11.

159. Roy Curvers (NED/SUN) 4:11.

160. Nacer Bouhanni (FRA/COF) 4:23.

161. Tom Leezer (NED/LNL) 4:24.

162. Dimitri Claeys (BEL/COF) 4:24.

163. Audrey Amador (CRC/MOV) 4:25.

164. Alexander Kristoff (NOR/KAT) 4:32.

165. Javier Moreno (ESP/BAH) 4:38.

166. Matteo Bono (ITA/EAU) 4:45.

167. Jarlinson Pantano (COL/TRE) 5:10.

Read more on:    tdf 2017  |  chris froome  |  cycling
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