– What happened? –
After nine days racing, defending champion Chris Froome (Team Sky) leads the Tour de France. A three-time Tour winner (2013, 2015 and 2016), Froome has finished third on the two biggest mountain stages of the first week, at La Planche des Belles Filles and Chambéry. On the Tour de France’s first rest day, Froome has an advantage of 18 seconds over Fabio Aru (Astana Pro Team). Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale) lies third, at 51 seconds.
This week, after two flat stages, the Tour de France will head into the Pyrenees for its second mountain top finish, at Peyragudes, and a short, punchy mountain trek from Saint-Girons to Foix.
Tour de France contender Richie Porte (BMC Racing Team) has abandoned the race with serious injuries. Lying fifth overall, the Australian crashed hard on the final descent of stage nine between Nantua and Chambéry, suffering a broken collarbone and pelvis. BMC Racing Team expressed initial hopes that Porte could be riding again by August.
On the same stage, early Tour de France leader Geraint Thomas (Team Sky), who won the opening time trial in Düsseldorf and was lying third overall Sunday morning, also abandoned after crashing and sustaining a broken collarbone.
UCI World Champion Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) was disqualified from the Tour de France after his involvement in a crash on stage four at the finish near Vittel which saw sprinter Mark Cavendish (Team Dimension Data) out of the race injured with a broken shoulder. Sagan apologized for the incident afterwards.
– Focus on: Jarlinson Pantano –
Former UCI World Cycling Centre trainee Jarlinson Pantano had a breakthrough season in 2016, winning mountain stages of the Tour de Suisse and Tour de France. Eight years after turning pro with the Colombia es Pasion-Coldeportes team, Pantano is now a top climbing domestique in the Trek-Segafredo squad.
The 26-year old has had a strong early season in 2017, winning the Colombian time trial national title and finishing second in the road race. After two 19th places in the Tour de France in 2015 and 2016, Colombian fans are keen to see what Pantano can do in this year’s race.
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