nsucurrent.com February 22, 2018

A day on the Tour de France

14 July 2017, 12:35 | Nina Perez

A day on the Tour de France

Cycling- The 104th Tour de France cycling race

Bidding to become the first Frenchman to win the Tour since Bernard Hinault in 1985, Bardet was the strongest in the brutal incline and described his third stage win on the Tour as "an huge joy".

"The pace was very high all day long, but just in the last meters, I saw Froome was in trouble and I just try to go to the line as soon as possible", Bardet said.

"I'm feeling very, very happy for sure", he said.

Froome zig-zagged his bike across the tarmac as he tried to cope with a gradient so steep that it seemed to glue his wheels to the road.

"The number one priority for us is to not allow anyone to come back into the general classification game if they've already lost some time", the Team Sky rider said.

Bardet won the stage and took the time bonuses along with it. Aru gained the yellow jersey by six seconds over Froome and 25 over Bardet. Landa, South African Louis Meintjes (UAE Team Emirates) and Martin all finished before Froome toiled home ahead of Bennett and compatriot Simon Yates of Orica-Scott.

"I'm not frustrated, it's just the race - maybe they wanted to win the stage". "I never imagined this would happen".

British champion Steve Cummings had lit up the stage with a long, fearless solo break but was hauled back in on the penultimate climb, less than 10km from the finish. Friday's 101km stage from Saint-Girons to Foix is expected to be a full-on battle, and Aru will have to face it with a weakened team. "I did my utmost at the end. It was such a hard finish".

Stephen Cummings was unsuccessful in his bid for a solo win on the 50th anniversary of Tom Simpson's death during the 1967 Tour. But what were the full standings after stage 12 at the 104th edition of the Tour and how do the various classifications now look? But Cummings didn't have the legs on the first category Col de Peyresourde and was caught with 8.6km left. "Unfortunately Sky kept the gap too small".

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