Michael Matthews (Sunweb) has beaten Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) to take the 181.5km stage to Rodez. Gaps also formed in the reduced peloton over the course of the uphill finish meaning that Fabio Aru (Astana) surrendered the yellow jersey to Chris Froome (Sky).
The stage was hilly enough that the out-and-out sprinters were dropped and it was left to the punchy climbers to contest the finish.
Philippe Gilbert struck out early on the final ramp, but was passed by Van Avermaet and then Matthews, who had power to spare. The Australian rolled to the line, barely pedalling.
Speaking after the stage, Matthews said: “It went as expected. We rode all day. We kept the breakaway so close, I knew I'd very few team mates at the end, but still I had 2-3 guys with me in the final. It's a sweet day. Last time here, two years ago, I had four broken ribs. It was the stage I targeted before I crashed. To come back and win is a dream come true.”
The fast closing kilometres had also resulted in Aru being poorly positioned towards the back of the group. While Froome finished seventh, just a second behind Matthews, Aru was 25 seconds back.
Froome said: “It did help to know finish from two years ago, but I'm back in yellow because the team kept me at the front. Without their job, there's no way I could keep my position. In the last 500m, I heard shouting in radio, ‘push, push, push'… It's amazing to hear that. Every second here is worth fighting for. It is still so close.”
Help us to fund our site
We’ve noticed you’re using an ad blocker. If you like road.cc, but you don’t like ads, please consider subscribing to the site to support us directly. As a subscriber you can read road.cc ad-free, from as little as £1.99.
If you don’t want to subscribe, please turn your ad blocker off. The revenue from adverts helps to fund our site.
If you’ve enjoyed this article, then please consider subscribing to road.cc from as little as £1.99. Our mission is to bring you all the news that’s relevant to you as a cyclist, independent reviews, impartial buying advice and more. Your subscription will help us to do more.
Wow this has changed massively. I need to update the version.
The Jimmy Mulvile video is up on Mikey's YouTube channel.
That's a polished, gilded and vazzled turd of a bike. They were never any good and this is for rich plonkers who don't actually like bikes......
A bit strict. After three pints and a curry, I may fail this test sitting on my bicycle!
I'm assuming that your invention of the paramedic having a Phd in biomechanical impact assessments is deep irony.
Secretary-General António Guterres has failed to provide such a proposal, instead telling the committee that “any upgrade to existing...
Same thing happened to me. Submitted via the website & told by phone an email would be sent with a link to attach the video footage. No email...
Your analysis is a bit melodramatic dont you think? Who is this mysterious "they" you refer to?
That's not my experience. I know multiple small towns and villages which are now far more pleasant as a result of a bypass....