Published: Mon, July 17, 2017
Hi-Tech | By Ellis Neal

Nothing easy for Tour leader

With Romain Bardet of AG2R on the attack, Froome suffered a rear-wheel problem on the approach to the category one climb up Col de Peyra Taillade and lost nearly a minute to his rivals as he took the wheel of Team Sky team-mate Michal Kwiatkowski before being paced up the hill by Mikel Nieve and Sergio Henao.

The tall and lanky Brit had a rear wheel problem when they were climbing through the Massif Central mountains towards Le Puy-en-Velay in stage 15. "I thought perhaps I wouldn't get back to the front". Stage victor Bauke Mollema was named most aggressive rider of the day and will wear a red bib number during Tuesday's stage. "Welcome to hell", said a placard on the roadside on the climb; the principal victim was Nairo Quintana, who lost contact early on and was unable to hold Froome for more than a few metres when he and his team-mate Mikel Nieve came past in pursuit of the group.

I broke a spoke coming into the bottom of the last climb. "Kwaitkowski gave me his wheel because the team auto was far away".

After Federer raced to a 3-0 lead in the second set, Cilic cried while he was visited by a doctor and trainer, and during a later medical timeout, his left foot was retaped by the trainer.

At 101 kilometres (63 miles), the stage from Saint-Girons was the shortest of the race, barring the two time-trials.

Meanwhile, Mollema of The Netherlands picked up his first win Tour de France stage win with his pace-pushing ride.

Team Sky survived a "sticky moment" when Chris Froome suffered a bike problem Friday.

Landa caused a bit of a stir on Thursday when he kicked away from his team leader on the brutally steep finish to the 12th stage, taking fourth place, 14 seconds ahead of Froome.

France's Romain Bardet of AG2R La Mondiale won the stage with Aru third, two seconds in arrears, and Froome seventh, another 20 seconds adrift. "I will try again to get a victory".

Dutch rider Bauke Mollema claimed the 15th Tour de France stage for Trek-Segafredo. "I had to get back by the top of the climb. I think it's great that the fans are getting so into it and involved".

"Mollema started at the top of the climb and we left him too much space", Ulissi said.

Landa, who is out of contract at the end of the season and is reportedly being courted by Team Sky rival Movistar, stands sixth overall - just 77 seconds behind Froome.

"It was a great outcome for us, Mikel Landa really put in an wonderful ride today and we wanted him to come back into the GC game", said the reigning champion.

Nairo Quintana (Movistar) had a rough day, losing nearly four minutes in the GC battle and moving down to 11th overall.

"Kwiatkowski is sharp, super sharp, and I guarantee he'd have made the call and he did well", Brailsford said.

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