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Froome loses Tour lead to Aru, Bardet wins 12th stage

/ 12:11 AM July 14, 2017

Britain’s Chris Froome, right, and new overall leader Fabio Aru of Italy, center, climb Port de Bales pass, during the twelfth stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 214.5 kilometers (133.3 miles) with start in Pau and finish in Peyragudes, France, Thursday, July 13, 2017. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

PEYRAGUDES, France — Chris Froome cracked in the final stages of a grueling climb to the finish and lost the overall lead in the Tour de France to Fabio Aru on Thursday, after a demanding stage won by Romain Bardet.

Froome’s Sky teammates perfectly controlled the race until the final kilometer leading to the ski station of Peyragudes, but the three-time champion was dropped in a final section that featured slopes with a 20 percent gradient.

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Bardet won Stage 12 ahead of Rigoberto Uran and Aru, who seized the race lead from Froome by six seconds. Bardet is third overall, 25 seconds off the pace.

Team Sky had dominated the stage until the final 500 meters, when Aru made his move. Froome was only able to follow his Italian rival for a few meters and looked glued to the road.

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Bardet was the strongest in the brutal incline and described his third stage win on the Tour as “an immense joy.”

He said he had visited the ski station with his parents to scout out the final climb.

“I knew it could suit me,” he said. “I was patient. I made the difference on the final hill, there was not much to do before that with the wind and the Sky train.”

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TAGS: Chris Froome, Fabio Aru, Romain Bardet, Sports, Tour de France
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