Michael Matthews finally takes his longed-for stage win, repaying the effort expended all day long by his Sunweb teammates and earning his team their second consecutive stage victory. Runner-up Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) came second and Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension-Data) rounded out the podium. Chris Froome, Dan Martin and Rigoberto Uran were the only GC riders alive to the dangers on today’s finish and came in with the sprinters. Race leader Fabio Aru inexplicably finished 30th, 26 seconds back allowing Froome to retake yellow. Aru now lies second, 18 seconds back. Just over a minute separates the top-five on GC.
I doubt our guest VeloVoice David Fletcher, who writes in Spanish for http://www.sprint-final.com, was even thinking about Whitesnake’s lyrics when he spoke with Quick-Stepper Matteo Trentin and BMC’s Nico Roche about their hopes and dreams just days before the start of 104th Tour de France in Dusseldorf. But unfortunately, as it turned out, the lyrics are quite apt. All will be revealed.
We had to wait for the final sprint to the line in Peyragudes for today’s denouement. Fabio Aru accelerated with around 300 metres to go, immediately putting Chris Froome under pressure, only for the Italian to be overhauled in the final 50 metres by Romain Bardet and runner-up Rigoberto Uran. For the first time in this race, Froome struggled with the pace, finally coming in seventh, 22 seconds back on Bardet, while Aru claimed third plus four bonus seconds to move into the yellow jersey by six seconds.