Froome survives attacks in the alps
Simon Geschke of the Giant-Alpecin team won a tough and dangerous Stage 17 of the Tour de France in the Alps on with a brave solo ride, while former champion Alberto Contador fell during a high-speed descent.
Race leader Chris Froome staved off multiple attacks to get through the first of four days in the Alps unscathed. He showed great bike-handling skills on the 16km descent from the Col d'Allos, where he hit speeds of 60kph on the twisting, narrow bends. Geschke was first down that slope, having ridden off ahead with 50k still to go.
Showing how tricky the descent was, French rider Thibaut Pinot hit the deck when his wheels slipped from under him as he chased after the German.
Contador's shorts were torn in his crash on the descent and he was forced to swap bikes with team-mate Peter Sagan. He rode in more than two minutes later than Froome.
The Sky rider and Nairo Quintana sprinted together for the line on the final ascent to the Pra Loup ski station, with the Colombian still second overall, 3:10 behind Froome.
Ireland's Sam Bennett, who was sitting in last place in the general classification, was among a number of riders - including third place Tejay van Garderen - to abandon the race yesterday.