Cycling: Froome sets his sights on yellow jersey
The Tour de France hits the high mountains for the first time today, with a full-scale Pyrenean stage which could end with Chris Froome in his first yellow jersey of this year's race.
Slovak Peter Sagan won yesterday's stage after Mark Cavendish was dropped on a medium-difficulty climb mid-race along with roughly half the field.
The key question is whether Froome, leading his key rival Alberto Contador by six seconds, can broaden that difference. If he did so, the yellow jersey would surely fall his way.
While Froome has had rock-solid form all season, none of his strongest rivals – Contador, Alejandro Valverde and Joaquim Rodriguez and Cadel Evans – have dropped off the pace yet in the Tour. Nor can Froome's team-mate Richie Porte, lying eighth, be ruled out of the equation. A battle royale, therefore, should beckon.
The current yellow jersey holder Daryl Impey said: "Chris is nearly in a league of his own when the climbs hit in, I really think he's going to win this race."
Contador insisted it was difficult to predict what would happen.
"We will see what everybody's real condition is tomorrow, because that is the toughest of the stages."
Ireland's Dan Martin finished 56th with the same time as the stage winner and is 15th overall, 22 seconds off the lead. (© Independent News Service)
Tour de France, Live, Eurosport, 12.45/ITV4, 1.30