Froome retains yellow jersey, Mollema wins Tour de France stage

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In kph, the average speed of stage victor Bauke Mollema in the last 30km of the stage after the Dutchman went solo. We spent everything to try and get me back to that front group again, and just over the top Mikel Landa also dropped out of that front group to help me that last 100m to get back in. I had no option. There are two likely sprint finishes left and a possible third, all of which favor Kittel, so Matthews would have to score serious points on stages 16 and 17, with Kittel drawing nearly none, to really have any shot at taking the lead.

"Uran is more of the dark horse who slips under the radar but he is the strongest time-trialist of the group of riders (challenging me)", said Froome, who believes he timed his peak of form well. Certainly the speed was probably at the highest point of the race, coming in to the foot of that last climb. "They come for the finals, I guess".

"If I didn't get back, I wouldn't expect to be in yellow this evening", Froome said. "Certainly in the final, once we hit the category 4 climb with 14km to go, Romain Bardet tried, Rigoberto [Uran] tried over the top - I wouldn't say the GC [general classification] guys didn't try today". "I knew that I can not give my best on the court". Expect them to ride at the front in the mountains and to set a punishingly fast tempo - all created to prevent others from attacking.

It's not the first time Froome has found himself facing the ire and even hatred of fans by the roadside.

Le Mond, who won the Tour in 1986, 1989 and 1990, said AGR2's strategy was "the best thing I've seen in a long time".

The win moves Federer past both Pete Sampras and William Renshaw, who each won seven titles at the grass-court major, for the most men's titles in the history of the event first held in 1877. My wheel wasn't straight anymore so I think it was a broken spoke but I'm not sure.

However, it was not just Froome's "great escape" that drove the compelling narrative.

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Tour de France stage 15 will start at 6:25 AM ET and with the live television viewing in the United States by NBCSN which will begin the coverage at 8:00 AM ET.

In Mollema's wake came a peloton in tatters.

Under pressure: Chris Froome survived a tough day in the saddle. Marcel Kittel (Quick-Step Floors) 373 points 2.

Mollema, a top-10 finisher at the Tours of 2013, 2014 and 2015, sped away on the descent from the Peyra Taillade climb and endured over the last 30 kilometers (20 miles) in front of a group of four riders who laid chase.

Team Sky's Dave Brailsford said Chris Froome's mechanical problem on stage 15 could have ended his challenge, but the team reacted perfectly to the crisis.

The outcome saw Froome retain his overnight overall lead on Aru and Bardet of 18s and 23s respectively. He struggled badly on Thursday's Pyrenean stage, falling out of overall contention and when he was dropped early on Friday by the peloton, he made a decision to call it quits.