Froome demolishes rivals on first Tour mountain test

Tue Jul 14, 2015 11:56am EDT
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By Julien Pretot

LA PIERRE ST MARTIN, France (Reuters) - Overall leader Chris Froome put the hammer down on the Tour de France when the Briton humiliated his rivals in the first mountain test, winning the 10th stage in awe-inspiring fashion on Tuesday.

The 2013 champion produced a brutal acceleration with just over six kilometres left in the final ascent after his Team Sky lieutenants had prevented attacks by setting a devilish pace in the first part of 15.3-km climb.

When Froome attacked in his usual style -- head bent, his legs spinning at a spine-chilling frequency -- American Tejay van Garderen, Spain's Alberto Contador and defending champion Vincenzo Nibali had already been dropped.

Only Colombian Nairo Quintana was still with Froome, who was also alongside team mate Richie Porte of Australia.

Movistar rider Quintana could not follow and he finished the 167-km trek from Tarbes in third place, 1:04 behind Froome.

Porte was second, 59 seconds off the pace.

"It's a great day, we knew the first 10 kilometres of the climb were very hard. The last part was easier so the goal was to go with about six km left -- just before it got easier -- it was the plan this morning," Team Sky manager Dave Brailsford told reporters.

"Chris is more composed than in 2013."   Continued...