Tour de France 2017

If Chris Froome rides into Paris on Sunday with the Tour de France's famed yellow jersey still on his shoulders, it will be impossible to argue that he didn't earn the win.

Bauke Mollema of the Trek-Segafredo team won the 15th stage, a 189.5km-ride from Laissac-Severac L'Eglise to Le Puy en Velay. After the summit, the Dutchman Bauke Mollema has emerged to reach the finish solo. Had he not been caught up in the crash which did for Richie Porte en route to Chambéry and lost 1min 15sec, the Irishman would have been an immediate threat to Chris Froome's yellow jersey; instead he is engaged in his own personal pursuit race, gaining time when the tiniest opening beckons.

The three-time Tour victor and defending champion punctured at a critical moment and was forced to work hard to ensure he finished with his main rivals.

Mathias Frank, one of Bardet's chief domestiques, told Cycling Weekly: "We split the peloton on the last climb and we were really close to getting rid of Froome and a lot of guys".

They were joined by a further 18 riders as the race reached the second of four climbs of the day, which came with almost 100km remaining.

Sunday's outcome was only in doubt for about 20 minutes, the amount of time it took Federer to grab his first lead. He picked up 30 points for the Stage 14 win for a net of 29 since Kittel beat him in the intermediate sprint. Froome sits 18 seconds ahead of second-placed Fabio Aru.

Part chess-match, part test of speed and climbing strength, Chris Froome and his Team Sky used an array of tactics to try to regain the initiative after he lost the yellow jersey on Thursday to Aru, cracking on a savage final climb.

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Davis added that apart from citizens' rights and the UK's exit bill, Northern Ireland issues are also a priority of these talks. The sides have less than two years to settle terms before Britain leaves - either with a deal or without - on March 30, 2019.

It also has its fair share of difficulties and with the final rest day coming up on Monday, there's no reason for the riders to hold anything back.

Froome was keen to thank all of his team-mates for their help, but it was the sight of Landa dropping back which was most notable.

Dan Martin may have crashed twice on one stage during the Tour de France but he could still finish on the podium, his uncle and former victor Stephen Roche believes. Landa stayed at the front when the incident happened, but he waited for his leader when it became obvious the three-time champion was able to come back.

"I really like to fight for the general classifications and normally next year I will go back for the Tour to fight for GC".

"I think you can do it successfully, but not for GC", White said.

"I very rarely make a plan, it is just [about] opportunities", said Martin afterwards.

Nairo Quintana's bid for Tour glory this year looks to be over after he cracked on the Peyra Taillaide and tumbled out of the top 10.

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