Froome demolishes rivals

Froome demolishes rivals

After only the first mountain stage of the Tour de France, Team Sky's rivals could already be aiming for second place.

They may well even end up racing for third after Chris Froome and Richie Porte looked in another league with an awe-inspiring one-two in Saturday's eighth stage.
Last year's runner-up Froome sped away from a group of favourites in the final ascent to Ax-3-Domaines, leaving a clearly under-par Alberto Contador struggling for seventh, 1:51 off the pace.

Froome's Australian team-mate Porte was second 51 seconds behind with Spain's Alejandro Valverde in third place, 1:08 further back.

"There are only several mountain-top finishes, we wanted to go for it, take advantage from a hard finish," Froome told reporters. "I've been in a few leader's jerseys this year but nothing compares to the yellow jersey of the Tour de France."
Froome won the Tour of Oman, Tour de Romandie and Criterium du Dauphine stage races this season.

With two weeks left in the race, his Team Sky now need to control the race all the way to Paris. "I'm really confident in the team I have around me, especially with Richie Porte in second place," said Froome.

Overall, Froome leads Porte by 51 seconds with Alejandro Valverde 34 seconds further back. Double Tour champion Contador, who could not respond to Froome's attack five kms from the finish, lies in seventh place overall 1:51 back.

Colombian Nairo Quintana, who snatched the young rider's white jersey, attacked in the long out-of-category ascent to the Port de Pailheres, opening a one-minute lead at the top.

He was overtaken in the final 10 kms as Team Sky, helped by a long, brutal drag by Peter Kennaugh with Froome taking the lead ahead of Porte on a searing hot day during which temperatures reached over 30 degrees Celsius.

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