Froome increases overall lead

Britain's Chris Froome increased his overall lead in the Tour de France on Sunday with a dominant victory on stage 15, a 242.5-km ride that finished with a punishing ascent up Mont Ventoux.

Froome finished 29 seconds ahead of Colombia's Nairo Quintana after the pair had duelled in the closing stages before the Team Sky rider pulled clear with just over a kilometre remaining of the gruelling climb.

Froome increased his lead in the standings by almost two minutes to four minutes 14 seconds, after leaving his nearest rivals Bauke Mollema and Alberto Contador trailing.
He had team-mate Richie Porte to thank for dragging him up the mountain.

The Sky pair had dropped all of their main rivals except for Contador with 7-km remaining, but the 2007 and 2009 champion could not follow when Froome accelerated brutally in the closing stages.

Then it became a straight battle between Froome and Quintana, the 23-year-old riding his maiden Tour, and the Briton edged away with the finishing line in sight.

Spain's Mikel Nieve trailed in third 1:23 adrift, with Contador sixth 1:40 off the pace and Belgium's Mollema eighth a further six seconds behind.

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