Froome amazed with yellow

RODEZ, France: Chris Froome admitted he hadn’t expected to be back in yellow on Saturday after Australian Michael Matthews won the Tour de France’s 14th stage.
Froome had kept at the front of the bunch on a speedy downhill section over the final 10km before finding himself ideally placed to attack the 600-metre uphill finale. And it proved to be a great day as he took back the yellow jersey from Italian Fabio Aru. “It’s good to be back (in yellow) and really unexpected. It’s such an amazing feeling after a tough day in the Pyrenees (on Thursday) to get it back,” said Froome, the reigning champion. “It definitely was not the plan to lose the jersey and I definitely didn’t expect to be back in the yellow jersey after today’s stage.”
“I knew the final would be selective but I didn’t expect to be taking these time margins from my rivals.”
Froome finished seventh, one second behind Matthews but four seconds ahead of Romain Bardet and Simon Yates, 21 seconds ahead of Nairo Quintana and 24 seconds clear of Aru.
Only Dan Martin and Rigoberto Uran of the top 10 finished alongside Froome, in eighth and ninth respectively.
Froome now leads Aru by 18 seconds, the exact same lead he’d enjoyed over the Italian before cracking on the brutally steep uphill finish to Thursday’s Pyrenean mountain stage when he finished 22 seconds behind stage winner Bardet. “I am absolutely shocked to see the same kind of time gaps today as we saw in the Pyrenees on that stage when I had a tough day,” added Froome. “I just didn’t have the legs on that day. I’d like to think I’ve bounced back and recovered.”
“After two consecutive hard days, that’s where it brings out the stage racer in people and just exactly where everyone’s at.”
The top 10 are still bunched closer together than they were before the Pyrenees despite Froome’s gains, with Bardet third at 23sec, Uran fourth at 29sec, Spaniard Mikel Landa fifth at 1:17, and Martin sixth at 1:26. — AFP