23 Jul 2015

Froome retains lead in Tour de France

11:36 am on 23 July 2015

Chris Froome emerged unscathed from a treacherous first Alpine stage of the Tour de France, retaining his lead while Alberto Contador lost a lot of ground and American Tejay van Garderen abandoned the race.

The British cyclist Chris Froome.

The British cyclist Chris Froome. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Van Garderen, who was third overall at the start of the 161-km stage, pulled out because of sickness, and the day's laurels went to the German Simon Geschke after a brave solo raid.

Spaniard Contador's hopes of achieving a rare Giro d'Italia/Tour double suffered another major setback when he lost touch with the group of top guns after crashing on a dangerous descent, losing over two minutes.

Froome maintained his three minutes 10 seconds lead over Colombia's Nairo Quintana, with another minute back to third-placed Alejandro Valverde of Spain.