Team Sky's Chris Froome ended the hopes and dreams of almost everyone in the 2015 Tour de France with a blistering attack on the road to La Pierre-Saint-Martin, winning stage 10 and opening a sizable lead in the race for the yellow jersey. Only Nairo Quintana of Movistar remains in sight of the Brit, after Team Sky forced everyone's hand with an aggressive assault on the Pyrénéan climb. After Movistar set the tempo for much of the afternoon, the pace of the climb whittled down the peloton to the select trio of Richie Porte, Quintana and Froome, and it was Froome who had the most left in the tank. He soloed powerfully up to the line, over the steep gradients and the reduced ones, continually upping his lead all the way home.
Last year's winner, Vincenzo Nibali of Astana, was effectively eliminated from the competition as he was the first of the top contenders to slip away, conceding 4.25 on the day. So too did Alberto Contador of Tinkoff-Saxo see his chances of an historic double Giro-Tour win evaporate on the Pyrénéan slopes, conceding close to three minutes. BMC's Tejay van Garderen limited his losses and remains in sight of the top, albeit with his hopes of yellow severely dented. Nobody but Sky can say they accomplished much.
Robert Gesink of LottoNL-Jumbo attacked with 11km to go, after a large number of semi-hopefuls -- Thibaut Pinot, Andrew Talanksy, Jean-Christophe Peraud, a veritable Bastille Day massacre for French hopes -- all had gone out the back. Less than a kilometer later it was Vincenzo Nibali's turn to slip backward and settle into a defensive pace, indicating that he lacks the form to defend his title. He was joined by Rigoberto Uran and Joaquim Rodriguez and lost a minute to the leaders very quickly. Gesink maintained a slim lead over the leading bunch under 7km remaining, when finally Alberto Contador slipped away and Tejay van Garderen had to let go. Then, once it was down to just three, Froome launched his fateful attack.
Froome continued to lengthen his lead, and not only did Quintana not stay close, but he even saw his second place on the stage fall to Porte, who scooped up a small time bonus away from Quintana in the process. Quintana dropped 1.03 on the day, but it can't be said that his Tour de France is over. Two years ago Quintana was superior to Froome in the Alps, which are still to come and come and come as this brutal edition of the Tour unfolds. Certainly if Quintana doesn't find better legs, the race is over, but it is simply too soon in this Tour to pronounce everyone's chances, including those of the Colombian, to be dead and buried.
Van Garderen remains in second, for now, a respectable effort compared to most, and Gesink's surprising form has put him into play for a podium position, given what's to come. For now Gesink remains behind several others, including an incredible Geraint Thomas of Sky and not surprisingly Alejandro Valverde of Movistar, but looks to move up with his climbing form coming back to him after so much promise was dashed by so many difficult years.
|1.||GBRFROOME Christopher||31||TEAM SKY||04h 22' 07''|
|2.||AUSPORTE Richie||35||TEAM SKY||04h 23' 06''||+ 00' 59''|
|3.||COLQUINTANA ROJAS Nairo Alexander||51||MOVISTAR TEAM||04h 23' 11''||+ 01' 04''|
|4.||NEDGESINK Robert||131||TEAM LOTTO NL - JUMBO||04h 23' 40''||+ 01' 33''|
|5.||ESPVALVERDE BELMONTE Alejandro||59||MOVISTAR TEAM||04h 24' 08''||+ 02' 01''|
|6.||GBRTHOMAS Geraint||39||TEAM SKY||04h 24' 08''||+ 02' 01''|
|7.||GBRYATES Adam||108||ORICA GREENEDGE||04h 24' 11''||+ 02' 04''|
|8.||FRAROLLAND Pierre||121||TEAM EUROPCAR||04h 24' 11''||+ 02' 04''|
|9.||FRAGALLOPIN Tony||71||LOTTO-SOUDAL||04h 24' 29''||+ 02' 22''|
|10.||USAVAN GARDEREN Tejay||61||BMC RACING TEAM||04h 24' 37''||+ 02' 30''|
|1.||GBRFROOME Christopher||31||TEAM SKY||35h 56' 09''|
|2.||USAVAN GARDEREN Tejay||61||BMC RACING TEAM||35h 59' 01''||+ 02' 52''|
|3.||COLQUINTANA ROJAS Nairo Alexander||51||MOVISTAR TEAM||35h 59' 18''||+ 03' 09''|
|4.||ESPVALVERDE BELMONTE Alejandro||59||MOVISTAR TEAM||36h 00' 10''||+ 04' 01''|
|5.||GBRTHOMAS Geraint||39||TEAM SKY||36h 00' 12''||+ 04' 03''|
|6.||ESPCONTADOR Alberto||41||TINKOFF-SAXO||36h 00' 13''||+ 04' 04''|
|7.||FRAGALLOPIN Tony||71||LOTTO-SOUDAL||36h 00' 42''||+ 04' 33''|
|8.||NEDGESINK Robert||131||TEAM LOTTO NL - JUMBO||36h 00' 44''||+ 04' 35''|
|9.||FRABARGUIL WARREN||82||TEAM GIANT-ALPECIN||36h 02' 21''||+ 06' 12''|
|10.||ITANIBALI Vincenzo||1||ASTANA PRO TEAM||36h 03' 06''||+ 06' 57''|
|1.||GBRFROOME Christopher||31||TEAM SKY||51 pts|
|2.||AUSPORTE Richie||35||TEAM SKY||40 pts|
|3.||COLQUINTANA ROJAS Nairo Alexander||51||MOVISTAR TEAM||32 pts|
|4.||NEDGESINK Robert||131||TEAM LOTTO NL - JUMBO||28 pts|
|5.||ESPVALVERDE BELMONTE Alejandro||59||MOVISTAR TEAM||24 pts|