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Friday 24 November 2017

Froome collects 50th Tour yellow

Chris Froome. Photo: Reuters
Chris Froome. Photo: Reuters

Chris Froome collected the 50th yellow jersey of his career after safely negotiating stage 10 of the Tour de France into Bergerac yesterday.

Quick-Step Floors' Marcel Kittel took his fourth stage win of this year's Tour as he beat fellow German John Degenkolb of Trek-Segafredo in the sprint, strengthening his grip on the points leaders' green jersey.

Team Sky's Froome crossed the line safely in the pack, keeping the three-time Tour winner 18 seconds clear of Italian national champion Fabio Aru in the general classification.

That brought up Froome's half-century in yellow, putting him level with five-time Tour winner Jacques Anquetil, joint fourth overall.

Froome took yellow at the end of stage five to La Planche des Belle Filles, and is hoping to replicate his feat of keeping to the end of each Tour he has worn it in to date. "It would certainly be sweeter if I am able to take this all the way to Paris," said Froome, who won the Tour in 2013, 2015 and 2016.

"I was just told when I crossed the finish line that it's my 50th day in yellow. It's a huge, huge honour."

It was also a milestone victory for Kittel, who now has 13 career Tour stage victories, the most by a German rider in the race.

Ireland's Dan Martin finished 37th to maintain his sixth position in the general classification, two days after he came off his bike in a heavy fall that ended Richie Porte's Tour de France on a chaotic stage nine.

His cousin Nicolas Roche is 32nd overall.

Today's stage from Eymet to Pau is another one set up for the sprinters, although Froome knows the threat of crosswinds on the road south could mean a return to more stressful racing.

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