Froome at heart of peloton, German Kittel wins stage

Staying power Damien Howson

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Froome, who retains an 18-second lead over Fabio Aru, said he accepted the Italian's explanation that he didn't see the Brit raise his arm for mechanical assistance before attacking him.

Jakob Fuglsang - fifth overall - hit the deck along with team-mate Dario Cataldo.

He and his Quick-Step team are on a roll, and on another stage with just one fourth-category climb, it is hard to see who can contain him.

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Froome said he would ride conservatively to defend his yellow jersey, and LeMond, who won the Tour in 1986, 1989 and 1990, is wondering whether his rivals will go all-in.

Chris Froome says that it was nice for Stage 10 to not be a insane day after the chaos of Sunday. "It means I probably won't win a stage on this Tour now, I really just have to race with the best guys from the peloton and hope like hell I can hang on". It has also restored the smile to the team Bora, beheaded after the exit by the little door of the world champion, the Slovak Peter Sagan (exclusion), and the fall of the climber the Polish Rafal Majka (abandonment).

"I was a minute late for sign-on", the Bury rider said with a shrug.

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The 10th stage followed Monday's rest day and the Briton admitted that Tuesday's stage "almost" felt like a second successive day off. "It is a lifetime experience".

But the peoloton would not be denied as the catch was finally made with the line in sight, Kittel winning from LottoNL-Jumbo's Dylan Groenewegen, with Edvald Boasson Hagen of Dimension Data third. But I'm happy that I've used all the chances I've got so far. I always keep the pressure on myself. "You just have to stay calm and get on with the job in hand".

"Thursday's stage 12 menu of the 2017 Tour de France will be a 214.5 kilometer battle from Pau to Peyragudes in the Pyrenees".

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But stress was palpable in the pack toward the end, with several crashes happening at the back of the peloton. At the time I wasn't that fazed because I thought it didn't matter, I wasn't going to be in the GC hunt anyway. Otherwise, this is a day to gain yet more clarity in the General Classification and King of the Mountains competition.

There will be a twist this time around, with the stage finishing on the steep gradients of the Peyresourde-Balestas airfield which was used in the James Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies.

"It's a massive blow to the team", Froome said.

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July 13 also marks an important anniversary in British cycling as it is 50 years since the death of Tom Simpson during the 1967 Tour on Mont Ventoux due to a mix of heat exhaustion and a cocktail of performance-enhancing drugs.

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