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Chris Froome rubber-stamps his Tour de France domination

Team Sky's Chris Froome, who finished the stage in 11th place, extended his lead over second-placed Bauke Mollema of the Netherlands, with young Briton Adam Yates at third Photograph: (Getty)

AFP Finhaut, Switzerland Jul 20, 2016, 03.55 PM (IST)
Chris Froome took another big step towards a third Tour de France title when he dropped his main rivals in the finale of the 17th stage, a 184-km mountain trek won by Russian Ilnur Zakarin on Wednesday.

Zakarin won the 184.5km Alpine stage from Bern to Finhaut-Emosson in Switzerland by 55sec ahead of Sunday`s 15th stage winner Jarlinson Pantano of Colombia, with Poland`s Rafal Majka third at 1min 26sec.

Team Sky's Froome attacked inside the last two km in the last ascent, a punishing 10.4-km climb at an average gradient of 8.4 percent.

Froome, who finished the stage in 11th place, extended his lead over second-placed Bauke Mollema of the Netherlands by 40sec to 2:27, with young Briton Adam Yates third at 2:53.

But the 23-year-old Yates lost only 8sec to his compatriot Froome and is closing in on second place.

Colombia`s Nairo Quintana was the big loser, struggling in the final 2km and giving up another 28sec to Froome, who pulled clear of all his main rivals except Australian Richie Porte.

Quintana, who initially tried to follow Porte`s attack and then Froome`s chase before dropping off, is still fourth but now 3:27 behind.

Tasmanian Porte, who until last year was a team-mate of Froome at Sky, was the big winner as he moved up to sixth and continues to creep up on a podium position.

The Briton finished on the wheel of former team mate Richie Porte (BMC), the Australian emerging as a potential podium finisher in Paris.

Froome leads Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) by 2:27 and compatriot Adam Yates by 2:53, according to provisional results.

(AFP)
 
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