Tour de France: Tom Dumoulin gets 20 second time penalty for drafting

Tour de France

However, Groenewegen - who won the final stage on the Champs Élysées a year ago - seemed fresher and more powerful and beat all of his rivals by a sizeable margin. Once they're through that, the riders will swoop down and across the Eure river with 1K to go.

The general classification contenders all crossed the line safely in the main group, but BMC's Greg Van Avermaet doubled his slender advantage in yellow to six seconds by winning the bonus sprint 31km from home. "I thought the corner was closer to the finish than it really was".

While that Alp ascent awaiting on Stage 12 rises to 1,850 meters, the Mur de Bretagne tops out at 293 meters. "I said I needed some time, and I didn't feel good in the first stages. It was a good opportunity and I seized it".

Van Avermaet, wearing the yellow jersey, then pulled to the front in a bid for the stage win as the finish line approached but peaked too early.

Bardet now trails Froome by 43 seconds while Team Sky will also be able to play the Geraint Thomas card as the Welshman, who won the Criterium du Dauphine last month, sits in third place overall 59 seconds ahead of the four-times Tour champion.

"Then I had to chase and that effort was fatal", AG2R-La Mondiale rider Bardet told reporters.

Novak Djokovic pips Rafael Nadal in second longest Wimbledon semi-final ever
This kind of match you live for, you work for", Djokovic said after qualifying for his 18th grand slam final. Once again his first serve was his saviour and the match started to enter prime Anderson-Isner territory.

Lighter, more agile riders like Van Avermaet, Alejandro Valverde, Julian Alaphilippe and Gilbert are expected to shine.

"I came to this team to be the leader and the pressure at the beginning, of being the leader is why I didn't do so well in Spring", said Martin.

Dutchman Groenewegen showed impressive power to burst clear of Quick-Step Floors' Fernando Gaviria and world champion Peter Sagan of Bora-Hansgrohe at the top of a gradual climb to the finish of the 231-kilometre stage from Fougeres.

Van Avermaet, a BMC support rider for Porte, kept the yellow jersey for a third straight day. He entered the stage seventh overall and finished it 15th and one second behind Froome.

The Dutch cyclist, who rides for Team Lotto NL-Jumbo, clocked almost six hours over the 231-kilometer (143.5-mile) trek from Fougeres, home to the best-preserved and largest medieval fortress in Europe, to Chartres, site of a vast cathedral known for its stained-glass windows.

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