Chris Froome retains yellow jersey at Tour de France

Team Sky manager downplays talk of issues between Mikel Landa and Chris Froome

Team Sky manager downplays talk of issues between Mikel Landa and Chris Froome

Had he not been caught up in the crash which did for Richie Porte en route to Chambéry and lost 1min 15sec, the Irishman would have been an immediate threat to Chris Froome's yellow jersey; instead he is engaged in his own personal pursuit race, gaining time when the tiniest opening beckons.

The day after losing the Tour de France lead to Fabio Aru, Chris Froome and his Team Sky showed on Friday they still have cards up their sleeves.

Aru was the big victor in Peyragudes, where he took the yellow jersey for the first time after Froome cracked in the last 500 meters of the stage. From here to the July 23 finish in Paris, Aru will have to watch both like a hawk and not let either race off ahead of him in order to keep the famed yellow jersey.

Froome's back wheel punctured just before the final climb of the 117.7-mile stage that ended in Le Puy-en-Velay.

The 26-year-old climbing specialist finished runner-up to Froome last year and wants to move one step higher on the podium. For his team to control one of... I had to get back by the top of the climb. They did so much for me.

Four categorised climbs, including two first category ones, will encourage strong all-rounders to take off in the breakaway, but it may also give the overall contenders a chance to do battle and create gaps.

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"Bardet used the team properly, but then you're not going to distance Froome using the team mates who are already exhausted having ridden in the front all day". I'm grateful [teammate Michal] Kwiatkowski stopped, and all my teammates paced me, even Mikel Landa [now sixth overall] dropped back and paced me. I've been feeling s**thouse all day and they went full gas and I had to dig pretty deep but I was there with the 10 best again. That put Aru, riding for Astana, six seconds ahead of the Englishman and primed for the biggest week of his career, which already includes a Grand Tour win - the 2015 Spanish Vuelta.

Froome himself experienced similar frustration when he seemed stronger than his leader Bradley Wiggins at the 2011 Vuelta and in the mountains of the 2012 Tour de France, being similarly ordered by his team directors to slow the pace and wait for the yellow jersey.

The big name to lose more time was Colombian Nairo Quintana (Movistar) who came in 46th place and at 10m 19s.

Froome's problems arose because of a mechanical issue with his back wheel at the foot of the most hard ascent of the stage, the first category ascent of Col de Peyra Taillade. He struggled badly on Thursday's Pyrenean stage, falling out of overall contention and when he was dropped early on Friday by the peloton, he chose to call it quits.

It left the LottoNL-Jumbo rider 6 minutes 39 seconds behind general classification leader Chris Froome. After he switched wheels, he relied on his teammates in what he called an "extremely stressful" moment. "I think he has made the right moves at the right times".