Chris Froome retains lead in Tour de France after stage nine

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Chris Froome retained the overall leader's Yellow Jersey and gained time on his rivals on stage nine of the Tour de France as his Team Sky came second in the team time trial to BMC Racing.

Team Sky were the last team to ride on the 28km stage in Brittany and finished only 0.62 seconds slower than BMC Racing.

Froome, who last won the race in 2013, leads BMC's Tejay van Garderen by 12 seconds overall.


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Gaining Time

The Briton also gained time over his biggest rivals, two time champion Alberto Contador, Nairo Quintana and defending champion Vincenzo Nibali.

Richie Porte, who effectively became Team Sky's leading rider after Froome crashed out in 2014, said: "That was a brutal team time trial. After 5km it was agony. It's a shame we were spread out on the last climb but we've taken time on most of our big rivals."

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Biggest Loser

Nibali was the biggest loser of the day, as his Astana team finished 35 seconds behind the winners leaving him trailing Froome by two minutes and 22 seconds.

Contador's Tinkoff-Saxo performed a little better however, 28 seconds adrift of BMC to leave the Spaniard 63 seconds behind Froome.

Movistar's main General Classification contender, Quintana, gained valuable time on Contador and Nibali as his team completed the course just four seconds in arrears of BMC. As a result he is left one minute and 59 seconds behind Froome.

Van Garderen, who finished fifth overall in 2014 and 2012, has now positioned himself as the main rival to Froome's Yellow Jersey reign, giving the Team Sky man someone to keep an eye on as the race takes a rest day on Monday and then onto the Pyrenees on Tuesday.

From the start in Vannes, Froome was desperate to keep the Yellow Jersey on his shoulders going into the rest day and so put in many big efforts on the front as Team Sky gained one second on BMC at 20.5km, and five seconds at the bottom of the 1.7km climb to the finish in Plumelec.

Team Sky were down to five riders on the start of the climb and Irishman Nicholas Roche was clearly struggling, so much so that Froome and the rest of the team had to slow down as the final time was taken as the fifth man crossed the finish line.

This blew their chances of winning the time trial, however could rest assured as they knew they had retained the Maillot Jaune for Froome.

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Alberto Contador
Tour De France
Vincenzo Nibali

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