ROMANS-SUR-ISERE, France (AP) — Ahead of two grueling Alpine stages likely to decide the outcome of the 104th Tour de France, Chris Froome and his teammates have sent a clear message to their rivals with another impressive display of collective strength.
LE PUY-EN-VELAY, France (AP) — Mikel Landa has been so strong over the last two weeks that there is no doubt he could be a team leader at the Tour de France.
Despite riding in support of Chris Froome, Landa has been impressive in mountain stages and was stronger than Froome last week in the Pyrenees when the Team Sky leader struggled in the ascent to Peyragudes.
FOIX, France (AP) — After the setback, the fightback.
PARIS (AP) — Some riders to watch at the Tour de France, which starts on Saturday in Duesseldorf, Germany:
The defending champion in France, Froome is looking for a fourth overall victory and to become the first man since Miguel Indurain to win at least three straight titles.
The Team Sky leader had a very light racing schedule this year and has yet to claim his first win this season.
PARIS (AP) — Chris Froome will have support rider Geraint Thomas alongside him again as he pursues a fourth Tour de France title in five years.
Thomas opened the year aiming for victory in the Giro d'Italia but was forced to abandon that race because of injuries sustained in a crash caused by a police motorbike.
Thomas recently returned in the Route du Sud and gives Team Sky a second overall option if Froome struggles.
PIANCAVALLO, Italy (AP) — Nairo Quintana reclaimed the pink jersey from Tom Dumoulin with two stages to go in the Giro d'Italia on Friday, setting up what could be a tense finale in Milan on Sunday.
Dumoulin couldn't keep up with his main rivals in the final uphill finish of the three-week race and trails Quintana, the 2014 winner from Colombia, by 38 seconds.
Two-time winner Vincenzo Nibali is third overall, 43 seconds behind Quintana.
ORTISEI, Italy (AP) — Tejay van Garderen claimed his first grand tour victory on the tough 18th stage of the Giro d'Italia as Tom Dumoulin kept the pink jersey on Thursday.
Van Garderen, of the United States, came round the inside of the final corner to edge Mikel Landa at the uphill finish of the 137-kilometer (85-mile) leg from Moeana to Ortisei.
OROPA, Italy (AP) — Dutch rider Tom Dumoulin put in a perfect performance on the tough climb up to Oropa to win the 14th stage of the Giro d'Italia and extend his overall lead on Saturday.
Dumoulin edged out Ilnur Zakarin at the end of the 131-kilometer (81-mile) route from Castellania, beating the Russian by three seconds. Mikel Landa was third, nine seconds behind.
BAGNO DI ROMAGNA, Italy (AP) — Spanish rider Omar Fraile won the 11th stage of the Giro d'Italia after being on the attack for most of the day Wednesday, and Tom Dumoulin kept the overall leader's pink jersey he earned a day earlier.
Amid a group of four breakaway riders, Fraile outsprinted former world champion Rui Costa and Pierre Rolland to take his first victory in a major three-week race.
ROCCAMORICE, Italy (AP) — Nairo Quintana rode away from his main rivals up the grueling climb to Blockhaus to win the ninth stage of the Giro d'Italia and take the leader's pink jersey in a leg that was marred by a mass crash involving a police motorbike.
The crash Sunday virtually ended the overall title hopes of Sky teammates Geraint Thomas and Mikel Landa, plus Orica-Scott's Adam Yates.