Matthews wins 14th stage, Froome retakes yellow

Bardet the Frenchman won the stage by two seconds from Uran and Aru

Mollema would subsequently attack from a much reduced front group with 27 kilometres remaining, and despite being chased by a quartet comprising Barguil plus Diego Ulissi of UAE Team Emirates, Lotto Belisol's Tony Gallopin and Primoz Roglic of LottoNL-Jumbo, he would hold on to win by 19 seconds.

The stage itself, a hilly trek through the Massif Centrale, was won by Holland's Bauke Mollema, going solo 30 kilometres from the finish.

Froome now leads the race by 19sec from Aru with Romain Bardet third at 23sec having also lost four seconds to Froome in the finish, although gained two on the yellow jersey.

Rival Frenchman Romain Bardet's AG2R team upped the pace on the penultimate climb of the day as Froome suffered a mechanical problem.

Mollema won his first stage at the Tour last time out and will feel confident about repeating the trick after the swift pace he set at Laissac.

Froome's rivals will need to isolate him in the final mountains later this week if they are to not only overhaul his lead but get far enough ahead to have some breathing space in the Stage 20 time trial.

Nonetheless, since losing that chunk, Martin has been steadily snatching back time on Froome and the other contenders, a few seconds at a time.

But once again, as he had done a year ago, Briton Froome proved he has the panache to glean time wherever there's an opportunity to do so. For his team to control one of...

Mikel Landa had stayed safe in the front group, but - despite being fifth overall himself - dropped back to help Froome and dragged the yellow jersey back to the group. Certainly the speed was probably at the highest point of the race, coming in to the foot of that last climb.

But Ag2r, unlike Fabio Aru's Astana or Rigoberto Uran's Cannondale-Drapac, demonstrated that they are capable of potentially putting Froome in the red. On the steepest part of the climb Froome had to call back Landa from the group of a dozen favourites to ensure he regained contact.

"Bardet, Aru, Uran, lost the chance of a lifetime", LeMond, who is on the Tour as an analyst for Eurosport, said in his daily chat with Reuters.

"I think Chris was strong because he was calm. I'm going to ride two Alpine stages as if they were classics". For everything he has accomplished, for all the bright lights and big settings to which he's become accustomed, the guy whom many have labeled the greatest of all time admits to feeling heavy legs and jumbled thoughts at important on-court moments to this day.

Martin's first cousin Nicolas Roche enjoyed an impressive run on Sunday to finish sixth on the stage. Stage 15 Results will be posted here as well as the GC Overall Standings. I've just tried to be a little bit more calculating.

"Kwiatkowski is sharp, super sharp, and I guarantee he'd have made the call and he did well", Brailsford said.

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