A solitary Aru danced his way through a tunnel of sound as he approached the summit of La Planche des Belles Filles.

Photo gallery: 2017 Tour de France, Stage 5

by Evan Hartig


Italian national champion Fabio Aru (Astana) took the summit finish at La Planche des Belles Filles on Stage 5 of the Tour de France Wednesday, attacking out of a select group of 15 on the upper slopes of the six-kilometer ascent.
Irishman Dan Martin (Quick-Step Floors) was second across the line, with defending champion Chris Froome (Team Sky) 20 seconds back from Aru in third, vaulting the three-time winner into yellow.

The day’s breakaway rolled early as per usual, within the first five kilometers of the race, consisting of eight riders: Jan Bakelants (Ag2r La Mondiale), Mickael Delage (FDJ), Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension Data), Dylan van Baarle (Cannonale-Drapac), Pierre-Luc Perichon (Fortuneo-Oscaro), Thomas Voeckler (Direct Energie), Philippe Gilbert (Quick-Step Floors) and Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal).

On the lower slopes of La Planche des Belles Filles, Sky lieutenants Michal Kwiatkowski, Mikel Nieve, and Sergio Henao set a vicious pace that quickly reeled in the remainder of the breakaway, and with four kilometers remaining, the race was one for the GC men. The pace quickly created a select group.

At 2.5 kilometers out, Aru challenged the composed steadiness of the Sky train with a vicious solo attempt. Aru rose from the saddle and seemed to perpetually accelerate up the climb, even as the gradient rose over 20%. Arms aloft, he crossed the line with 16 seconds over Martin, who put in an impressive final dig to overcome Froome, four seconds back.

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