Chris Froome reclaimed the overall lead on the Tour de France after he left Italian Fabio Aru trailing in a punchy finish of the 14th stage, a 181.5-km ride from Blagnac on Saturday.
The defending champion finished seventh, one second behind stage winner Michael Matthews of Australia as Aru, who started the day with the yellow jersey on his shoulders, lost 25 seconds to the Briton in the final effort, a 600-metre climb at an average gradient of 9.6 per cent.
Overall, Froome now leads Aru by 18 seconds and last year’s runner-up Romain Bardet by 23 seconds after the Frenchman finished five seconds off the pace.
Colombian Rigoberto Uran, who finished with Froome, remains fourth, six seconds behind Bardet ahead of a tricky 15th stage in the Massif Central, which features two first-category climbs.
The stage went through Carmaux, the hometown of Jean Jaures, one of the great figures of the French left and a committed anti-militarist who was assassinated in 1914 just after World War I broke out.
The one-day classics specialists had the stage victory in sight but sprinter Matthews stayed on their wheels on the last climb and outsprinted Olympic champion Greg van Avermaet, who ended up second two years after winning a Tour stage that ended in Rodez.
Norway’s Edvald Boasson Hagen was third ahead of Belgian Philippe Gilbert, who launched his sprint too early and cracked 150 metres from the finish line.