Alberto Contador

Aru falters, Froome soars in thin air of the Alps

One series of giant Tour de France mountains out of the way. One more to come. And one less rival for race leader Chris Froome to watch quite so closely.

By sticking like fly-paper to the enterprising Romain Bardet, despite the French rider's efforts to distance him on the race's highest peak, Froome took a big step Wednesday toward a fourth Tour victory this weekend in Paris.

Italian Fabio Aru, on the other hand, fell behind on the barren slopes of scree and patchy grass in the thinning air of the mighty Col du Galibier, one of the Tour's most fearsome Alpine climbs.

Like a yo-yo, the Italian repeatedly worked his way back to Froome's group of top contenders. But a...

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