Fabio Aru won an epic ascent up La Planche des Belles Filles to take Stage 5 of the Tour de France on Wednesday. Chris Froome took the yellow jersey.
Froome will be buoyed by history: Both times the Tour has visited this summit, the rider in yellow has held it all the way to Paris. The summit was the setting for Froome's first Tour de France stage victory in 2012.
Stage 5 finished on a Category 1 climb -- the first time since 1992 that a Category 1 climb took place within the first five stages.
Eight riders formed the breakaway at the start of the race: Jan Bakelants (AG2R), Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension Data), Philippe Gilbert (Quick-Step), Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal), Thomas Voeckler (Direct Energie), Mickaël Delage (FDJ), Dylan van Baarle (Cannondale-Drapac) and Pierre-Luc Périchon (Fortuneo-Oscaro). But while Team Sky seemed happy to let the breakaway go, BMC took to the front of the peloton to keep them in check.
While they wanted to help Richie Porte put time on the riders in the general classification, they also had some cause for alarm. Of the riders in the breakaway, only the latter three haven't won a stage of the Tour, with Voeckler winning the polka dot jersey for King of the Mountains in 2012.
At its peak, their lead stretched to over three minutes but as the final summits neared, eight became six when Delage and De Gendt were dropped. Then, with 13 kilometres to go, Gilbert attacked.
Bakelants was the only one able to stay with the Belgian rider, while Team Sky took control of the peloton with 7 kilometres remaining.
The pace of the team brought back Gilbert and Bakelants with 4 kilometres remaining.
Michał Kwiatkowski led Mikel Landa, Geraint Thomas, Mikel Nieve, Sergio Henao and then Froome, with Kwiatkowski, Landa and Henao falling away a kilometre later.
Aru attacked 2.4 kilometres from the end and when Thomas couldn't match the pace, Froome attacked. Nairo Quintana was then dropped as Dan Martin, Porte and Romain Bardet stayed.
Despite a last-ditch attempt from Porte, none of them could overhaul Aru. Martin took second ahead of Froome, Porte and Bardet.
Chris Froome, 18h 38' 59''
Geraint Thomas, + 12''
Fabio Aru, + 14''
Green Jersey (points)
Arnaud Demare, 127
Marcel Kittel, 87
Michael Matthews, 73
King of the Mountains (points)
Fabio Aru, 10
Daniel Martin, 8
Chris Froome, 6