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Aru repeats compatriot Nibali's success in Tour de France, Froome wears yellow jersey
Last Updated: 2017-07-06 09:33 | Xinhua
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Astana Pro Team racer Fabio Aru on Wednesday repeated his fellow Italian Vincenzo Nibali's success three years ago to win the fifth stage of the 2017 Tour de France, while British Christopher Froome took away the yellow jersey from his Sky teammate Geraint Thomas.

Aru kicked off the final sprint with less than three kilometers remaining en route to a top finish in La Planche des Belles Filles, where Nibali won in 2014 before triumphing the Tour de France that year.

The fifth stage covered a distance of 160.5km, shorter than that of the three previous stages, but the final 5.9km uphill road with an average gradient of 8.5%, also a first-category climb, would undoutedly pose much threat and uncertainty to racers.

Following Mark Cavendish's withdrawal due to right shoulder blade fracture and Peter Sagan's disqualification for elbowing Cavendish, a total of 193 racers started from Vittel, before an eight-member leading group were formed from the gun, and they built a lead as much as three and a half minutes.

The 35-year-old Philippe Gilbert had his breakaway from the group with 13km to go, and only Jan Bakelants made his response. The duo saw their lead away from the peloton cut within a minute before the climb, and finally got reeled into the last 4km.

Aru, wearing the Italian national champion's jersey, found a right moment to open a clear gap from other contenders to win the stage by 16 seconds.

He also wore the polkadot king of the mountains jersey with 10 points in the stage. He moved up to third on overall individual standings, 14 seconds adrift Froome.

Irish Daniel Martin forced his way to the second positon against favorites Froome and Richie Porte, and found himself fourth overall.

The sprinters' green jersey was still kept by Frenchman Arnaud Demare with 127 points, and Team Sky has extended its lead to one minute and 59 seconds atop the team overall standings.

Simon Yates, sixth in the stage, replaced Pierre-Roger Latour to lead among best young riders.

In a flattened sixth stage on Thursday, riders need to cover 216km from Vesoul to Troyes, with just two fourth-category climbs on the route.

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