Froome began the day with a 4min 34sec lead on Contador but on what was billed as the ‘Queen’ stage of the race — with six climbs on the menu — Contador’s Saxo team failed to loosen the British race leader’s grip.
Contador ultimately failed to respond when Froome and Australian teammate Richie Porte upped the pace on the second and final ascension of the 13.8 km climb to the summit of the Alpe.
The Spaniard, a two-time winner in 2007 and 2009, remains in second place but is now 5:11 behind. Riblon’s performance, meanwhile, will be warmly welcomed by the hosts who have struggled to make any impact in the 100th edition of the race.
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