Aru takes yellow off Froome as Bardet wins stage 12


Chris Froome lost his yellow jersey to Fabio Aru as Romain Bardet clinched glory at the end of a gruelling stage 12 in the Tour de France on Thursday.

Double defending champion Froome came into the 214.5-kilometre route between Pau and Peyragudes holding an 18-second advantage over Astana's Aru.

An exhausting six hours of racing featured two category-one climbs, either side of the hors-category ascent of the Port de Bales, before the category-two finish to Peyragudes.

Despite the demanding route, it looked as though Team Sky had helped Froome to a perfectly planned race - aside from a minor blip around 13km from the finish when he missed a curve in the road and veered off slightly into a caravan park.

That error did not prove costly, but at the very end Froome was unable to respond to attacks from Aru, Bardet and Rigoberto Uran in the steep final 500m as he came in 22 seconds behind stage winner Bardet of AG2R La Mondiale.

Victory helped Bardet close to within 25 seconds of new yellow jersey wearer Aru, who holds a six-second lead over Froome after being handed bonus time for finishing third behind Uran.