Chris Froome expecting drama in the challenging Pyrénées stages

Team Sky and Movistar kept quiet on stage seven of the Tour de France, but Chris Froome expects attacks this weekend

Chris Froome (Sunada)
(Image credit: Yuzuru SUNADA)

Chris Froome expects the mountain showdowns this weekend will shake up the general classification, with many of the main contenders for the Tour de France keeping their powder dry in the first Pyrénéean stage.

The Team Sky leader and a number of the other big names were awarded the same time on Friday’s stage to Lac de Payolle after the kilometre-to-go banner collapsed and disrupted the riders.

With four categorised climbs on Saturday’s stage eight, including the Col du Tourmalet, and a severe test in Andorra on Sunday, Froome believes some real time gaps will emerge.

"I imagine [Saturday’s] stage is a lot harder and there are some tired legs after today,” Froome said at the finish of stage seven. “Once we get into the Saturday’s and Sunday’s stage we’ll start to see some big gaps.”

Watch highlights of stage seven of the Tour de France

Froome sits in a large group of favourites, including Nairo Quintana (Movistar), Fabio Aru (Astana) and Tejay van Garderen (BMC) at 5-57 down on leader Greg Van Avermaet (BMC).

Quintana, who many believe to be Froome’s main rival for the 2016 Tour de France title kept quiet on Friday’s ascent of the Col d’Aspin as Steve Cummings rode to victory from the breakaway.

Team Sky also had a quite, but solid day in the saddle, with six riders in the front group come the finish line having controlled much of the stage with the Spanish team.

“I’m not necessarily surprised there weren’t attacks from Movistar,” Froome added.

“We’ve got a big weekend coming up and I think they’re thinking like our guys are – you’ve got to save something in the tank for what’s to come in the next few days.”

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Stuart Clarke is a News Associates trained journalist who has worked for the likes of the British Olympic Associate, British Rowing and the England and Wales Cricket Board, and of course Cycling Weekly. His work at Cycling Weekly has focused upon professional racing, following the World Tour races and its characters.