Fabio Aru: 'I decided when to attack by watching videos of Chris Froome in 2012'

Novel approach pays off for Aru

Fabio Aru after winning stage five of the 2017 Tour de France
(Image credit: Yuzuru Sunada)

It's a universal practice among Tour de France teams to recce key climbs ahead of the race, but instead of riding La Planche des Belle Filles, stage five winner Fabio Aru (Astana) went on YouTube.

The Italian champion attacked just beyond midway up the climb, deciding on the timing of his attack by watching videos on YouTube of the Tour de France's two previous trips to La Planche des Belle Filles.

>>> Fabio Aru wins on summit finish of Tour de France stage five as Chris Froome takes overall lead

"I didn't know La Planche des Belle Filles," Aru said in a post-race press conference.

"I looked on the internet for some videos of Chris Froome’s win in 2012 and Vincenzo Nibali’s win in 2014 and that helped me decide that the right time to attack."

Watch: Tour de France stage five highlights

Aru's win, and the 10-second time bonus that went with it, moved him from 25th to third on GC, but the Italian said he was concentrating more on enjoying his first Tour stage win than contemplating challenging for the yellow jersey.

"I’m slowly realising what I’ve done today," he continued.

>>> Five talking points from stage five of the Tour de France

"Of course, I’m extremely happy to win a stage of the Tour de France, which is missing in my career.

"I don’t want to think of what’s coming next in the Tour de France, I’ll take it day by day. First I want to enjoy this victory quietly with my team."

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Henry Robertshaw began his time at Cycling Weekly working with the tech team, writing reviews, buying guides and appearing in videos advising on how to dress for the seasons. He later moved over to the news team, where his work focused on the professional peloton as well as legislation and provision for cycling. He's since moved his career in a new direction, with a role at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.