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Froome left bloodied after Dauphine crash

ESPN staff
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Chris Froome thanked his rivals for neutralising the race © Getty Images
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Chris Froome once more retained his 12-second lead at the Criterium du Dauphine but was left bloody and battered after a crash towards the end of Friday's stage six.

Froome has led the overall standings from the first stage and, despite his mishap just 7.6 kilometres from the finish line, will keep his advantage over Alberto Contador and Wilco Kelderman ahead of Saturday's penultimate stage.

Jan Bakelants beat Lieuwe Westra by less than a wheel in the sprint finish at the end of the 178.5km route from Grenoble to Poisy.

However, after seeing Froome come off his bike, the peloton allowed the defending champion to return alongside Contador and Kelderman before they finished four minutes behind Bakelants.

"It is quite painful but I was OK to finish the stage. I am just a little bit grazed for tomorrow," Froome told the Team Sky official website.

"It is more just my hip, elbow and shoulder, but more than anything I just want to thank the other riders for neutralising the race. That is really big of them - good sportsmanship."

Saturday's stage seven sees the riders take on a 160km high-mountain route from Ville-la-Grand to a summit finish at Finhaut-Emosson.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

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