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Froome survives day of danger as Sky execute perfect plan, Barguil wins

A day after Froome showed a sign of weakness, Team Sky sent Spain's Mikel Landa in front when two-time champion Alberto Contador attacked early on.

FILE: Chris Froome. Picture: Twitter/@chrisfroome.

FOIX - Chris Froome remains in contention for a fourth Tour de France title after Team Sky put the pressure on their rivals with a perfectly executed plan on Friday's 13th stage, won on Bastille Day by France's Warren Barguil.

Italian Fabio Aru, who kept his cool despite quickly finding himself without any team mates to help him along, retained the yellow jersey and finished in the group of favourites with Froome and third-placed Romain Bardet, all 1:48 seconds off Barguil's pace.

A day after Froome showed a sign of weakness, Team Sky sent Spain's Mikel Landa in front when two-time champion Alberto Contador attacked early on.

Landa finished fourth behind Contador and Colombian Nairo Quintana, who is back in the game in eighth place overall, 2:07 behind Aru.

"Beating Contador is something huge for me because he's always been my idol," said Barguil.

"I had great legs today after a tough stage yesterday."

Aru leads Froome by six seconds overall with last year's runner-up Bardet in third place, 25 seconds behind the race leader and Colombian Rigoberto Uran in fourth, a further 10 seconds back.

Landa is now fifth, 1:09 behind Aru, and Team Sky's management will need to make clear who the leader is after the Spaniard, whose contract expires at the end of the year, finished ahead of Froome on Thursday.

Froome appeared to struggle in the last of three climbs on the punchy 101-km stage, but he still managed to attack his rivals in the final part of the Mur de Peguere, a punishing 9.3-km ascent at an average gradient of 7.9%.

Sky never had to chase on a day of danger for them as Landa was in front with Contador.

The leading duo was caught by Barguil and Quintana just before the summit of the Mur de Peguere and the Frenchman, who strengthened his grip on the polka dot jersey, proved the stronger sprinter.