Rouleur Classic

Tour de France 2016: Top Banana stage 18

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It’s rarely pretty when Fabio Aru is on the limit, his mouth set in a rictus grin of pain, his upper body moving more than a Silvio Berlusconi polygraph test. But against the clock in Sallanches, it was effective.

Only noted testers Froome and Dumoulin finished above the Seinfeld doppleganger. Third place: che sorpresa, as they may say in his native Sardinia. Not bad for a man considered a pure climber and well deserving of our Top Banana award.

The Tour is decided in the third week, and it looks the reigning Vuelta champion has saved his best for the crucial, excruciating last stages in the Alps.

Aru may be seventh overall, but he is now within 1-54 of third-placed Adam Yates. A podium finish is a distinct possibility.

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