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Continued: Tour de France leader Froome shows he can take punishment and dish it out, but his team wilts

  • Article by: JOHN LEICESTER , AP Sports Writer
  • Last update: July 8, 2013 - 1:59 AM

Contador said: "The only times he was really tested was by the attacks by Nairo Quintana, who only tried a little and didn't try it with much conviction. But I think this is good because he (Froome) had to respond and we hope we can take advantage of that later."

With Porte rolling in nearly 18 minutes behind the leaders, Valverde moved up to second overall. But his deficit to Froome remained unchanged: 1 minute, 25 seconds.

Bauke Mollema and Laurens Ten Dam, both from the Netherlands, are 1:44 and 1:50 behind Froome, respectively. Teammates Contador and Roman Kreuziger stayed 1:51 behind. Quintana is still 2:02 off the lead.

The next test for contenders for the overall title is Wednesday's time trial to Mont-Saint-Michel, a walled medieval masterpiece in Normandy given World Heritage status by UNESCO.

"Froome is very strong in the time trial," said Contador. "But we have to see how we all recover after the first nine days when he gave it his all."

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  • Christopher Froome, wearing the overall leader's yellow jersey, celebrated on the podium of the ninth stage of the Tour de France on Sunday.

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