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A better day for Froome at Tour de France

updated 2:06 PM EDT, Sat July 13, 2013
Overall leader Chris Froome came through the 14th stage of the Tour de France unscathed after a tough Friday.
Overall leader Chris Froome came through the 14th stage of the Tour de France unscathed after a tough Friday.
  • A day after his lead was cut, Chris Froome maintained his two-minute advantage
  • Bauke Mollema and Alberto Contador trail Froome ahead of Sunday's long 15th stage
  • Italy's Matteo Trentin won the 14th stage Saturday in a sprint finish over Michael Albasini

(CNN) -- He didn't win the 14th stage of the Tour de France but Chris Froome's Saturday at cycling's most prestigious race was better than his Friday.

Although he still held the overall lead heading into Saturday, the Team Sky racer saw his advantage trimmed by both Bauke Mollema and two-time Tour winner Alberto Contador.

Contador, considered Froome's main rival, made up more than a minute to pull to within three minutes.

Froome, deprived of the services of injured teammate Edvald Boasson Hagen, was left behind the breakaway pack.

Read: As Cavendish wins, Froome's lead cut

In Saturday's 118-mile trek from Saint-Pourcain-sur-Sioule to Lyon, though, Froome came away unscathed as the main contenders enjoyed a fairly routine outing.

Belkin's Mollema remains two minutes, 28 seconds behind Froome, with Saxo-Tinkoff's Contador staying 2:45 behind.

There was no change in the top two of the points standings, either. Cannondale's Peter Sagan kept his lead of 84 points over Mark Cavendish.

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A "really big test," as Froome put it, comes Sunday as the 15th stage is the longest of the Tour and concludes at the summit of Mont Ventoux.

Riders face a steep 13-mile climb to reach the summit.

"It's an extremely historical climb in terms of cycling so there'll be a lot of guys going for it to try and win," Froome told the Tour's website.

"It's going to be quite a tactical game tomorrow in the early parts of the race but once we hit the mountain it's all about who has got the legs and that part of the race is quite straight forward."

Italy's Matteo Trentin made it two stage wins in a row for Omega Pharma-Quick Step when he came from behind to beat Switzerland's Michael Albasini by half a wheel in a sprint finish.

Cavendish claimed his 25th stage victory overall on Friday.

"It's my first win as a pro," said Trentin.

"When you work alongside a rider like Cavendish, you learn a thing or two. I just waited patiently and unleashed my sprint with (110 yards) to go.

"We're all super happy. All my teammates came behind the podium to congratulate me and that was really nice."

Hopes of a first French stage winner this year were dashed when Julien Simon was caught near the end.

"It's infuriating to miss out on a stage win because we know that, for our team, the opportunities are rare," Sojasun's Simon said. "Today we had one chance, and then in the Alps we are on terrain that is not favorable to us."

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