Chris Froome thought Tour de France chances could be over after bike problem
By Mark Crellin
Last Updated: 19/07/17 10:01am
Tour de France leader Chris Froome has praised his team-mates after he managed to retain the yellow jersey despite a major scare during stage 15 on Sunday.
Froome is bidding for his fourth victory in the race and regained the lead on Saturday, but found himself in trouble on Sunday.
The Team Sky rider suffered a problem with his bike at a crucial moment and at one point he was almost a minute behind his rivals for overall victory, but team-mates such as Michal Kwiatkowski, Mikel Nieve, Sergio Henao and Mikel Landa helped him to re-join the leaders' group.
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Speaking to Sky Sports on Monday's rest day, Froome admitted that he thought his dreams of another Tour win might be over.
"We had everything under control," said Froome.
"All eight guys up at the front and, just coming into the foot of the main climb of the day, AG2R, Romain Bardet's team, made a big attack, really upped the pace and, as they did that, I had a mechanical issue.
"I needed to change my rear wheel and it was just the worst moment ever for that to happen. I honestly thought that could have been the end of my race for yellow.
"With that kind of an issue happening at that moment, I really thought that could have been the end of it for me.
"It was just all hands on deck from my team-mates and they were incredible, they really did rally together, and I had to put in a big effort just to get back into that main group again.
"It was certainly a close call!"
The race will resume on Tuesday and continues all week, with Saturday's time trial likely to be crucial ahead of Sunday's final stage.