The general classification after Stage 5 in the Tour de France 2017 was

  1. Christopher Froome (GBR) Team Sky 18:38:59
  2. Geraint Thomas (GBR) Team Sky +0:00:12
  3. Fabio Aru (ITA) Astana Pro Team +0:00:14
  4. Daniel Martin (IRL) Quick-Step Floors +0:00:25
  5. Richie Porte (AUD) BMC Racing Team +0:00:39
  6. Simon Yates (GBR) Orica-Scott +0:00:43
  7. Romain Bardet (FRA) AG2R La Mondiale +0:00:47
  8. Alberto Contador (ESP) Trek-Segafredo +0:00:52
  9. Nairo Quintana (COL) Movistar Team +0:00:54
  10. Rafal Majka (POL) Bora-Hansgrohe +0:01:01

In stage 6 none of these riders finished in the top (nor was the difference between them the same) yet after stage 6 the general classification and the time differences were identical. The only change was in Froome's time, increasing to a total of 23:44:33.

The same occurred after stage 7.

What am I missing here? Why has only the lead rider's time changed, despite several differences developing across the stages?

1 Answer 1


nor was the difference between them the same

They did in fact finish with the same time in this stage. If you take a look at the full classification for stage 6, you will see that this was a sprint finish, so most of the riders finished together in a large bunch at the finish.

To avoid having riders trying to bump each other in large finishes, timing results in bunch finishes are aggregated. If there is no "gap" between you and riders in front of you (it appears that you cannot go faster in your line without interacting with riders ahead), then you will be given the same finishing time as the first rider in your bunch.

In stage 6, this bunch was large and the first 120 riders to cross were all given identical finish times of 5:05:34. The next rider was scored as having a gap and was given a different time. So for this stage, Chris Froome (who finished 56th) and all the leaders finished with identical times and there was no change in their relative positions in the general classification.

Besides the official finish time, a rider may receive either bonus or penalty time. The first 3 finishers received a bonus, one rider received a penalty. But none of them were in the top GC list.

This bunch finish is an expected occurence for sprint stages, with most of the movement between GC leaders happening only on mountain and time trial stages.

Stage 6 finish times are found on the Tour de France page. Click the "stage" button to flip it to times for the stage rather than total GC time.

  • I think maybe you could answer the initial question a little more clearly. I.e. that several riders did gain time on Chris Froome, but that none of them are in the top ten.
    – Niall
    Commented Aug 7, 2017 at 13:08
  • 3
    @Niall, that did not happen. Chris finished in the first group (56 of a group of 120), so no other rider gained time on him in stage 6.
    – BowlOfRed
    Commented Aug 8, 2017 at 5:32
  • 1
    @BowlOfRed. Maybe Niall is referring to the time bonuses for the first three riders over the line. From your link, it looks like Kittel got a 10s bonus, Demare 6s and Greipel 4s. Anyway +1 for explaining why nothing changed in the top 10.
    – Fillet
    Commented Aug 8, 2017 at 8:28
  • @BowlOfRed I stand corrected on how the gap rule is applied - I believed it to be much stricter. There are clear gaps to the peloton, but as you say they've been given the same time.
    – Niall
    Commented Aug 8, 2017 at 9:11
  • @Fillet I hadn't, but that's a great point.
    – Niall
    Commented Aug 8, 2017 at 9:12

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