Bardet crosses the finish line to win the twelfth stage of the Tour de France. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
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Frenchman Romain Bardet timed his final effort perfectly to win the 12th stage of the Tour de France Thursday, setting up a thrilling second half of the three-week race as defending champion Chris Froome showed a rare sign of weakness.Astana rider Aru attacked in the final part of the climb to Peyragudes, a 2.4-km ascent at a punishing average gradient of 8.4 percent. But Bardet had more left in the tank and powered away in the last 200 meters to beat Colombian Rigoberto Uran by two seconds.Aru, who won the Vuelta in 2015, came third, also two seconds behind Bardet while Froome cracked and ended up 22 seconds adrift of the Frenchman.Overall, Aru leads Froome by six seconds and Bardet by 25 .
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