Ahead of Monday's second rest day, Martin saw one final opportunity to lessen the gap, and he did so by finishing 14 seconds clear of Froome on Sunday's stage.
While Sky unfurled its tactical plan, Aru suffered the blow of losing one of the strongest riders on his Astana team, Jakob Fuglsang, during the stage, the last of two in the Pyrenees.
He battled back on, but nearly immediately had a mechanical issue, depriving him of the services of Michal Kwiatkowski, who gave his rear wheel to his team leader.
With Mikel Landa dropping back from the Bardet group to help him in the final metres before he regained contact, Froome caught up with Bardet and Aru and company a couple of kilometres from the top of the Peyra Taillade and immediately had to respond to an attack from the Frenchman, who was racing on his home roads in front of his home crowd.
The metal 3D printed brake levers. Image via Josh Evans Immediate Media
The Quick-Step Floors rider picked up 13 seconds to move up to fifth place ahead of Landa, 72 seconds off yellow.
By his own admission, Froome "just didn't have the legs" on the last of four climbs at the end of the 214.5 km slog that took almost six hours to complete and which has thrown the general classification wide open with a week still to go. My wheel wasn't straight anymore so I think it was a broken spoke but I'm not sure.
Neither of these competitions is mathematically out of reach, but the odds of either jersey changing hands now are little bit like that scene from Dumb and Dumber where Lloyd interprets Mary's "one in a million" odds of them ever getting together in the most positive way possible. We fought very hard to be there and I think we raced well.
"We've always battled, we've been there and you don't lose quality overnight", said the Movistar team leader. "We'd be ready for that", said Froome, adding that his team is "not going to allow anyone to come back on GC [General Classification]".
Sonia Gandhi speaks to Lalu, Nitish Kumar to save Bihar Grand Alliance
This time, so far he has failed to show a firm grip on the administration and his alliance partners. Tejaswi pointed out that when his father was the Railway Minister, he was just 14.
"Kwiatkowski is sharp, super sharp, and I guarantee he'd have made the call and he did well", Brailsford said.
Federer last won the grass-court major in 2012, but he took the Australian Open title this year before skipping the French Open to focus on the remainder of the season.
"It's a big loss for me and the whole team", admitted Aru, who had already seen another team-mate in Dario Cataldo crash out on Wednesday.
Chelsea striker Costa parties in Atletico shirt and mocks Conte
The latest report suggests that the Black Eagles may loan Costa on a short-term loan until January. During the live video, his Blues team-mate Cesc Fabregas commented: "Hahaha".
"There's a lot of suffering going on in there".
I did the first climb full gas, trying to bridge to the first group.
That was the first goal. He lost in the 2014 and 2015 Wimbledon finals to Novak Djokovic - "Tough ones", Federer called them Sunday - and in the semifinals a year ago after erasing match points to get past Cilic in a five-set quarterfinal.
The Polish rider went all out, using his time trial skills to resist the peloton's pursuit as long as possible.
Hashim Amla exits as South Africa grind Eng down
The Proteas have only suffered consecutive defeats once since 2009. "They are a strong side with lots of experience. England have not won any of their past three series, taking victory in only four of 13 Tests along the way.
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