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The pain was written over their faces as the stage developed into two individual races.
Pauwels followed the leader to maintain his individual chances.
Several small packs followed the Frenchman to form minor breakaways, but the GC contenders and Froome were not interested.
The gap to the leaders expanded to nine minutes as Froome tucked into the chasing group, conserving energy before the brutal climbing at the end of the day.
Tinkoff's Rafał Majka won the mountains classification.The stage also saw a major crash for Team Sky earlier in the race, but the Manchester-based superteam recovered to catch the peloton.French rider Adrien Petit of Direct Energie took an early lead, jumping clear of the peloton to gain a quick advantage.Mark Cavendish of Team Dimension Data won the opening stage to take the race leader's yellow jersey.Tinkoff rider Peter Sagan won the second stage to claim yellow and held onto it until the fifth stage when Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing Team) took the stage and the yellow jersey.