Chris Froome stays in yellow as Tour de France heats up

NOW it gets serious.

After the first rest day of this year's Tour de France, the race restarts tonight, and heads into the mountains for the first time.

Brit Chris Froome (Team Sky) is in the driver's seat after the first eight stages, leading American Tejay van Garderan (BMC Racing) by 13 seconds, with Belgium's Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing) a further 15 seconds back in third.

Apart from van Garderen, Froome (pictured) put some extra distance between himself and the other main contenders on stage nine, a 28km team time trial.

Alberto Contador now trails the 2013 winner by 63 seconds, while defending champion Vincenzo Nibali is two minutes 22 seconds behind Froome.

The man most believe is the only other rider capable of taking the title, Colombia's Nairo Quintana, moved up to ninth after the time trial, one minute 59 seconds off the lead.