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Uran given Tour time penalty reprieve

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Saint-Girons (France) (AFP)

Colombia's Rigoberto Uran was given a boost ahead of Friday's Tour de France 13th stage start in Saint Girons as his 20-second time penalty was over-turned.

The Cannondale team leader was amongst three riders penalised on Thursday for taking a water bottle outside of the permitted feed zone.

And his reprieve now leaves him just 35 seconds off race leader Fabio Aru in fourth overall in one of the tightest yellow jersey battles in years.

New Zealand's George Bennett, who sits ninth at just over four minutes back, and Belgian Serge Pauwels also had their penalties lifted.

The race commission decided to lift the sanction because teams had been unable to pass food and water to their riders in the allowed feed zone due to exceptional circumstances caused by Chris Froome and Aru having gone off road at a vital juncture on a rapid descent.

The feed zone ends 10km from the finish, after which it is no longer allowed to pass either food or water to the riders.

Firday's 101km 13th stage to Foix promises to be a fast and explosive one as it takes in three climbs in the Pyrenees.

Aru leads by six seconds from Froome with Romain Bardet third at 25sec, just ahead of Uran.

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