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Chris Froome took over the leaders' jersey after a strong performance in the fifth stage of the Tirreno-Adriatico in Italy.
Britain's Chris Froome took over the leaders' jersey after a strong performance in the fifth stage of the Tirreno-Adriatico in Italy.
The Team Sky rider finished sixth in the 230-kilometre stage from Ortona to Chieti to take over from Poland's Michal Kwiatkowski at the head of the general classification.
The stage was won by Spaniard Joaquim Rodriguez of the Katusha team with Dutchman Bauke Mollema winning a sprint for second - eight seconds back - ahead of Alberto Contador, Mauro Santambrogio, Chris Horner and Froome.
With Kwiatkowski dropping back on a tough mountainous stage featuring three categorised climbs, Froome now holds a commanding 20-second lead from Spanish star Contador and Italian Vincenzo Nibali.
Kwiatkowski is fourth, 24 seconds behind the leader, with American Horner 37 seconds back.
Froome was pleased to take the blue jersey but was very much aware of the threat of Contador.
"Contador lost some time yesterday and he tried to pull it back today," said Froome, quoted on cyclingnews.com.
"It was very hard for everybody after 230km, nobody had much left in the legs."