The Italian wins stage 4 at the Tour of Oman atop Green Mountain, putting him in the driver's seat with two stages remaining.
Chris Froome was the big winner after taking the yellow and polka-dot jerseys, while several riders came up short of goals
AFP takes a look back at the French grand tour and highlights five key takeaways
The 24-year-old French star is relieved to notch his first career stage win, under the weight of the host nation's great expectations.
Bardet unleashes daring descent off the Col du Glandon, grits out final 40 kilometers to win. Froome keeps yellow, calm and in control.
The 15.9km descent of the Col d'Allos could see riders press their luck and attack off the front
A handful of riders have the potential to take charge on the roads of France and win the yellow jersey
Caley Fretz considers the top favorites to win yellow and their form following a range of different early season tune-up races
The "Fab Four" could have plenty of company as they contend for the yellow jersey in France next month, writes Andrew Hood
Romain Bardet gives French fans reason to cheer with Dauphiné stage win, showing promise ahead of Tour de France