SIMON Yates retained his white jersey as the leading young rider in the Tour de France on a punishing day that saw compatriot Chris Froome lose his place as overall leader.

Three-time yellow jersey winner Froome surrendered his lead to Italy's Fabio Aru as Frenchman Romain Bardet won stage 12 to Peyragudes.

Froome faded badly on the brutal final climb of the brutal final climb of the 214.5km stage from Pau while Aru finished third to take the final bonus seconds on offer.

The Italian national champion now leads the Tour by six seconds from Froome, with Frenchman Bardet closing to within 25 seconds of yellow in third place overall.

Meanwhile, Bury rider Yates finished ninth on the stage, surrendering 20 seconds to South African Louis Meintjes, his only real rival in the race for the white jersey.

Meintjes was fifth on the stage, but remains 10th overall, 2mins 38secs behind sixth-placed Yates.