The Team Sunweb rider held off Nairo Quintana (Movistar), Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) and Mikel Landa (Team Sky) on the final sprint in Foix. But more importantly, Barguil timed his sprint to perfection to deliver the French win the nation craved, and his first Grand Tour stage win in almost four years. Froome would have cracked no matter what, but symbolically, the image of the domestique zooming away from his captain was concerning.
A breakway group of 12 established a lead of more than six minutes, but one by one they were reeled in as Team Sky set a fearsome pace at the head of affairs. Fabio Aru, Italy, Astana, same time. 10.
He lost Astana team mate Dario Cataldo on Wednesday after the Italian fractured his wrist in a crash and on Friday, his main lieutenant, Dane Jakob Fuglsang, dropped out as he could not bear the pain caused by a couple of minor fractures. However, the route only included a single Hors Categorie climb and the stage profile did not scare a relatively large breakaway group that formed early in the stage.
The stage's leading quartet was completed by Nairo Quintana and former Tour victor Alberto Contador. "Our teammates did such an incredible job today, but I didn't have the legs to finish it off - simple as that", Froome said. Nevertheless, he should be happy he's still in the race after all the falls, and his low position might even provide him with the freedom to attack for a stage victory, without the top teams chasing him down. Bardet, perhaps the best descender, was the first, though his effort was fruitless.
Aru will wear the yellow jersey for the first time in his career on today's brief but demanding 101km stage, while Froome has handed it over for just the second time, also losing it after stage four in 2015 before reclaiming it at the end of stage seven.
Landa's fine ride, which propelled him to 1min 9sec off the overall lead, is a boost for Froome as it gives him an ally in the top five of the general classification.
For his three previous victories at the Tour de France, Chris Froome took advantage of the first big mountain stage to deliver the decisive blow. Things are a little more crowded at the top now, however.
Colombian Rigoberto Uran, who finished stage 12 in second place, resides in fourth place overall - 35 seconds behind Aru.
Boulder's Taylor Phinney finished in 171st place and is 167th overall.
The next two stages will be relatively calm.
Landa finished in the top 20 of the Giro d'Italia this year, won the King of the Mountain classification and unlike Nairo Quintana, who appears tired from his runner-up effort in May, is on point here.