And when that came, Barguil had the burst he needed at the end of the mountainous 101-km 13th stage from Saint Girons to Foix in the Pyrenees.
"This shows that Froome is beatable", exhorted Alexander Vinokourov, Aru's Astana team manager.
Bardet won the stage ahead of Rigoberto Uran and Aru, who seized the race lead from Froome by six seconds according provisional results.
"Today marks a culture change for our organization where we re-establish the pride, work ethic and responsibility that comes with playing for the Knicks and representing New York", the team's owner, James L. Dolan, said in statement.
With a week left in the Tour de France, the stage is set for a thrilling finale.
His Tour has been pockmarked by highs and lows - two podium finishes; a horror crash on stage nine - but has shown remarkable fortitude to stay in the hunt. Linebacker Chris Spielman filed the class-action lawsuit in federal court in Columbus on behalf of current and former Ohio State football players.
The stage took the peloton on a flat, 203.5-kilometer (126-mile) run from Eymet to Pau in southwestern France.
"It's not a disaster but it still hurts".
He too was reluctant to start banging nails into Froome's coffin, though.
"This just felt so good", he said. A brilliant climber who recently won the Criterium du Dauphine ahead of Froome, Fuglsang bowed out after crashing and fracturing his elbow.
"I've been looking for success for a long time", said Barguil, the first Frenchman to win on the national day since David Moncoutié.
Stage 13 may have been the shortest of the 2017 Tour de France at just 101km long, but it delivered plenty of drama and excitement.
Starting relatively flatly out of Blagnac, the intermediate sprint will take place at the 50km mark before the road heads slowly upwards towards Rodez.
Keeping it will not be easy.
"Now I'm back in the GC race".
Team Sky had dominated the stage until the final 350m, when Aru made his move. "But losing Jakob is a big blow, and I'll miss him in the mountains". Froome, Aru and Mikel Nieve misjudged a turn in the downhill but the race leader and his rival pushed hard on the brakes to avoid a crash.
"I knew it could suit me", Bardet said. Or the no-look, flicked backhand winner several games later that not many players would even try, let alone manage to do. Bardet is third overall, 25 seconds off the pace.