Saturday, 17 November, 2018

Thomas takes stage win and yellow jersey on Tour de France

Тур де Франс-2018 Алафилипп эффектно побеждает в горах Tour de France 2018 - Julian Alaphilippe wins Stage 10 as tour hits the mountains
Frederick Owens | 20 July, 2018, 23:56

Fans also booed at Geraint Thomas, the Sky rider who became the first cyclist in Tour history to win atop Huez while wearing the yellow jersey.

In a day that Geraint Thomas dominated headlines, becoming the first ever Briton to win on the Alpe D'Huez, his Team Sky team-mate contended with crowd interference.

Thomas attacked on the last of four climbs over the short but gruelling 11th stage, powered past longtime breakaway leader Mikel Nieve in the final kilometre, and finished 20 seconds ahead of Tom Dumoulin.

Thomas won by a couple of seconds from Dumoulin, with Bardet one second behind and Froome a further second back.

The Italian rider was able to remount his bike and by the summit only lost 13 seconds to stage victor Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) but was in clear discomfort.

Rigoberto Uran, who finished second overall past year, did not start the stage as the effects of a stage nine crash caught up with him.

Froome is 3:21 behind Van Avermaet after recovering from a punctured tire atop the second of the stage's ascents, finishing with Thomas and most of the top contenders.

Thomas insists he's still Sky's back-up man. 'Froomey knows how to win a three-week race, he's still the leader, ' he said.

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Movistar's Nairo Quintana and Alejandro Valverde cracked on the climb along with UAE Team Emirates' Dan Martin, while Bahrain-Merida's Vincenzo Nibali hit the deck trying to weave his way through fans just millimetres from their heroes. "To wear the yellow jersey is a massive honour and to wear it three years in a row is pretty nice.I rode really well". "I'm just going to enjoy it now". Nibali was fourth at two minutes 37 seconds.

In addition to the pain, Nibali was also having trouble breathing, a symptom associated with the fracture of this vertebra.

But the wily BMC rider exceeded expectations, joining an early breakaway that went on to build a healthy lead on the main peloton to stymie whatever plans Sky may have had of taking control of the race.

Dumoulin was next to attack, with Thomas on his wheel and a small gap to Froome and Bardet but all four were together again with 1,500m to race.

As expected, the Sky train ripped into Kruijswijk's lead.

Quick-Step Floors' Philippe Gilbert tried to take advantage of a slight drag up to the finish line and the decimation of the sprint field through abandonments in recent days as he attacked when they passed under the flamme rouge.

While it was another day of triumph for the Welshman, the sprinters labored once more, with Andre Greipel, Dylan Groenewegen and Fernando Gaviria dropping out.

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