Wednesday, 17 October, 2018

Froome still 'the leader' as triumphant Thomas pulls on yellow

Froome still 'the leader' as triumphant Thomas pulls on yellow Froome still 'the leader' as triumphant Thomas pulls on yellow
Domingo Copeland | 23 July, 2018, 13:19

Geraint Thomas of Team Sky became the first Briton to win a stage of the Tour de France on Alpe d'Huez and the first man to win here while wearing the yellow jersey as he extended his overall lead on stage 12.

That sees Froome move up to second in the general classification, one minute and 25 seconds behind, with Dumoulin third, a further 19 seconds back.

Alaphilippe, of the Quick Step team, launched an audacious lone attack on the third and penultimate climb and went on to solo over the finish several minutes ahead of the main peloton. "I let the wheel go because I knew the onus would be on the rest of the guys to chase". On the four Tours Froome has won, he has worn the yellow jersey after the first mountain stage.

"It's just unbelievable. Can we just go to Paris now?"

Froome recovered quickly to rejoin teammate Thomas but the Team Sky riders had fallen nearly seven minutes behind Van Avermaet and the breakaway group. He knows how to race over three weeks.

It appears Sky was biding its time.

"Obviously it's a huge relief to be in the position where I am now", added Froome.

There has been no shortage of drama in the first week of the Tour de France with sprint battles between young and old, struggles along the cobbles to Roubaix, Chris Froome yet to show his sharpness and Peter Sagan shining in the green jersey once again after two stage wins.

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Among the race's top contenders, France's Romain Bardet, Italian Vincenzo Nibali and Colombian Nairo Quintana crossed the line 59 seconds behind Thomas.

"There was a bit of bad luck for Nibali, I almost rode over his back wheel".

"If people want to come out and boo, then that's fine".

Froome punctured a tire on a gravel path atop the second climb up the beyond-category Montee du Plateau des Glieres, the first use of a dirt road by the Tour since 1987.

"Daredevil jumps over Tour de France peleton on BMX in insane stunt on stage 10 into the Alps Prankster flies above the riders on a narrow stretch of road, narrowly avoiding taking anyone out". Though the sight of Team Sky massed on the front of the peloton most of the day was not unexpected, the way in which he attacked with yellow on the line certainly was.

When it did, there were plenty of high-profile riders in it, including Kruijswijk, Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha-Alpecin), Mikel Nieve (Mitchelton-Scott), Serge Pauwels (Dimension Data) and white jersey Pierre Latour (Ag2r-La Mondiale). Dylan Groenewegen, the victor of stages 7 and 8, André Greipe and Fernando Gaviria all quit during Stage 12, joining riders such as Mark Cavendish and Marcel Kittel who were dropped during Stage 11.

"I had a little gap and then (Chris) Froome could follow the guys then, I committed, got across to (Tom) Dumoulin and then I was able to sit on because Froome was coming across".

La Rosire - Mark Cavendish's hopes of beating Eddy Merckx's record of 34 stage wins on the Tour de France were put on hold Wednesday when the British sprinter was sensationally eliminated from the Tour de France.

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