Wednesday, 15 August, 2018

Sky chief slams Tour haters, calls race's billing into doubt

Tour de France temporarily halted by protesters as riders inadvertently tear-gassed Tour de France temporarily halted by protesters as riders inadvertently tear-gassed
Domingo Copeland | 24 July, 2018, 20:31

"I don't think it's going to stop - I'm not too optimistic on that front", he said of their hostile reception around France.

"If you don't want them to come then maybe race only with French teams, that might work".

Gianni Moscon will play no further part in this year's race after attacking Elie Gesbert.

"It doesn't get us down, we stay focused on the race, but it is really nice to feel that camaraderie", Froome said before Sunday's stage.

Sky's domination for the fourth consecutive year could mean the team's sixth Tour crown from the past seven editions.

What this clearly reiterates is that, although he's had a run-in with authorities because of a doping product, Froome - who was exonerated for the Salbutamol case - is the best GC rider of his generation.

As Team Sky's first line of defense at the Tour de France this year, Luke Rowe and Gianni Moscon were an important tandem for the opening kilometres of the stages.

Moscon was suspended by Sky for six weeks for a racist slur against a French rider previous year.

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"I've been feeling pretty good". That does leave us a guy short but we were the only GC team left in the race with eight guys.

Froome sits second in the general classification, 1 minute, 39 seconds behind Sky teammate Geraint Thomas.

In the history of the Tour, only three others have led the race for more days than Froome - Eddy Merckx [96], Bernard Hinault [75] and Miguel Indurain [60].

And he believes the personal ambitions of Froome and Thomas could also play a role.

With a final climb of 16 kilometers at an average gradient of more than eight percent, Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme hopes it will be a "dynamite stage".

Froome, chasing a record-equalling fifth Tour title, will no doubt have ideas on where he might snatch yellow away, but Thomas warned he would not give up the jersey easily.

"All this talk of attacking or not attacking. we are in an unbelievable position, we are one and two", said Froome, who won the Tour in 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2017.

"Yeah, we felt safe", said Thomas after finishing almost nine minutes behind stage victor Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step). It's the yellow jersey in the Tour de France, It's a massive honour just to be wearing it. What happened was wrong and was a bad example coming from me to everyone.

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