Thomas in Tour lead, but loyal to Froome

19 July, 2018, 17:11 | Author: Nicole Aguilar
  • Britain

Stage victor Britain's Geraint Thomas and new overall leader celebrates on the podium after the eleventh stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 108.5 kilometers (67.4 miles) with start in Albertville and finish in La Rosiere Espace San Bernardo, France.

Movistar have three options in Alejandro Valverde, Nairo Quintana and Mikel Landa, but their conservative tactics are likely to do little to open up the race.

Many expected Thomas to wait for Froome to catch him and Dumoulin, but with Nieve in view, he powered on again and kicked into the lead inside the final 400 metres to take the stage win.

Wiggins, who is well aware of the tensions of riding in a team with two GC contenders, is convinced however that Sky will continue to use the twin threat of Thomas and Froome. Froome, however, already has a proven record with six grand tour wins.

Frenchman Bardet, however, is now lagging 2:58 off the pace ahead of Thursday's 12th stage ending up the iconic Alpe d'Huez. He knows how to race over three weeks.

"It's just how it is", Thomas said when asked about saying Froome remains the leader. For me it's an unknown.

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The Australian fractured his collarbone in an early crash and abandoned the race for the second year in a row. "But he has no references in a three-week race so we can always speculate on that", said Lavenu.

If Tour de France organizers wanted the soccer World Cup to end before the race started to heat up, then it is mission accomplished.

With BMC's Greg Van Avermaet struggling off the back of the peloton by the midpoint of the stage on the Col du Pre, the battle for yellow was on.

"It is unreal - I didn't expect it", he said. "Sometimes this happens, and this time, I think it's the best decision for me to recover and to recover well".

Alaphilippe increased his lead over Taaramäe in the descent before the final climb of the day, Col de la Colombiere, and with 20 km to go the French rider was 20 seconds in front. The 33-year-old won his first Tour stage in 2008 and his last in 2016.

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