Thomas unfazed by yellow jersey pressure on the Tour

Hope Soto
July 23, 2018

Sagan was given extra work after Belgian upstart Philippe Gilbert (Quick Step) brazenly attacked a leading peloton full of ambitious sprinters 930 metres from the line.

Between them, Cavendish (30), Kittel (14), Greipel (11) and Groenewegen (3) count 58 stage wins between them.

The Team Sky rider attacked six kilometres from the top of the final climb of this 108.5km stage from Albertville to claim his second career Tour stage win.

Although Froome is Sky's team leader, Thomas said: "I hope to keep the jersey as long as possible".

The GC group were well behind but some late fireworks saw Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo) grab a few seconds while the top three overall - Geraint Thomas and Chris Froome (Team Sky) and Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) finished together to put time into their other rivals.

Thomas said he didn't see the smoke bomb which, besides spitting out yellow fumes, appeared to do no harm.

"Afterwards you can always say it was too early, this and that, but it was a big group with some strong climbers, and I had to go before and not wait until they ripped it apart", said Stuyven.

"The team did a great job, but in the last kilometre I was maybe in 20th or 25th position, so I had to sprint to get back up to the front". No chance in hell did I think I was going to win this. "That's a question for the people on the side of the road".

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Froome, who won the Tour in 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2017, was cleared of a doping offence just before the start of the race after he tested positive for excessive levels of an anti-asthmatic drug during last year's Vuelta.

Thomas' teammate (and four-time Tour champion) Chris Froome crossed the line another second behind Bardet.

Speaking on Friday, Prudhomme described the behaviour of some fans as "immoral" as he called for respect.

Said Slagter after the punishing day: 'It was a good stage for us so we gave everything to be in the break.

So when it came to speaking out against the "excited" fans accused of sullying the sport during Thursday's drama-filled climb to the Alpe d'Huez, it was no surprise the maverick Slovakian did not play ball.

"It's not a nice situation obviously for me", said Thomas, like Wiggins a former track specialist turned into a grand tour rider.

In 2016 it was revealed that Team Sky helped Bradley Wiggins obtain a Therapeutic Use Exemption for the corticosteroid triamcinolone on the eve of the 2012 Tour de France, which he won.

Still, that didn't stop one spectator from placing an aggressive hand on Froome's back in a gesture that the rider did not appreciate.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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