Thomas soars to 11th stage and into Tour's yellow jersey

Thomas soars to 11th stage and into Tour's yellow jersey

Ross Houston
July 20, 2018

Stage victor France's Julian Alaphilippe, wearing the best climber's dotted jersey, celebrates on the podium after the tenth stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 158.8 kilometers (98.7 miles) with start in Annecy and finish in Le Grand-Bornand, France, Tuesday, July 17, 2018.

But the few victory plaudits he received at the finish line, then on the podium, were quickly drowned out by boos and jeers. Don't spit at us.

But Thomas acknowledged that Nibali's crash took some of the luster away from his victory. "Voice your opinions all you want, but just let us do the racing". In my head, all I had to do was follow the main guys. THE Tour de France was hit by a unsafe prankster today - as a BMX rider jumped over the peloton.

Colombia's Egan Arley Bernal Gomez Britain's Geraint Thomas wearing the overall leader's yellow jersey and Britain's Chris Froome climb alpe d'huez during the twelfth stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 175.5 kilometers with start

"Both riders were spat at, Froome was shoved, shorts were dropped in their direction", reports Jeremy Whittle in The Guardian, "yet it was Vincenzo Nibali who ended up prone on the tarmac, after tangling with spectators, as the leaders were blinded by smoke from flares".

Nibali said: "The road became narrower and there were no barriers".

The four-time Tour victor briefly turned to remonstrate with the man who hit out at him with about 7 kilometres to go, but will be happy to have made it up safely. "But we have to bear in mind that if it impacts on the race, as it did with Nibali today, then that's too much".

"Obviously Froomey is the leader".

A former Olympic champion in track cycling, Thomas now leads four-time champion and teammate Chris Froome by 1min 39secs in the overall standings, with Dutchman Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb) third overall at 1:50.

Though Froome saw his deficit to yellow grow, he called Thomas' lead a "dream position" for Sky.

It was the first stage of this year's Tour to hit the alps, and Greg Van Avermaet extended his lead in the yellow jersey, as Julian Alaphilippe took out the stage. Chris Froome (Team Sky) +1 min 25 secs 3.

Otherwise, the team's inexorable quality was on full display, from the chase-down of a 40-mile solo breakaway by the Netherlands' Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo) to the astonishingly poised work done on Alpe d'Huez by 21-year-old Colombian Egan Bernal, who paced Thomas and Froome and covered would-be attackers.

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

After an arduous three days of mountain action, the sprinters will be pleased to see Friday's flat stage from Le Bourg-d'Oisans to Valence - a 169.5km ride.

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