Tour de France

French sprinter Demare powers to TDF Stage 18 win

2018-07-26 18:21
Arnaud Demare (Twitter)

Pau - Frenchman Arnaud Demare silenced his critics with a superb sprint finish that grabbed him victory over compatriot Christophe Laporte in the 18th stage of the Tour de France on Thursday.

Britain's Geraint Thomas finished close behind to tighten his grip on the yellow jersey three days before the 21st and final stage in Paris.

The Welshman holds a 1:59 lead on Dutch rival Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb) with his Sky team-mate and four-time champion Chris Froome in third at 2:31 heading into Friday's 19th stage.

"I think we're expecting the worst, hoping for the best," said Thomas, who is expecting attacks from his rivals on the final day in the mountains Friday.

Froome, notably, is expected to come under attack by Primoz Roglic as the Slovenian, in fourth 16 seconds behind him, targets a podium place in Paris.

Thomas added: "I think guys will try to take any opportunity they can. It will be interesting, but we've been riding really well all race."

What was the penultimate chance for a diminished sprint field to snatch some glory was not going to be missed by the fast men of the peloton.

And a day after Slovakian sprint king Peter Sagan suffered injuries in a crash that almost ended his campaign, Demare capitalised.

His Groupama team worked hard, first in easily chasing down an early five-man breakaway, and particularly in the final, technical kilometres of the stage to make sure Demare was primed for a final burst to the line.

But the Frenchman, who angered Laporte by veering from his line when he sprinted from just inside 200 metres, was also inspired by comments aimed at him by Germany's Andre Greipel.

Greipel, one of several sprinters to pull out in the Alps, while others, like Mark Cavendish and Marcel Kittel, missed the time cut, accused Demare of holding on to a car to make it through the mountains on Stage 17.

"The best answer I could give Andre Greipel was to win today," said Demare, who faced similar accusations on his way to victory in Milan-San Remo in 2016.

"Obviously what he said hurt me, and was also insulting. It's regrettable that people doubt my performances.

"I know I'm not the best in the mountains, but I work hard to make sure I get through them."

Bora rider Sagan is mathematically assured of his sixth green jersey for the points competition but, having won three stages already, admitted he was lucky to still be in the race.

"I can't complain, I could be worse," said Sagan.

"I was in a lot of pain. Tomorrow will be much harder, but I consider myself lucky that, after such a crash, I'm still in the race and not sitting at home.

"But it was my own mistake yesterday. There was no motorbike in front of me. I flew into the forest, like a bird."

Colombian Nairo Quintana (Movistar) and Briton Adam Yates were among several riders caught up in a crash Thursday, although both got back on their bikes to finish the stage.

"It was a stupid fall," said Quintana, who claimed an impressive solo win on the summit of the Col du Portet on Wednesday that took him to fifth overall at 3:30 behind Thomas.

"I hurt my ankle and my shoulder, but I hope it's nothing. Tomorrow we'll be ready for the stage."

The peloton will notably tackle the Col d'Aspin, the Col du Tourmalet and the Col d'Aubisque on a stage 19 which finishes with a 20km downhill run into Laruns.

Results from the 18th stage of Tour de France, a 171km ride from Trie-sur-Baise to Pau on Thursday:

1. Arnaud Demare (FRA/FDJ) 171.0 km in 3hrs 46min 50sec

2. Christophe Laporte (FRA/COF) at 0.

3. Alexander Kristoff (NOR/EAU) 0.

4. Edvald Boasson Hagen (NOR/DDT) 0.

5. Sonny Colbrelli (ITA/BAH) 0.

6. Maximiliano Richeze (ARG/QST) 0.

7. John Degenkolb (GER/TRE) 0.

8. Peter Sagan (SVK/BOR) 0.

9. Taylor Phinney (USA/EFD) 0.

10. Timothy Dupont (BEL/WGG) 0.

11. Yves Lampaert (BEL/QST) 0.

12. Jasper De Buyst (BEL/LOT) 0.

13. Oliver Naesen (BEL/ALM) 0.

14. Reinardt Janse van Rensburg (RSA/DDT) 0.

15. Jacopo Guarnieri (ITA/FDJ) 0.

16. Michael Hepburn (AUS/MIT) 0.

17. Andrea Pasqualon (ITA/WGG) 0.

18. Lilian Calmejane (FRA/DEN) 0.

19. Nils Politt (GER/KAT) 0.

20. Magnus Cort Nielsen (DEN/AST) 0.

21. Kevin Ledanois (FRA/FST) 0.

22. Michael Schaer (SUI/BMC) 0.

23. Jerome Cousin (FRA/DEN) 0.

24. Koen de Kort (NED/TRE) 0.

25. Greg Van Avermaet (BEL/BMC) 0.

26. Stefan Kung (SUI/BMC) 0.

27. Tom Dumoulin (NED/SUN) 0.

28. Jasper Stuyven (BEL/TRE) 0.

29. Sylvain Chavanel (FRA/DEN) 0.

30. Michal Kwiatkowski (POL/SKY) 0.

31. Geraint Thomas (GBR/SKY) 0.

32. Daniele Bennati (ITA/MOV) 0.

33. Chris Froome (GBR/SKY) 0.

34. Domenico Pozzovivo (ITA/BAH) 0.

35. Jack Bauer (NZL/MIT) 0.

36. Edward Theuns (BEL/SUN) 0.

37. Mikel Landa (ESP/MOV) 0.

38. Romain Bardet (FRA/ALM) 0.

39. Rudy Molard (FRA/FDJ) 0.

40. Timo Roosen (NED/LNL) 0.

41. Paul Martens (GER/LNL) 0.

42. Primoz Roglic (SLO/LNL) 0.

43. Pierre Latour (FRA/ALM) 0.

44. Alejandro Valverde (ESP/MOV) 0.

45. Jakob Fuglsang (DEN/AST) 0.

46. Nairo Quintana (COL/MOV) 0.

47. Dan Martin (IRL/EAU) 0.

48. Ilnur Zakarin (RUS/KAT) 0.

49. Amund Grondahl Jansen (NOR/LNL) 0.

50. Tejay van Garderen (USA/BMC) 0.

51. Steven Kruijswijk (NED/LNL) 0.

52. Guillaume Martin (FRA/WGG) 0.

53. Tanel Kangert (EST/AST) 0.

54. Silvan Dillier (SUI/ALM) 0.

55. Bob Jungels (LUX/QST) 0.

56. Warren Barguil (FRA/FST) 0.

57. Arthur Vichot (FRA/FDJ) 0.

58. Kristijan Durasek (CRO/EAU) 0.

59. Robert Gesink (NED/LNL) 0.

60. Egan Bernal (COL/SKY) 0.

61. Bauke Mollema (NED/TRE) 0.

62. Imanol Erviti (ESP/MOV) 0.

63. Dion Smith (NZL/WGG) 0.

64. Nikias Arndt (GER/SUN) 0.

65. Anthony Turgis (FRA/COF) 0.

66. Soren Kragh Andersen (DEN/SUN) 0.

67. Julien Bernard (FRA/TRE) 0.

68. Pavel Kochetkov (RUS/KAT) 0.

69. Laurens ten Dam (NED/SUN) 0.

70. Audrey Amador (CRC/MOV) 0.

71. Simon Geschke (GER/SUN) 0.

72. Maxime Bouet (FRA/FST) 0.

73. Laurent Pichon (FRA/FST) 0.

74. Jay Thomson (RSA/DDT) 0.

75. Amael Moinard (FRA/FST) 0.

76. Maciej Bodnar (POL/BOR) 0.

77. Yoann Offredo (FRA/WGG) 0.

78. Mathias Frank (SUI/ALM) 0.

79. Thomas Degand (BEL/WGG) 0.

80. Marco Minnaard (NED/WGG) 0.

81. Julien Vermote (BEL/DDT) 0.

82. Julien Simon (FRA/COF) 0.

83. Heinrich Haussler (AUS/BAH) 0.

84. Daryl Impey (RSA/MIT) 0.

85. Simon Gerrans (AUS/BMC) 0.

86. Kristjan Koren (SLO/BAH) 0.

87. Luke Rowe (GBR/SKY) 0.

88. Daniel Oss (ITA/BOR) 0.

89. David Gaudu (FRA/FDJ) 0.

90. Oliviero Troia (ITA/EAU) 52.

91. Roberto Ferrari (ITA/EAU) 1:01.

92. Tom Scully (NZL/EFD) 1:03.

93. Toms Skujins (LAT/TRE) 1:03.

94. Sep Vanmarcke (BEL/EFD) 1:03.

95. Ramon Sinkeldam (NED/FDJ) 1:08.

96. Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (BEL/WGG) 1:10.

97. Damiano Caruso (ITA/BMC) 1:13.

98. Chad Haga (USA/SUN) 1:17.

99. Michael Andersen (DEN/AST) 1:19.

100. Pierre Rolland (FRA/EFD) 1:19.

101. Dimitri Claeys (BEL/COF) 1:19.

102. Marcus Burghardt (GER/BOR) 1:23.

103. Florian Vachon (FRA/FST) 1:30.

104. Daniel Martnez (COL/EFD) 1:53.

105. Tomasz Marczynski (POL/LOT) 1:53.

106. Romain Hardy (FRA/FST) 1:53.

107. Michael Gogl (AUT/TRE) 2:03.

108. Gorka Izagirre (ESP/BAH) 2:03.

109. Marco Marcato (ITA/EAU) 2:11.

110. Olivier Le Gac (FRA/FDJ) 2:21.

111. Thomas De Gendt (BEL/LOT) 2:21.

112. Antwan Tolhoek (NED/LNL) 2:21.

113. Nicolas Edet (FRA/COF) 2:21.

114. Gregor Muehlberger (AUT/BOR) 2:21.

115. Jesper Hansen (DEN/AST) 2:21.

116. Lukas Poestlberger (AUT/BOR) 2:21.

117. Rafal Majka (POL/BOR) 2:21.

118. Adam Yates (GBR/MIT) 2:21.

119. Mikel Nieve (ESP/MIT) 2:21.

120. Pawel Poljanski (POL/BOR) 2:21.

121. Daniel Navarro (ESP/COF) 2:21.

122. Anthony Perez (FRA/COF) 2:26.

123. Simon Clarke (AUS/EFD) 2:26.

124. Omar Fraile (ESP/AST) 2:34.

125. Jose Herrada Lopez (ESP/COF) 2:34.

126. Romain Sicard (FRA/DEN) 2:34.

127. Jon Izagirre (ESP/BAH) 2:34.

128. Damien Gaudin (FRA/DEN) 2:34.

129. Fabien Grellier (FRA/DEN) 2:34.

130. Franco Pellizotti (ITA/BAH) 2:34.

131. Marc Soler (ESP/MOV) 2:34.

132. Jonathan Castroviejo (ESP/SKY) 2:34.

133. Elie Gesbert (FRA/FST) 2:34.

134. Jelle Vanendert (BEL/LOT) 3:06.

135. Julian Alaphilippe (FRA/QST) 3:06.

136. Tom Slagter (NED/DDT) 3:06.

137. Darwin Atapuma (COL/EAU) 3:06.

138. Wout Poels (NED/SKY) 3:32.

139. Niki Terpstra (NED/QST) 3:32.

140. Thomas Boudat (FRA/DEN) 3:38.

141. Matthew Hayman (AUS/MIT) 3:45.

142. Luke Durbridge (AUS/MIT) 3:45.

143. Rory Sutherland (AUS/EAU) 3:56.

144. Ian Boswell (USA/KAT) 3:56.

145. Tobias Ludvigsson (SWE/FDJ) 3:56.

146. Lawson Craddock (USA/EFD) 4:38.

Read more on:    tdf 2018  |  cycling

 

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