Tour de France

Froome still 'the leader' at Sky

2018-07-18 21:02
Geraint Thomas (Getty)

La Rosire - Geraint Thomas insists he will help Sky team-mate Chris Froome claim a record-equalling fifth victory on the Tour de France despite underlining his own credentials by pulling on the fabled yellow jersey on Wednesday.

A day after seeing his chances of taking the race lead dented by Sky's team tactics, Thomas underlined his Grand Tour credentials with a superb ride on the final climb of stage 11 that saw him overtake Spanish rival and friend Mikel Nieve (Mitchelton) inside the closing metres on his way to triumph at the line.

It was the Welshman's second stage win on the Tour, after his victory in the opening time trial last year which saw him wear the leader's yellow jersey for four days before crashing out on stage nine.

But while it left Thomas in a "dream" like state, it did little to settle the ongoing debate about whether Froome or Thomas is the leader for a Sky team that has won five of the last editions of the world's biggest bike race.

Froome is fresh from winning the Giro d'Italia and, having won the 2017 Tour of Spain and France, is targeting a fourth consecutive Grand Tour triumph and the first Giro d'Italia-Tour de France double since the 1998 feat of the late Marco Pantani of Italy.

Thomas, a former track rider, is a proven stage race winner who has never earned a podium place on a three-week Grand Tour.

"Obviously Froomey is the leader. He's won six Grand Tours and for me, it's an unknown," said Thomas.

"Froomey knows how to win a three-week race. Froomey's still the leader.

"For me, whatever happens now, it's been a successful Tour. It's just an amazing feeling to win the stage and take the jersey."

After seeing his yellow jersey dream go up in smoke Tuesday, when Sky refused to help overhaul Thomas's 43-sec deficit to overnight leader Greg Van Avermaet, the Welshman made amends in style.

It took until the final 6km of the fourth and final climb, over 17.6km, for the drama to unfold. And when Thomas was given a chance, he seized his chance.

"It was more of an opportunity, more instinct from myself," said Thomas.

An impromptu attack by Thomas prompted climbing specialist Romain Bardet to counter, which in turn prompted Froome, sitting in his wake, to counter the Frenchman.

For a moment, an internal leadership battle appeared to be looming.

But Thomas claimed Froome's move "was more about trying to distance the other guys."

Racing alongside Dutchman Tom Dumoulin in pursuit of Nieve, Thomas attacked the Sunweb team leader in the closing kilometre to overtake Nieve a few hundreds metres from the finish.

Froome finished 20secs later alongside Dumoulin to move up to second overall at 1:25 behind Thomas, with Dumoulin now third at 1:44.

"It was perfect, we didn't even have to talk and it was the right thing for 'G' to do to push on there," Froome said of Thomas in comments to Eurosport.

"I let the wheel go because I knew the onus would be on the rest of the guys to chase."

With Thomas in yellow and Froome second overall, Dumoulin is now their most likely rival. Sky are now "in an amazing position", added Froome.

Thomas said: "Obviously I'd love to stay up on the podium for as long as possible, but the main thing is winning.

"Froomey's still our best chance. There's still half the race to go."

Overall standings after the 11th stage of the Tour de France, a 108.5km ride from Albertville to La Rosiere on Wednesday:

1. Geraint Thomas (GBR/Sky) 44hrs 06min 16sec

2. Christopher Froome (GBR/SKY) at 1min 25sec

3. Tom Dumoulin (NED/SUN) 1:44.

4. Vincenzo Nibali (ITA/BAH) 2:14.

5. Primoz Roglic (SLO/LNL) 2:23.

6. Steven Kruijswijk (NED/LNL) 2:40.

7. Mikel Landa (ESP/MOV) 2:56.

8. Romain Bardet (FRA/ALM) 2:58.

9. Nairo Quintana (COL/MOV) 3:16.

10. Daniel Martin (IRL/EAU) 3:16.

11. Alejandro Valverde (ESP/MOV) 4:28.

12. Jakob Diemer Fuglsang (DEN/AST) 4:53.

13. Ilnur Zakarin (RUS/KAT) 4:58.

14. Mikel Nieve (ESP/MIT) 5:21.

15. Bob Jungels (LUX/QST) 5:50.

16. Adam Yates (GBR/MIT) 5:51.

17. Domenico Pozzovivo (ITA/BAH) 6:36.

18. Damiano Caruso (ITA/BMC) 10:01.

19. Serge Pauwels (BEL/DDT) 10:30.

20. Pierre-Roger Latour (FRA/ALM) 11:46.

21. Warren Barguil (FRA/FST) 12:46.

22. Rafal Majka (POL/BOR) 13:19.

23. Bauke Mollema (NED/TRE) 13:45.

24. Guillaume Martin (FRA/WGG) 13:49.

25. Tanel Kangert (EST/AST) 14:50.

26. Egan Bernal (COL/SKY) 19:21.

27. Greg Van Avermaet (BEL/BMC) 20:11.

28. Lilian Calmejane (FRA/DEN) 23:36.

29. Tejay Van Garderen (USA/BMC) 29:32.

30. Rigoberto Uran (COL/EFD) 31:03.

31. Jon Izagirre (ESP/BAH) 32:01.

32. Amal Moinard (FRA/FST) 33:52.

33. Julian Alaphilippe (FRA/QST) 34:44.

34. Gorka Izagirre (ESP/BAH) 34:49.

35. Soren Kragh Andersen (DEN/SUN) 34:51.

36. Rudy Molard (FRA/FDJ) 35:06.

37. Arthur Vichot (FRA/FDJ) 35:51.

38. Julien Bernard (FRA/TRE) 36:34.

39. Pierre Rolland (FRA/EFD) 37:08.

40. Simon Geschke (GER/SUN) 37:15.

41. Sylvain Chavanel (FRA/DEN) 37:29.

42. Rein Taaramae (EST/DEN) 39:42.

43. Maxime Bouet (FRA/FST) 40:06.

44. Robert Gesink (NED/LNL) 42:38.

45. Jos Herrada Lopez (ESP/COF) 43:45.

46. Kristijan Durasek (CRO/EAU) 43:51.

47. David Gaudu (FRA/FDJ) 44:36.

48. Mathias Frank (SUI/ALM) 44:49.

49. Daniel Martnez (COL/EFD) 45:13.

50. Stefan Kung (SUI/BMC) 45:17.

51. Philippe Gilbert (BEL/QST) 45:31.

52. Pavel Kochetkov (RUS/KAT) 45:58.

53. Daryl Impey (RSA/MIT) 47:57.

54. Michal Kwiatkowski (POL/SKY) 49:55.

55. Darwin Atapuma (COL/EAU) 50:15.

56. Tom Slagter (NED/DDT) 51:41.

57. Peter Sagan (SVK/BOR) 51:48.

58. Franco Pellizotti (ITA/BAH) 52:13.

59. Jasper Stuyven (BEL/TRE) 53:03.

60. Marco Minnaard (NED/WGG) 53:38.

61. Antwan Tolhoek (NED/LNL) 53:50.

62. Chad Haga (USA/SUN) 54:45.

63. Oliver Naesen (BEL/ALM) 54:46.

64. Laurens ten Dam (NED/SUN) 54:55.

65. Michael Andersen (DEN/AST) 55:02.

66. Audrey Amador (CRC/MOV) 55:21.

67. Magnus Nielsen (DEN/AST) 57:33.

68. Marcus Burghardt (GER/BOR) 57:38.

69. Andrea Pasqualon (ITA/WGG) 57:57.

70. Wout Poels (NED/SKY) 58:44.

71. Koen de Kort (NED/TRE) 58:52.

72. Omar Fraile (ESP/AST) 58:53.

73. Edvald Boasson Hagen (NOR/DDT) 59:24.

74. Tony Gallopin (FRA/ALM) 59:24.

75. Thomas De Gendt (BEL/LOT) 59:48.

76. Thomas Degand (BEL/WGG) 1 h 00:30.

77. Thomas Boudat (FRA/DEN) 1 h 00:35.

78. Nikias Arndt (GER/SUN) 1 h 00:41.

79. Nicolas Edet (FRA/COF) 1 h 02:01.

80. Tobias Ludvigsson (SWE/FDJ) 1 h 02:09.

81. Jelle Vanendert (BEL/LOT) 1 h 03:27.

82. Romain Sicard (FRA/DEN) 1 h 03:46.

83. Nils Politt (GER/KAT) 1 h 05:03.

84. Elie Gesbert (FRA/FST) 1 h 05:09.

85. Toms Skujins (LAT/TRE) 1 h 05:25.

86. Michael Gogl (AUT/TRE) 1 h 05:49.

87. Ian Boswell (USA/KAT) 1 h 05:59.

88. Julien Simon (FRA/COF) 1 h 06:27.

89. John Degenkolb (GER/TRE) 1 h 07:03.

90. Edward Theuns (BEL/SUN) 1 h 07:33.

91. Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (RSA/DDT) 1 h 07:35.

92. Jesper Hansen (DEN/AST) 1 h 08:13.

93. Paul Martens (GER/LNL) 1 h 08:14.

94. Daniel Navarro (ESP/COF) 1 h 09:01.

95. Yves Lampaert (BEL/QST) 1 h 09:04.

96. Alexander Kristoff (NOR/EAU) 1 h 09:33.

97. Imanol Erviti (ESP/MOV) 1 h 10:34.

98. Yoann Offredo (FRA/WGG) 1 h 10:40.

99. Sonny Colbrelli (ITA/BAH) 1 h 10:44.

100. Daniel Oss (ITA/BOR) 1 h 11:34.

101. Pawel Poljanski (POL/BOR) 1 h 11:38.

102. Marc Soler (ESP/MOV) 1 h 11:46.

103. Silvan Dillier (SUI/ALM) 1 h 12:48.

104. Gregor Mhlberger (AUT/BOR) 1 h 13:14.

105. Fernando Gaviria (COL/QST) 1 h 14:02.

106. Luke Durbridge (AUS/MIT) 1 h 14:12.

107. Sep Vanmarcke (BEL/EFD) 1 h 14:25.

108. Matthew Hayman (AUS/MIT) 1 h 14:26.

109. Florian Vachon (FRA/FST) 1 h 15:35.

110. Romain Hardy (FRA/FST) 1 h 16:07.

111. Kristjan Koren (SLO/BAH) 1 h 16:23.

112. Dion Smith (NZL/WGG) 1 h 17:49.

113. Marco Marcato (ITA/EAU) 1 h 17:50.

114. Jonathan Castroviejo (ESP/SKY) 1 h 17:55.

115. Jrme Cousin (FRA/DEN) 1 h 18:09.

116. Simon Clarke (AUS/EFD) 1 h 18:29.

117. Laurent Pichon (FRA/FST) 1 h 18:36.

118. Anthony Perez (FRA/COF) 1 h 18:45.

119. Jack Bauer (NZL/MIT) 1 h 19:27.

120. Heinrich Haussler (AUS/BAH) 1 h 19:51.

121. Dmitriy Gruzdev (KAZ/AST) 1 h 20:15.

122. Tomasz Marczynski (POL/LOT) 1 h 20:33.

123. Michael Schr (SUI/BMC) 1 h 22:23.

124. Gianni Moscon (ITA/SKY) 1 h 22:26.

125. Patrick Bevin (NZL/BMC) 1 h 23:45.

126. Tim Declercq (BEL/QST) 1 h 24:13.

127. Lukas Pstlberger (AUT/BOR) 1 h 25:32.

128. Julien Vermote (BEL/DDT) 1 h 25:36.

129. Damien Howson (AUS/MIT) 1 h 26:50.

130. Ramon Sinkeldam (NED/FDJ) 1 h 26:55.

131. Tom Scully (NZL/EFD) 1 h 27:12.

132. Arnaud Dmare (FRA/FDJ) 1 h 27:34.

133. Kvin Ledanois (FRA/FST) 1 h 28:05.

134. Olivier Le Gac (FRA/FDJ) 1 h 28:07.

135. Oliviero Troia (ITA/EAU) 1 h 28:09.

136. Andr Greipel (GER/LOT) 1 h 28:43.

137. Simon Gerrans (AUS/BMC) 1 h 28:51.

138. Niki Terpstra (NED/QST) 1 h 29:03.

139. Maximiliano Richeze (ARG/QST) 1 h 29:23.

140. Rory Sutherland (AUS/EAU) 1 h 30:44.

141. Taylor Phinney (USA/EFD) 1 h 31:24.

142. Michael Hepburn (AUS/MIT) 1 h 31:48.

143. Timothy Dupont (BEL/WGG) 1 h 32:21.

144. Roberto Ferrari (ITA/EAU) 1 h 32:28.

145. Luke Rowe (GBR/SKY) 1 h 33:16.

146. Christophe Laporte (FRA/COF) 1 h 33:44.

147. Daniele Bennati (ITA/MOV) 1 h 35:14.

148. Damien Gaudin (FRA/DEN) 1 h 35:44.

149. Marcel Sieberg (GER/LOT) 1 h 36:13.

150. Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (BEL/WGG) 1 h 36:32.

151. Maciej Bodnar (POL/BOR) 1 h 37:14.

152. Dimitri Claeys (BEL/COF) 1 h 40:12.

153. Fabien Grellier (FRA/DEN) 1 h 41:22.

154. Jacopo Guarnieri (ITA/FDJ) 1 h 42:07.

155. Anthony Turgis (FRA/COF) 1 h 45:19.

156. Jasper De Buyst (BEL/LOT) 1 h 45:59.

157. Rick Zabel (GER/KAT) 1 h 48:46.

158. Timo Roosen (NED/LNL) 1 h 52:19.

159. Jay Thomson (RSA/DDT) 1 h 53:48.

160. Dylan Groenewegen (NED/LNL) 1 h 55:19.

161. Amund Grondahl Jansen (NOR/LNL) 1 h 56:34.

162. Lawson Craddock (USA/EFD) 2 h 10:02.



Read more on:    tdf 2018  |  geraint thomas  |  chris froome  |  cycling

 

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