Tour de France

Thomas triumphs in yellow, but booed on Alpe d'Huez

2018-07-19 18:31
Geraint Thomas (File)

Alpe d'Huez - Geraint Thomas became the first yellow jersey wearer since disgraced Lance Armstrong to triumph on the legendary Alpe d'Huez after a thrilling finale to a punishing Tour de France 12th stage on Thursday.

But the Welshman and team-mate Chris Froome were met by a chorus of boos and jeers at the finish as Team Sky's domination of the race continued.

Thomas took the lead of the race on Wednesday with an impressive victory atop La Rosiere on what was the second day in the Alps.

In a thrilling finale to the 175.5km race from Bourg Saint Maurice, the former track rider beat Dutchman Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb) by two seconds in a sprint to the line, with French climbing specialist Romain Bardet (AG2R) in third, to become the first Briton to triumph atop the legendary climb.

"Not even in my wildest dreams did I believe I would win at Alpe d'Huez, in the yellow jersey," said Thomas, who now leads four-time champion Froome by 1:39 in the overall standings. Dumoulin, the 2017 Giro d'Italia champion, is third at 1:50.

"It's just mental. I just can't believe I won the stage. It was just a case of following (teammate) Egan (Bernal)," added Thomas.

With Italian Vincenzo Nibali in hospital with a suspected fracture in his back, and Colombian Nairo Quintana now 4:13 off the pace, Sky are in pole position.

Yet hopes of soaking up their success were dashed when fans booed their riders as they crossed the finish line.

Earlier, Froome narrowly avoided disaster when he was struck by a fan at the roadside. It was unclear whether the fan's intention was to give a well-meaning slap, but there were also reports Froome was spat at.

Team Sky's brutal domination of the Tour and the pre-race controversy of Froome's 'adverse analytical finding' for double the permitted amount of asthma drug salbutamol at last year's Tour of Spain, is not sitting well with some fans.

But Thomas added: "People have their opinions, and that's fine.

"As long as they don't affect the race that's the main thing."

Sky's rivals were intent on redressing the balance on the third and final day in the Alps.

And for a long while, it looked like Thomas's lead was in danger when Dutchman Steven Kruijswijk launched an audacious attack after he had squeezed into an early breakaway.

Kruijswijk's bid was ultimately futile, and he said: "It's painful. This was one of the stages that was high on my list.

"I didn't plan to go in the breakaway, but once I did, I just had to go for it. 

"It's a big disappointment for me, but I'll keep on fighting."

The Lotto Jumbo rider, the highest-placed of the breakaway riders in sixth overall at 2:40 behind Thomas, became the virtual race leader on the long descent of the Col de la Madeleine.

But the Sky train ripped into his lead over the remainder.

Spanish veteran Alejandro Valverde's slim hopes of fighting for a podium place ended when he was spat out the back.

And after Quintana lost 47 seconds on the day, the Colombian said: "I gave it everything. Now, it's crucial we recover and see what we can do in the next mountain stages." 

After Kruijswijk was overtaken in the closing kilometres, Thomas and Froome countered attempts by Dumoulin and Bardet to shake them off.

When Thomas negotiated the final bend with tactical perfection, it gave the Welshman the extra metres required to forge ahead and claim the win.

Dumoulin lamented: "I'm not happy at all. Thomas was better, but when someone is better then you have to play it smart. And I was not smart."

The last Tour de France race leader to triumph on the Alpe was Armstrong, who was wearing the yellow jersey when he won a time trial in 2004.

The American's stage win, like all his results, was later scrapped from the history books after he was found guilty of doping throughout his career.

Standings from the 12th stage of Tour de France, a 175.5km ride from Bourg-St-Maurice to L'Alpe-d'Huez on Thursday:

1. Geraint Thomas (GBR/SKY) 175.5 km in 5hr 18min 37sec

(average speed: 33.1 km/h)

2. Tom Dumoulin (NED/SUN) at 2.

3. Romain Bardet (FRA/ALM) 3.

4. Christopher Froome (GBR/SKY) 4.

5. Mikel Landa (ESP/MOV) 7.

6. Primož Roglic (SLO/LNL) 13.

7. Vincenzo Nibali (ITA/BAH) 13.

8. Jakob Diemer Fuglsang (DEN/AST) 42.

9. Nairo Quintana (COL/MOV) 47.

10. Steven Kruijswijk (NED/LNL) 53.

11. Egan Bernal (COL/SKY) 1:41.

12. Daniel Martin (IRL/EAU) 1:45.

13. Bob Jungels (LUX/QST) 3:09.

14. Alejandro Valverde (ESP/MOV) 4:29.

15. Ilnur Zakarin (RUS/KAT) 4:29.

16. Pierre-Roger Latour (FRA/ALM) 4:35.

17. Jon Izagirre (ESP/BAH) 4:37.

18. Guillaume Martin (FRA/WGG) 4:40.

19. Tanel Kangert (EST/AST) 5:41.

20. David Gaudu (FRA/FDJ) 6:52.

21. Robert Gesink (NED/LNL) 8:24.

22. Simon Geschke (GER/SUN) 8:58.

23. Daniel Navarro (ESP/COF) 9:33.

24. Mikel Nieve (ESP/MIT) 9:57.

25. Pierre Rolland (FRA/EFD) 10:59.

26. Warren Barguil (FRA/FST) 10:59.

27. Rafal Majka (POL/BOR) 15:09.

28. Laurens ten Dam (NED/SUN) 15:39.

29. Oliver Naesen (BEL/ALM) 22:21.

30. Maxime Bouet (FRA/FST) 22:21.

31. Arthur Vichot (FRA/FDJ) 22:21.

32. Rudy Molard (FRA/FDJ) 22:21.

33. Michael Schär (SUI/BMC) 22:21.

34. Nicolas Edet (FRA/COF) 22:21.

35. Pavel Kochetkov (RUS/KAT) 22:21.

36. Michael Andersen (DEN/AST) 22:21.

37. Tejay Van Garderen (USA/BMC) 22:21.

38. Antwan Tolhoek (NED/LNL) 22:21.

39. Bauke Mollema (NED/TRE) 22:21.

40. Wout Poels (NED/SKY) 22:21.

41. Mathias Frank (SUI/ALM) 22:21.

42. Lawson Craddock (USA/EFD) 23:39.

43. Franco Pellizotti (ITA/BAH) 23:52.

44. Greg Van Avermaet (BEL/BMC) 24:25.

45. Daniel Martínez (COL/EFD) 24:25.

46. Gorka Izagirre (ESP/BAH) 24:25.

47. Rory Sutherland (AUS/EAU) 25:20.

48. Serge Pauwels (BEL/DDT) 25:55.

49. Jesper Hansen (DEN/AST) 26:22.

50. Jonathan Castroviejo (ESP/SKY) 26:30.

51. Julien Vermote (BEL/DDT) 26:30.

52. Stefan Kung (SUI/BMC) 26:30.

53. Julien Bernard (FRA/TRE) 26:39.

54. Thomas De Gendt (BEL/LOT) 26:39.

55. Tom Slagter (NED/DDT) 26:41.

56. Dimitri Claeys (BEL/COF) 26:41.

57. Philippe Gilbert (BEL/QST) 27:05.

58. Thomas Degand (BEL/WGG) 27:05.

59. Damiano Caruso (ITA/BMC) 27:05.

60. Paul Martens (GER/LNL) 27:05.

61. Sep Vanmarcke (BEL/EFD) 27:09.

62. Tomasz Marczynski (POL/LOT) 27:11.

63. Koen de Kort (NED/TRE) 27:52.

64. Marco Minnaard (NED/WGG) 27:52.

65. Amund Grondahl Jansen (NOR/LNL) 27:52.

66. Kristijan Durasek (CRO/EAU) 27:52.

67. Tobias Ludvigsson (SWE/FDJ) 28:54.

68. Laurent Pichon (FRA/FST) 28:54.

69. Dion Smith (NZL/WGG) 28:54.

70. Olivier Le Gac (FRA/FDJ) 28:54.

71. Damien Howson (AUS/MIT) 28:54.

72. Michal Kwiatkowski (POL/SKY) 28:54.

73. Nikias Arndt (GER/SUN) 28:54.

74. Luke Rowe (GBR/SKY) 28:54.

75. Adam Yates (GBR/MIT) 28:54.

76. Patrick Bevin (NZL/BMC) 28:54.

77. Gianni Moscon (ITA/SKY) 28:54.

78. Audrey Amador (CRC/MOV) 28:54.

79. Simon Gerrans (AUS/BMC) 28:54.

80. Edvald Boasson Hagen (NOR/DDT) 28:54.

81. Imanol Erviti (ESP/MOV) 28:54.

82. José Herrada Lopez (ESP/COF) 28:54.

83. Daryl Impey (RSA/MIT) 28:54.

84. Chad Haga (USA/SUN) 28:54.

85. Gregor Mühlberger (AUT/BOR) 28:54.

86. Silvan Dillier (SUI/ALM) 28:54.

87. Kévin Ledanois (FRA/FST) 28:54.

88. Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (BEL/WGG) 28:54.

89. Marc Soler (ESP/MOV) 28:54.

90. Toms Skujinš (LAT/TRE) 28:54.

91. Jérôme Cousin (FRA/DEN) 28:54.

92. Elie Gesbert (FRA/FST) 28:54.

93. Romain Sicard (FRA/DEN) 28:54.

94. Amaël Moinard (FRA/FST) 28:54.

95. Ian Boswell (USA/KAT) 28:54.

96. Lilian Calmejane (FRA/DEN) 28:54.

97. Anthony Perez (FRA/COF) 28:54.

98. Julien Simon (FRA/COF) 28:54.

99. Yoann Offredo (FRA/WGG) 28:54.

100. Julian Alaphilippe (FRA/QST) 29:11.

101. Soren Kragh Andersen (DEN/SUN) 29:55.

102. Jasper Stuyven (BEL/TRE) 31:19.

103. Lukas Pöstlberger (AUT/BOR) 31:19.

104. Yves Lampaert (BEL/QST) 31:19.

105. Magnus Nielsen (DEN/AST) 31:19.

106. Omar Fraile (ESP/AST) 31:19.

107. Marcus Burghardt (GER/BOR) 31:29.

108. Daniel Oss (ITA/BOR) 31:29.

109. Peter Sagan (SVK/BOR) 31:29.

110. Simon Clarke (AUS/EFD) 31:29.

111. Daniele Bennati (ITA/MOV) 31:33.

112. Jelle Vanendert (BEL/LOT) 31:37.

113. Pawel Poljanski (POL/BOR) 31:37.

114. Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (RSA/DDT) 31:45.

115. Taylor Phinney (USA/EFD) 31:45.

116. Kristjan Koren (SLO/BAH) 31:45.

117. Jay Thomson (RSA/DDT) 31:45.

118. Darwin Atapuma (COL/EAU) 31:45.

119. Maciej Bodnar (POL/BOR) 31:45.

120. Sylvain Chavanel (FRA/DEN) 31:45.

121. Tim Declercq (BEL/QST) 32:02.

122. Alexander Kristoff (NOR/EAU) 32:19.

123. Fabien Grellier (FRA/DEN) 32:27.

124. Michael Gogl (AUT/TRE) 32:41.

125. John Degenkolb (GER/TRE) 32:41.

126. Tom Scully (NZL/EFD) 32:48.

127. Andrea Pasqualon (ITA/WGG) 32:54.

128. Anthony Turgis (FRA/COF) 32:54.

129. Sonny Colbrelli (ITA/BAH) 33:02.

130. Domenico Pozzovivo (ITA/BAH) 33:02.

131. Florian Vachon (FRA/FST) 33:02.

132. Heinrich Haussler (AUS/BAH) 33:02.

133. Matthew Hayman (AUS/MIT) 33:02.

134. Edward Theuns (BEL/SUN) 33:02.

135. Thomas Boudat (FRA/DEN) 33:32.

136. Nils Politt (GER/KAT) 33:56.

137. Jasper De Buyst (BEL/LOT) 34:10.

138. Niki Terpstra (NED/QST) 34:29.

139. Roberto Ferrari (ITA/EAU) 34:44.

140. Arnaud Démare (FRA/FDJ) 34:58.

141. Damien Gaudin (FRA/DEN) 34:58.

142. Christophe Laporte (FRA/COF) 35:05.

143. Timo Roosen (NED/LNL) 35:08.

144. Timothy Dupont (BEL/WGG) 35:35.

145. Oliviero Troia (ITA/EAU) 36:22.

146. Marco Marcato (ITA/EAU) 36:24.

147. Michael Hepburn (AUS/MIT) 36:52.

148. Jack Bauer (NZL/MIT) 37:10.

149. Ramon Sinkeldam (NED/FDJ) 37:36.

150. Romain Hardy (FRA/FST) 37:53.

151. Jacopo Guarnieri (ITA/FDJ) 38:03.

152. Maximiliano Richeze (ARG/QST) 38:19.

153. Luke Durbridge (AUS/MIT) 39:27.

154. Dmitriy Gruzdev (KAZ/AST) Outside time limit

155. Rein Taaramae (EST/DEN) Outside time limit

156. Tony Gallopin (FRA/ALM) Retired

157. Fernando Gaviria (COL/QST) Retired

158. Rick Zabel (GER/KAT) Retired

159. Dylan Groenewegen (NED/LNL) Retired

160. André Greipel (GER/LOT) Retired

161. Marcel Sieberg (GER/LOT) Retired

162. Rigoberto Uran (COL/EFD) Withdrawn

Read more on:    tdf 2018  |  geraint thomas  |  cycling


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