Constant action but same result at Tour: Sky domination

Jul 19, 2018, 00:09
Constant action but same result at Tour: Sky domination

Thomas leads the race overall from Froome by one minute 25 seconds. For me, whatever happens now it is a super successful Tour.

Yellow jersey van Avermaet (BMC Racing) also got into the breakaway, to not only retain the maillot jaune but extend his overall lead, too.

"It is an ideal scenario at the moment", Thomas added.

Froome is 59 seconds further back and 2014 champion Vincenzo Nibali trails the Briton by six seconds.

Thomas has never won a Grand Tour, while Froome has six titles in total - including four in France - and remains optimistic about his chances after a chaotic Stage 9 on the cobbles in which the defending champion suffered a crash.

So will Thomas, wearing the yellow jersey, sacrifice himself for Froome on Thursday's climb up legendary Alpe d'Huez?

The 115-km final stage of the race is on Sunday, July 29 and goes from Houilles to Paris Champs-Elysees.

The other top contenders - 2014 Tour victor Vincenzo Nibali, Nairo Quintana and Romain Bardet - finished 59 seconds behind Thomas on Wednesday.

"I'm great. I'm right where I wanted to be coming into the race, bar losing time on the very first stage".

Inside the final kilometre, Thomas kicked again and swept past Nieve with a couple of hundred metres remaining to the line as the Spaniard faded.

"We were low on numbers, so it was instinct when I went".

"That means they will have only six riders who can "ride" with other teams attacking, that's going to be a lot more hard than with eight".

Thomas, who is from Wales, required slightly less than 3 1/2 hours to complete the 108.5-kilometer (67-mile) route from 1992 Winter Olympics host city Albertville to La Rosiere Espace San Bernardo ski station.

It was the first career stage win for 26-year-old Alaphilippe.

But Van Avermaet, who predicted he would lose the yellow jersey before stages Tuesday and Wednesday, cracked on the second of three major climbs Wednesday.

The Quick-Step Floors rider gradually pulled away as he turned a bid for the climbers' polka-dot jersey into a first French stage win of this year's Tour.

The first overall contender to attack was Alejandro Valverde up the Col du Pre.

Despite having Sky teammates at the front of the peloton, once Froome got a wheel from teammate Jonathan Castroviejo, he was left all alone for several minutes until Wout Poels eventually dropped back to help him get back.