Geraint Thomas makes it back-to-back wins

Jul 21, 2018, 02:13
Geraint Thomas makes it back-to-back wins

Froome was also three seconds off the pace as the boos came from the crowd.

At least for now, however, Thomas continues to toe the party line.

"Obviously Froomey is the leader". For me, it's an unknown. "I could lose 10 minutes".

Sprinting standout Mark Cavendish, meanwhile, finished far behind and missed the time limit, ending his Tour.

In the 175.5 km stage starting in Bourg-Saint-Maurice, Kruijswijk was one of the riders to break away from the peleton along with Julian Alaphilippe, who extended his lead in the King of the Mountain standings by winning the first climb of the day at Col de la Madeleine.

The Welshman survived a brutal final few kilometers on the switchbacks and then turned on the afterburners in the last few hundred meters to win the day.

"In my eyes Froomey is still our leader, " Thomas said.

Thomas moved into the lead with his victory Wednesday and mastered the grueling climb up the iconic Alpe d'Huez to cross the line in first place once more.

The four-time champion was constantly jeered on the last stretch, a 13.8km effort on an average gradient of 7.9 per cent, with one spectator running onto the road and trying to shove the controversial star.

The top five in the overall classification is rounded out by 2014 champion Vincenzo Nibali in fourth, 2:14 behind Thomas, and Primoz Roglic in fifth, 2:23 back.

With the race well poised before the next barrage of mountains Dumoulin was asked if he had seen enough on Alpe d'Huez to suggest that Team Sky could be beaten in this year's Tour de France.

The 33-year-old won his first Tour stage in 2008 and his last in 2016. And he is showing no signs of slowing down. "It's just an awesome feeling to win the stage and take the jersey".

"It doesn't change that much, it's still a similar position as we were in yesterday". But he was caught by Froome on the way up to Huez with 3.5 kilometres remaining. He seemed to back that up, if only briefly, on the road Thursday.

After a courageous effort, Kruijswijk dropped out with five km to go as Thomas, Froome, Dumoulin, Bardet and Landa jostled for the lead. From there, he mostly followed wheels.

When Froome launched what initially looked like a vintage attack on the small group that included Dutch star Tom Dumoulin, the Team Sunweb leader and 2017 Giro d'Italia champion reeled it in.

Cavendish struggled across the finish line atop the summit more than 1 hour, 5 minutes after stage victor Geraint Thomas.