Thomas takes stage win and yellow jersey on Tour de France
Thomas takes stage win and yellow jersey on Tour de France
Tour de France 2018 - Julian Alaphilippe wins Stage 10 as tour hits the mountains
23 July, 2018, 13:17
"(Thomas" attack) was a bit of a spur of the moment thing for us but it made sense, it was flawless, we didn't even have to talk.
"We were pretty happy to have the numbers up front".
A one-day classic specialist who won the prestigious Fleche Wallonne last Spring, Alaphilippe brought his team their 50th win of the season.
Spain's Alejandro Valverde, who was on the attack in the final climb, finished 3:30 off the pace, and Britain's Adam Yates crossed the line 4:42 behind.
Colombian Uran, who suffered a crash on the cobbles in Sunday's ninth stage, finished two minutes 29 seconds behind the group of main contenders as his podium hopes virtually vanished in the first Alpine stage.
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.
"I think the race, as always, will decide (leadership)", the four-time Tour victor said.
The victory for Thomas sees him extend his overall lead to one minute and 39 seconds over Froome, while Dumoulin is a further 11 seconds back.
"I've been called a lot worse - on my Richter scale, that's not bad", he said.
Thomas' performance has prompted more questions about who is Sky's team leader now they have the top two riders in the general classification, ahead of Thursday's third stage in the Alps.
At this early stage of the Tour, the General Classification is misleading with numerous riders set to suffer in the mountains this week, providing an opportunity for the likes of Thomas, Froome, Nairo Quintana, Vincenzo Nibali and Tom Dumoulin to show their true climbing potential.
All that was left for Alaphilippe to do was descend the remaining 14 km to Le Grand Bornard, crossing the line one minute and 34 seconds ahead of Ion Izaguirre Insausti for his first Tour de France stage win.
Thomas will wear the yellow jersey when the Tour continues from Bourg-Saint-Maurice Les Arcs around 21 bends to the notorious Alpe d'Huez.
Froome attacked with 3.5 kilometers to go and passed longtime leader Steven Kruijswik.
Van Avermaet got out in an early breakaway that managed to open up a seven-minute gap over the pack midway through the stage. Dylan Groenewegen, the victor of stages 7 and 8, André Greipe and Fernando Gaviria all quit during Stage 12, joining riders such as Mark Cavendish and Marcel Kittel who were dropped during Stage 11. Hopefully that means we will be able to cover any threats that we're under.
"Then when I got the spare wheel from my teammate I realised that the wheel was also flat so there was a little bit of a comedy of errors going on there".
"There were two police motorbikes and the road became narrow, there were no barriers and Froome attacked, traffic slowed down and I fell".
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