Tuesday, 23 April, 2019

Mountain biker pulls stunt over Tour de France riders

Syndicate Post image Geraint Thomas follows team-mate Egan Bernal up Alpe d’Huez
Cary Erickson | 19 July, 2018, 04:23

British rider Geraint Thomas won the first summit finish of the race and claimed the yellow jersey on Wednesday while four-time champion Chris Froome moved up to second overall as Sky controlled numerous attacks.

Thomas showed his climbing prowess, finishing 20 seconds ahead of 2017 Giro d'Italia champion Tom Dumoulin and Froome.

Stage victor and new overall leader Geraint Thomas speeds downhill during the 11th stage of the Tour de France. Froomey knows how to win a three-week race.

Thomas is second in the general classification, 43 seconds behind leader Greg Van Avermaet, and 59 seconds in front of Sky team-mate Froome as cycling's premier road race heads towards the Alps.

Even with the yellow jersey, and a lead of 1:25 over Froome in second place, he will give his attention to Froome. "Obviously Geraint is in the ideal place now, we should see him going in to yellow over the next couple of days", Briton Froome told reporters on Monday.

Van Avermaet was expected to surrender the race lead he has held since the stage three team time trial as the race moved into the Alps, but the Olympic champion defied predictions as he joined a breakaway and stayed away on the road to Le Grand-Bornand.

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"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". For me it's an unknown. "Geraint is riding great and that puts us in a great place".

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.

Twice podium finisher Romain Bardet, hoping to become the first Frenchman to win the Tour since Bernard Hinault in 1985, has suffered from bad luck with four ill-timed punctures, including three in Sunday's stage to Roubaix.

When Taaramae failed to get back, Alaphilippe forged ahead on the Col de la Colombiere with the Estonian behind and Van Avermaet with Ion Izaguirre (Bahrain-Merida) further back. He wore the yellow jersey for four days a year ago - before dropping to second behind Froome - then crashed out on a descent in Stage 9.

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