Geraint Thomas made to wait for the yellow jersey

19 Julio, 2018, 04:26 | Author: Thomas Hicks
  • Stage winner France's Julian Alaphilippe wearing the best climber's dotted jersey celebrates on the podium after the tenth stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 158.8 kilometers with start in Annecy and finish in Le Grand

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.

Wiggins, who was famously embroiled in a power struggle with teammate Chris Froome at the 2012 Tour, suggested that Brailsford's approach to the leadership rivalry between Geraint Thomas and Froome could be "quite divisive" and "self-serving" with the success of the team as the main priority.

Froome punctured a tire on a gravel path atop the second climb up the beyond-category Montee du Plateau des Glieres, the first use of a dirt road by the Tour since 1987. Thomas has been one of Froome's most loyal lieutenants for years and Sky labeled him a co-leader with Froome entering this year's Tour. That gave him extra time to soak up the applause from the French fans for the country's first victor in this race, two days after France won the World Cup.

Thomas started the day two minutes and 22 seconds behind Van Avermaet in the standings but the Belgian rider, who had been leading the General Classification standings since Stage 3, was dropped by the peleton early on.

Movistar have three options in Alejandro Valverde, Nairo Quintana and Mikel Landa, but their conservative tactics are likely to do little to open up the race.

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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.

QuickStep Floors rider Alaphilippe attacked from what remained of the breakaway on the Col de Romme and went solo over the Col de la Colombiere to claim victory. For me it's an unknown. "How the team want to ride", Thomas added.

"To wear the yellow jersey is always a massive honor", Thomas said.

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. I managed to do it last year but to do it two years on the trot is really nice'.

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

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