Geraint Thomas wins Alpe d'Huez stage and extends GC lead at Tour de France
Jul 19 2018 11:48 pm CET

Geraint Thomas wins Alpe d'Huez stage and extends GC lead at Tour de France
Geraint Thomas wins Alpe d'Huez stage and extends GC lead at Tour de France
Photo of Geraint Thomas

Geraint Thomas (Sky) has won the second stage in a row at the Tour de France. The rider sprinted at the last metres and crossed the finish line ahead of Tom Dumoulin.

The third Alpine stage was 175.5 kilometres long between Bourg-Saint-Maurice Les Arcs and the iconic Alpe d'Huez, featuring one climb of the second category and three hors-category ascents. Early on the stage a strong group of riders formed a breakaway and built a good gap with the peloton.

This group included the riders like Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo), Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors), Warren Barguil (Fortuneo-Samsic), Pierre Rolland (EF Education First), Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), Laurens ten Dam (Sunweb) and Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha-Alpecin), among others.

At the ascent of the Col de la Croix de Fer, Kruijswijk, Valverde, Rolland and Barguil attacked but after some kilometres, the Dutchman of LottoNL-Jumbo went away on his own.

The day proved to be extremely difficult for the fast men and riders like Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNL-Jumbo), Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors) and Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal) stepped out of the race.

At the first kilometres of the climb of the Alpe D'Huez, riders like Valverde, Bob Jungels (Quick-Step Floors), Zakarin and Dan Martin (UAE Team Emirates) suffered the consequences of the pace set by Sky at the front. With nine kilometres to go, Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) attacked but some metres later, he was reeled back in by the favourites group.

At eight kilometres from the finish, Nairo Quintana (Sky) attacked but the pace of Egan Bernal (Sky) caught him with ease. One kilometre later, Mikel Landa (Movistar) made a move and was followed by Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale), who at the end could continue on his own and left the Spaniard behind.

Shortly after, the pace of the favourites group was too hard for Quintana, who was left struggling behind. With four kilometres to go, Bernal's job was done and Geraint Thomas (Sky) took the lead of the group.

A couple of metres later, Chris Froome (Sky) attacked, caught Bardet and kept going on his own. The Briton caught Kruisjwijk at three kilometres from the finish and behind him, Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb) increased the pace and took Thomas and Bardet with him, back to Froome.

At 2.6 kilometres from the end, Bardet made a new acceleration but soon the gap was closed by Froome. Some metres later, Dumoulin attacked and took Thomas with him, but they were soon re-joined by Froome and Bardet.

The quartet kept going and at the last kilometre Landa got to that group again and attacked straight away, to no avail. Thomas sprinted in the last metres and took the stage victory, being closely followed by Dumoulin, while Bardet was third on the day.

With this victory, Thomas extends his GC lead.




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