Thomas grabs yellow, but victim of boos

Thomas grabs yellow, but victim of boos

Geraint Thomas became the first man to win up l'Alpe d'Huez with the yellow jersey on his shoulders on Thursday as he extended his Tour de France overall lead amid unsavoury scenes while sparking fresh questions about the Team Sky leadership.

"I just felt good today, I followed my instincts", said Thomas, who now leads Froome by one minute 25 seconds and third-placed Dumoulin by 1:44.

With only nine km to go, Thomas and Froome had cut the gap to three minutes, meaning Kruijswijk was barely ahead in virtual General Classification. On the four Tours Froome has won, he has worn the yellow jersey after the first mountain stage. We were low on numbers.

Froome recovered quickly to rejoin teammate Thomas but the Team Sky riders had fallen nearly seven minutes behind Van Avermaet and the breakaway group.

The Tour officials need to realise it's a three-week, 21-stage race, not a one-stage race that places riders in often chaotic circumstances.

Dumoulin, the time trial world champion, is Sky's closest challenger.

"Like I said yesterday, I'm still riding for Froomey".

Vincenzo Nibali, meanwhile, had to recover from a crash to finish 13 seconds adrift. "It was pretty steady", said Froome, whose climbing abilities should do the talking in the coming days.

Van Avermaet knows the jersey is only on loan - his lead will disappear the moment the GC riders decide to really duke it out in the mountains - but with his team leader Richie Porte out of the tour van Avermaet had nothing to lose.

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Froome, who won the Tour in 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2017, was cleared of a doping offense just before the start of the race after he tested positive for excessive levels of an anti-asthmatic drug during last year's Vuelta. Froome initially held back, marking counter-moves from AG2R La Mondiale's Romain Bardet and UAE Team Emirates' Dan Martin before leaving them both behind and catching Dumoulin.

"I don't know how many kilometers I was alone - phew, it was a bit risky but I tried to up the pace and I really profited".

"It is always an honour to be in yellow".

"If people don't like Sky and want to boo that's fine, boo all you like", he said.

"We didn't expect Kruijswijk to attack so hard, " Thomas said.

This victory adds to a successful season for the rider in which he has taken wins at the Colombia Oro y Paz, the Vuelta al Pais Vasco, the Fleche Wallonne and the Criterium du Dauphine.

Cycling - Tour de France - The 158.5-km Stage 10 from Annecy to Le Grand-Bornand - July 17, 2018 - Quick-Step Floors rider Julian Alaphilippe of France in action on the gravel section of the Plateau des Glieres. 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.

Dumoulin then attacked on the descent of the penultimate climb, the Cormet de Roseland, linking up with Valverde before the road rose up again towards La Rosiere.

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