Froome says team will defend yellow for Thomas

Carrie Guzman
July 18, 2018

Wiggins, who is well aware of the tensions of riding in a team with two GC contenders, is convinced however that Sky will continue to use the twin threat of Thomas and Froome.

With a climb to open the stage the jostling to be in the break started early with an attack by Alaphilippe which created a few splits but nothing important so early.

It was the third stage win for the Quick-Step team at this Tour.

Dumoulin now sits third, a further 19 seconds back.

Defending champion Chris Froome's Team Sky controlled the pace and prevented attacks as headwinds blew in the ascent of the col de la Colombiere.

It was the first career stage win for 26-year-old Alaphilippe.

Yellow jersey van Avermaet (BMC Racing) also got into the breakaway, to not only retain the maillot jaune but extend his overall lead, too.

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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Geraint Thomas (Sky) remains in second place while Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) jumped a couple of places to move to third overall. 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.

But while Team Sky could celebrate, Team Dimension Data did not get the Mandela Day gift they were hoping for as Mark Cavendish faced elimination from the Tour, missing the time cut after being dropped early on and spending the entire stage off the back.

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.

"We were low on numbers, so it was instinct when I went".

'I had a little gap and then obviously Froomey could follow the guys then.

"I'm feeling good and optimistic about the upcoming stages", the four-time champion said on Monday, the Tour's first rest day.

Alaphilippe now leads the King of the Mountain standings and will wear the polka dot jersey during Stage 11. I managed to do it last year but to do it two years on the trot is really nice'.

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