Alaphilippe wins protest-hit stage

Posted July 28, 2018

Froome had put a raincoat over his racing uniform to keep warm, on a day when he cracked on the final climb to Col du Portet, drastically decreasing his chances of a record-tying fifth title.

Among them was world champion Peter Sagan and Briton Geraint Thomas, who retained the overall leader's yellow jersey after an otherwise comfortable 218-km mountain ride from Carcassonne.

"I don't know how you prepare", Thomas says.

Geraint Thomas (Sky) in the yellow jersey, second-placed Chris Froome (Sky) and the other riders atop the standings trailed about 9 minutes behind.

The officer tried to stop Froome and this caused him to crash. "(Thomas) has ridden such an fantastic race, he deserves to be in yellow and fingers crossed he holds it now until Paris".

Froome, who had been aiming for a fourth consecutive Grand Tour victory after triumphing at the Vuelta a Espana last year and this year's Giro d'Italia, is now in a battle for a podium place.

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This is happening just as we are trying to call the fans to be calm, to make sure that the riders - their riders - and especially Chris Froome, are respected.

It was a gift, but Alaphilippe didn't care as he cruised to his second stage win of this year's Tour.

"Froomey said on the radio @ maybe 5K or 4K to go that he wasn't feeling super", Thomas said.

"My intention was never to criticise, just to draw some attention to the fact that I was getting pretty anxious about our guys", Brailsford added.

The climber from Boyaca proved to be too strong for his competitors during the 65-kilometer mountain stage of which 42 were uphill.

"This was all I had, this was all we had today", Dumoulin continued.

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The main contenders crossed the line in a group some nine minutes after Alaphilippe to mean there is no change at the top of the general classification.

The Movistar rider attacked close to the foot of the 16km climb as he followed a move launched by UAE Team Emirates rider Martin, though he quickly shook him off and was left to pursue him alone.

Dutchman Dumoulin leapfrogged defending champion Froome into second, after a decisive attack 2 kilometres from the finish.

Froome was not alone in cracking on the final climb, as AG2R La Mondiale's Romain Bardet and Quintana's team-mate Mikel Landa also fell away.

France's most iconic sporting event - an organised protest against French government policy - was interrupted by a bicycle race overnight, resulting in the accidental teargassing of several Tour De France riders.

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