Thomas grabs yellow, but victim of boos

Tanya Simon
July 20, 2018

Four-time Tour de France champion Chris Froome found himself physically targeted by an angry spectator on Thursday as Team Sky's historic day at l'Alpe d'Huez was overshadowed by boos directed at both him and brilliant stage victor Geraint Thomas.

As if Wednesday's victory to put him into the yellow jersey wasn't heady enough, in gripping scenes at the top of Alpe d'Huez yesterday Thomas went one better, surging to the top of the most famous climb in cycling while wearing the yellow jersey.

Only five other riders, counting Nibali, are within four minutes of Thomas: Primoz Roglic of Slovenia, who flew under radar Thursday thanks to the exploits of his LottoNL-Jumbo teammate Kruijswijk; Romain Bardet of France; Sky defector Mikel Landa; and Kruijswijk himself. "It's one of those things that will stay with me for the rest of my life".

In the General standings advantage Geraint Thomas from team-mate Christopher froome increased to 1 minute and 39 seconds.

The ill will toward Froome and Sky later manifested itself as booing of Thomas on the podium.

Thomas insists he's still Sky's back-up man. 'Froomey knows how to win a three-week race, he's still the leader, ' he said.

A day after racing to victory atop La Rosiere to take the yellow jersey from Belgium's Greg Van Avermaet, Thomas dominated a small group sprint at the end of a thrilling finale to the punishing 175.5 km ride from Bourg Saint Maurice.

Colombia's Egan Arley Bernal Gomez Britain's Geraint Thomas wearing the overall leader's yellow jersey and Britain's Chris Froome climb alpe d'huez during the twelfth stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 175.5 kilometers with start

Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) 3 hrs 29 mins 36 secs 2.

Though Froome saw his deficit to yellow grow, he called Thomas' lead a "dream position" for Sky. Nibali was fourth at two minutes 37 seconds. "To wear the yellow jersey is a massive honour and to wear it three years in a row is pretty nice.I rode really well".

Even though it was reported at first that a race motorcycle crashed against the rider amidst the chaos, videos have surfaced that show the public being the cause of the incident.

Thomas now looks every inch a potential Tour victor, yet he still maintains Froome is Team Sky's designated leader and that he has not targeted final victory.

Dumoulin was next to attack, with Thomas on his wheel and a small gap to Froome and Bardet but all four were together again with 1,500m to race.

And when Sky finally did come under threat, Spaniard Alejandro Valverde attacking them 5km from the summit of the Cormet de Roselend 33km from the finish, it proved too little too late. Fernando Gaviria and Dylan Groenewegen, who each won two stages each in this year's race, withdrew midway through, as did Andre Greipel.

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