Tour de France 2019

Tanya Simon
July 12, 2019

"I raced there a couple of years ago when I lost the yellow jersey so not the best memories", he added.

A small breakaway group of four riders was caught on the final ascent, the Cote des Cinq Chateaux, and Costa tried and failed to escape on a short and flat run-in to the finish.

Ciccone was less calm about his feat.

The bunch sprint meant no change at the top of the general classification standings, with Trek-Segafredo's Ciccone still six seconds clear of Deceuninck-Quick Step's Julian Alaphilippe.

Spending the day in the breakaway, Ciccone mopped up much of the mountains points on offer on the Tour's first hilly stage on 2019, but still sits in second in the climber's classification, 13 points behind Tim Wellens, Alaphilippe taking 11th position.

"The yellow jersey was my childhood dream", Ciccone said. 'I was expecting others would jump up there. The stage ended up as a battle not only for the stage and the overall lead but for the psychological control of the race. "A man-to-man fight", Teuns said.

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"I was feeling good but I was unsure. I thought it would be a more solid day - it's never easy, but it was steady for the first three climbs", said Thomas, whose performance lifted some of the doubts about his condition after a crash forced him out of the Tour de Suisse last month.

Defending champion Geraint Thomas unexpectedly showed strong early form by beating all of his main overall title rivals on the day.

Defending champion Geraint Thomas wakes up this morning the odds-on favourite to win the Tour De France, after the race's first major climb produced an equally mammoth shake-up in the betting. "I am really enjoying myself in this team, that feels as one big family to me", the 24-year-old said in a press release issued by his team.

Two of the overall contenders lost significant time as 2014 champion Vincenzo Nibali and Frenchman Romain Bardet suffered on the slopes.

Stage 7 on Friday will kick off from Belfort, winding its way through 230km to Chalon-sur-Saone.

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