Summit for Geraint Thomas to smile about

Tanya Simon
July 19, 2019

Belgian Dylan Teuns prevailed after a long breakaway at the end of the 160.5-km ride from Mulhouse ahead of Italian Giulio Ciccone, who claimed the overall leader's yellow jersey to follow his first place in the mountains classification at the Giro d'Italia.

There were no serious injuries, but it won't help EF gain time on their rival U.S. team Trek-Segafredo whose Italian rider Giulio Ciccone is wearing the leader's yellow jersey today.

"I took his (Kristoff's) wheel and thought it was going to be close, but as you saw, it wasn't", said a relaxed looking Sagan. "I was expecting others - Nairo Quintana, Egan, Richie Porte, Adam Yates - to jump up there. But it was a good day in the end", he added.

But that is no indication of form, Thomas said earlier this week.

Defending champion Geraint Thomas and his Team Ineos co-captain Egan Bernal finished safely in the pack in Colmar after a stage that passed through vineyards and villages of picturesque half-timbered houses. "This feeling is insane".

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

Deceuninck-Quick Step's Alaphilippe did not give up the jersey without a fight.

France's Thibaut Pinot, who had been tagged as the pre-stage favourite on an ascent situated 15km from his home town, reacted swiftly in the last 200 metres on asphalt to limit the damage to a two-second loss.

Alaphilippe leads Van Aert, who picked up a six-second bonus by finishing second, by 14 seconds with Dutchman Steven Kruijswijk, the biggest threat to the Frenchman, in third place and 25 seconds off the pace.

It was, however, a bad day for French hope Romain Bardet, who faded on the steep finale and had the final indignity of dropping his chain on the line as he shipped nearly three minutes. The likes of Steven Kruijswijk, Rigoberto Uran, Jakob Fuglsang and Yates lurk, no more than 35 seconds back, but then more serious gaps open up. All the signs on Thursday suggest this edition has more twists to come.

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