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Thomas extends lead amid unsavoury scenes at l’Alpe d’Huez

20 Juillet 2018

Geraint Thomas of Team Sky and Great Britain is the new leader of the Tour de France after yellow jersey wearer Greg Van Avermaet dropped out of contention. "It's been faultless and he fully deserves to be in yellow, having won two stages and the most iconic stage of the race Alpe d'Huez".

Dutchman Dylan Groenewegen, who claimed his maiden stage win previous year on the Champs Elysees and won stages seven and eight on this edition, was the first to get off his bike, before the halfway stage of the gruelling 12th stage held over 175.5 km between Bourg d'Oisans and Alpe d'Huez. Watch every minute live on Eurosport Player, plus minute-by-minute live blog and extensive video highlights - breakaways, sprints, stage finishes, interviews, incidents; you won't miss a thing.

Now the onus is on Geraint Thomas and Team Sky to defend the yellow jersey as we enter the second half of the race.

He's now the best-placed Movistar rider on the General Classification and will likely get a bit more team support with Quintana and Valverde slipping off the pace.

"To get a victory at the Tour de France was a dream for me", Alaphilippe said.

"In my eyes, Froomey is still our leader". Chris Froome (Team Sky) +1 min 25 secs 3. Over three minutes in arrears with a time trial still to come on Stage 20, and now down to four team mates after Tony Gallopin DNF'd stage 12, the rest of the Tour will be tough.

While dramatic visuals of racers speeding through cordons of closely packed fans is one of the Tour's selling points, it now seems to be getting out of hand.

Riders had to navigate their way through smoke in a variety of colors - red, blue and orange.

"We were expecting attacks, when they go it's never nice to see them riding away but we had confidence in each other and rode really well". "The more guys who are willing to go out there and take risks, the more they can open the race up".

Afetr Kruijswijk was overtaken in the closing kilometres, Thomas and Froome countered attempts by Dumoulin and Bardet to shake them off. Froome, who won the Tour in 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2017, was cleared of a doping offense just before the start of the race after he tested positive for excessive levels of an anti-asthmatic drug during last year's Vuelta.

The mountainous route was a nightmare for muscular sprinters.

"I knew there was a good chance (of going into yellow) but I didn't know how everyone else was going to ride".

Dutchman Dylan Groenewegen and Colombian Fernando Gaviria, winners of two stages each, had no fuel left in the tank.

Thomas extends lead amid unsavoury scenes at l’Alpe d’Huez