Alaphilippe wins Stage 10 of Tour de France, Van Avermaet keeps lead

Ruben Hill
July 20, 2018

Former champion Vincenzo Nibali has been forced to pull out of the Tour de France after a collision, allegedly with a police motorbike, during the 12th stage to the Alpe d'Huez.

Geraint Thomas's second consecutive stage win was greeted by booing and whistling at the climax of an ill-tempered stage during which Chris Froome was shoved by one spectator and the former Tour de France victor Vincenzo Nibali was brought down by a race motorbike.

The other top contenders - 2014 Tour victor Vincenzo Nibali, Nairo Quintana and Romain Bardet - finished 59 seconds behind Thomas on Wednesday. He got up and finished the stage but abandoned the race after scans at Grenoble hospital revealed a fractured vertebrae for the Italian. He is now 20 minutes behind Thomas.

With the Alpine stages done, Thomas will - barring a crash - likely remain in yellow through the second rest day. When Froome accelerated, I followed him, I was feeling good.

Thomas continues to say he's riding in support of Froome - who could tie the record of five Tour titles - rather than to win cycling's biggest event himself.

Julian Alaphilippe won enough climbing points to retain the polka dot jersey after leading at the top of the first climb of the day to Montée de Bisanne, but fell away on the second ascent to Col du Pré.

But Thomas added: "People have their opinions, and that's fine". Not a chance in hell I thought I was going to win today.

"Whatever happens now is bonus", Thomas said.

Dumoulin is just 11 seconds shy of Froome in third place, and said he might have done better in the leaders' sprint Thursday if he hadn't made a shifting mistake just before. As long as we're not racing against each other, that's the main thing.

Even so, he maintains it is Froome who is Sky's designated team leader.

The last and most feared of the three stages in the Alps this year, the 175.5-kilometre leg began in Bourg-Saint-Maurice and took the peloton over three gruelling, beyond-category climbs.

After being on the attack for much of the day on the road to Alpe d'Huez, Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo) takes the Zwift Rider of the Day on stage 12 of the Tour de France.

Froome had attacked with four kilometres to go but couldn't quite drop Thomas, Dumoulin and Bardet.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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