Team Sky back in power with Geraint Thomas
July 18 th 2018 - 17:52
Geraint Thomas is back in the yellow jersey he already wore for four days last year. He won stage 11 to La Rosière-Espace San Bernardo as he overtook breakaway rider Mikel Nieve in the last few hundred meters. His team-mate and defending champion Chris Froome moves into second overall.
165 riders started stage 11 at Albertville. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) rode away with Romain Sicard (Direct Energie), Damiano Caruso (BMC), Tejay van Garderen (BMC), Warren Barguil (Fortuneo-Samsic) and Dani Navarro (Cofidis) to win one more intermediate sprint at Villard-sur-Doron. The green jersey holder was first to drop back to the peloton while several counter attacks took shape. 20 riders formed the front group in the hors-category Montée de Bisanne where Alaphilippe extended his lead in the KOM competition.
Barguil first at col du Pré
Team Sky ruled the peloton until Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) launched an attack 5km before the top of col du Pré where defending King of the Mountains Barguil took 20 points in his quest for a second polka dot jersey. Alaphilippe paid for his efforts of the first Alpine stage and was brought back by the pack. Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) who has been the race leader for eight days stopped fighting for his position on GC in the ascent to col du Pré. Serge Pauwels (Dimension Data), Valverde and Geraint Thomas (Sky) were successively virtually in the yellow jersey.
The cruel defeat of Mikel Nieve
Mikel Nieve (Mitchelton-Scott), Michael Valgren (Astana), Caruso, Barguil and Amaël Moinard (Fortuneo-Samsic) started the final climb to La Rosière in the lead while Tom Dumoulin and Soren Kragh (Sunweb) combined forces with Valverde and Marc Soler (Movistar). It was an interesting move by Valverde and Dumoulin, two serious challengers of favourites Team Sky. Nieve went solo 9km before the end. Only in the last kilometre, he was passed by Thomas who had attacked from the main group to catch Dumoulin. After winning the inaugural time trial in Düsseldorf last year, the Welshman took his first normal stage of the Tour de France ahead of Dumoulin and Froome who sits in second place overall 1’25’’ down on his team-mate.