Angry Fan Attempts To Push Chris Froome During Tour De France

Van Avermaet

Geraint Thomas of Great Britain and Team Sky Yellow Leader Jersey / Celebration / during the 105th Tour de France 2018, Stage 12 a 175,5km stage from Bourg-Saint-Maurice Les Arcs to Alpe d'Huez 1850m / TDF / on July 19, 2018 in Alpe d'Huez, France.

Dumoulin is up to third, one minute 44 seconds behind Thomas, with 2014 victor Vincenzo Nibali of Bahrain Merida fourth, two minutes 14 seconds down. The Katusha rider, who finished 31min 32sec behind Thomas, was kept in the race thanks to a repechage. "Who knows? Anything can happen to me".

That said, Thomas did go all in for his own stage victory aspirations in the finale, for the second day running - and for the second day running he pulled it off. "So, I'm just going to enjoy this".

Froome recovered quickly to rejoin teammate Thomas but the Team Sky riders had fallen nearly seven minutes behind Van Avermaet and the breakaway group.

"We're still here to try and win the race, whatever way that is.

Even as I crossed the line I said: 'Is someone still away?'"

Having started the race under a cloud, former five-time victor Bernard Hinault calling for the peloton to strike if controversy-tinged Froome turned a pedal in anger, the defending champion said he has weathered the pre-race storm.

"It is an ideal scenario at the moment", Thomas added.

Greg Van Avermaet, who had worn the yellow jersey since his BMC squad won the team time trial in Stage 3, lost contact midway through the stage and finished far behind.

Julian Alaphilippe
GETTYThe stage win is a career high point for French rider Alaphilippe

That gave him extra time to soak up the applause from the French fans for the country's first victor in this race, two days after France won the World Cup.

The top five in the overall classification is rounded out by 2014 champion Vincenzo Nibali in fourth, 2:14 behind Thomas, and Primoz Roglic in fifth, 2:23 back.

"If people want to come out and boo, then that's fine". We were expecting attacks.

Having ridden 60km off the front of the race after a gutsy solo attack on the Col de la Croix de Fer, the impressive Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo) started the final climb with a four-minute gap - and in the virtual yellow jersey - but had to settle for tenth place behind the fading Colombian Quintana and Jakob Fuglsang (Astana).

When it did, there were plenty of high-profile riders in it, including Kruijswijk, Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha-Alpecin), Mikel Nieve (Mitchelton-Scott), Serge Pauwels (Dimension Data) and white jersey Pierre Latour (Ag2r-La Mondiale).

Climbed for the first time at the Tour de France in 1952, the 21 switchbacks to the ski resort at Alpe d'Huez are iconic in the sport of cycling. Those three climbs will soften up riders' legs ahead of the Alpe d'Huez.

In the jousting that preceded the final sprint to the summit, Dumoulin noted that Froome attacked while Thomas stayed on Dumoulin's wheel.

"Maybe if I'm still right there after Alpe d'Huez (on Thursday), it's a bit different then".

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