Briton rider eliminated from Tour de France

Tour de France 2018 - Julian Alaphilippe wins Stage 10 as tour hits the mountains

Tour de France 2018 - Julian Alaphilippe wins Stage 10 as tour hits the mountains

Some metres later, Dumoulin attacked and took Thomas with him, but they were soon re-joined by Froome and Bardet.

With bonus seconds, Thomas extends his lead in yellow over Froome by 14 seconds to one minute and 39 seconds, with Dumoulin a further 11 seconds back.

"I didn't see that", added Thomas, although he called for respect. Froomey is still the man. I don't know what to say. Nibali was fourth at two minutes 37 seconds. Thomas has the yellow jersey and "we respect him for that", Bernal said of the two-time Olympic track cycling gold medalist.

"I had a little gap and then (Chris) Froome could follow the guys then, I committed, got across to (Tom) Dumoulin and then I was able to sit on because Froome was coming across".

The major question now may concern the dynamics between Thomas and Froome within Sky.

"Even as I crossed the line, it was, 'Surely there is someone still up the road, '" he said.

Thomas, who did not respond to Froome's initial attack, said on Wednesday the four-time champion remained the team leader, but he appeared to be the strongest rider at l'Alpe d'Huez. It's a massive, massive feather in his cap.

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Alaphilippe increased his lead over Taaramäe in the descent before the final climb of the day, Col de la Colombiere, and with 20 km to go the French rider was 20 seconds in front. It allows us to play both our cards like we did today. The real drama came after the 5.5km to go mark, however. It's just a dream scenario for us right now. Subsequent attacks from Frenchman Bardet, Dutchman Dumoulin, Movistar duo Nairo Quintana and Mikel Landa, and a large dig from Froome himself, spelled the end for Kruijswijk.

With Thomas and Froome leading the peleton, the Team Sky riders started to close in on Kruijswijk as they entered the twisting, 21-turn ascent to Alpe d'Heuz. Boo all you like.

"Don't touch the riders, let us race, don't spit at us, have a bit of decency".

Thomas maintained that Froome was still "the man" who knows how to win three-week races.

The 2014 victor was later forced to withdraw with a fractured vertabra.

Colombian Uran, who suffered a crash on the cobbles in the ninth stage, finished two minutes, 29 seconds behind the group of main contenders as his podium hopes virtually vanished in the first Alpine stage. Dylan Groenewegen, the victor of stages 7 and 8, André Greipe and Fernando Gaviria all quit during Stage 12, joining riders such as Mark Cavendish and Marcel Kittel who were dropped during Stage 11.

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