Nielsen clinches stage, Thomas retains yellow

Nielsen clinches stage, Thomas retains yellow

Nielsen clinches stage, Thomas retains yellow

The race itself was won by Magnus Cort Nielsen while Geraint Thomas maintained the yellow jersey.

The Tour de France peloton works its way from Saint-Paul Trois-Chateaux over the weekend. "We'll take each day as it comes".

Thomas and Froome lost one of their support riders for the rest of the way after Gianni Moscon was expelled by race organizers for apparently hitting Elie Gesbert of Team Fortuneo.

"I would like to offer my honest apologies to both Elie Gesbert and Team Fortuneo for this unacceptable incident".

Moscon was a year ago accused of deliberately causing Sebastien Reichenbach (FDJ) to crash during the Tre Valli Varesine, but the UCI disciplinary committee dropped the case in June citing a lack of evidence.

Throughout the race, spectators have voiced their disapproval of the Team Sky rider.

Sky's dominance of the Tour has been reminiscent of disgraced American Lance Armstrong's US Postal team in the early 2000s and the French crowd has booed and jeered their riders this year.

It is the latest in a series of controversies involving the Team Sky rider.

Great Britain's Geraint Thomas keeps hold of the yellow jersey after finishing ahead of his principal rivals.

It was a placid ride for Thomas before the decisive final week.

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For Thomas, Froome and Team Sky, it is all about the present and making the most of the final rest day before this race's showdown in the Pyrenees.

At the start of the day, there were no fewer than 14 teams without a stage win, and with big days in the mountains to come, many teams will have viewed this stage as the last real chance to stand atop the podium.

That is why Froome - theoretically still the team leader - was asked this morning whether he would still expect Thomas to drop back down the road to help him should he suffer a bad day.

The second summit finish tightened Thomas's grip and raised genuine questions about whether he would be allowed to try to win the Tour de France.

While the Welshman Thomas is attempting to win the Tour for the first time, the Kenyan-born Froome is aiming for a record-tying fifth victory in cycling's biggest race. "It's a massive honor just to be wearing (the yellow jersey), but like I have said from the very start, who knows what lies just around the corner?"

The main contenders crossed the line more than 13 minutes later, with Thomas in the front group along with Sky team-mate Chris Froome, Team Sunweb's Tom Dumoulin, and Primoz Roglic of LottoNL-Jumbo to ensure there was no change in the general classification.

Cort Nielsen claimed his first career win at the Tour after staying ahead of Ion Izagirre and Bauke Mollema in a sprint over the final 200 metres. Cort Nielsen finished the hilly 181.5-kilometer leg from Millau that ended in a long descent to Carcassonne in 4 hours, 25 minutes.

"All this talk of attacking or not attacking. we are in an wonderful position, we are one and two", said Froome, who won the Tour in 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2017.

The only sustained attack against Thomas came from Daniel Martin, who is 10th at nearly seven minutes behind.

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