Thomas retains lead with win at 12th stage


Rigoberto Uran pulled out of the Tour before the start of Stage 11.

Yet this was still one of the more compelling Alpe d'Huez tilts in recent memory. The spoilers' group dwindled further with the news that 2014 Tour victor Vincenzo Nibali of Italy is unable to continue.

So how does the fight for the jersey look now after a few days in the Alps?

However, allowed to ride with his Team Sky teammates, Froome appears to be the primary target of agitation. This type of fracture makes it impossible for the rider to continue in the race.

Froome attacked with 3.5 kilometers to go and passed longtime leader Steven Kruijswik.

Behind, Froome attacked and managed to distance Dan Martin and tried to bridge to Thomas before the Welshman left for home.

The next truly decisive day could come on Stage 17, an outlier at just 40 miles long with a summit finish on the Col du Portet.

It was another great ride from the Team Sky man, who finished four seconds in front of team-mate Chris Froome to tighten his grip on the leader's yellow jersey.

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Still, that didn't stop one spectator from placing an aggressive hand on Froome's back in a gesture that the rider did not appreciate.

British rider "Sky" Geraint Thomas second day in a row dominates the roads of the Tour de France. Only 40sec behind Valverde and Dumoulin, they had the pair well within their sights.

It was the third stage win for the Quick-Step team at this Tour.

Fellow Brit Chris Froome also managed a podium finish in a stage that took the riders 108.5km through the Alps from Albertville to La Rosière, crossing the line third to move up to second overall - almost 90 seconds behind Thomas. What's more worrying for Sky is Dumoulin was able to back up after his efforts on Stage 11.

"Not even in my wildest dreams did I think I would win on here". On Alpe d'Huez he finished with an embattled Nibali, 13 seconds down. Romain bardet (France, AG2R La Mondiale) - 0,034.

Although Froome was able to stay on his bike and keep with the leading group all the way to the summit, 2014 Tour victor Vincenzo Nibali crashed in the final few kilometres, apparently hitting a spectator, and is out of the Tour due to a fractured vertebra.

Both Thomas and Sky's sporting director Nico Portal indicated they had been trying to set up Froome for victory, but his attack inside the final four kilometres was quickly shut down by Dumoulin and Bardet.

Former Sky teammate Mikel Nieve led the stage for much of the race but Thomas chose to close the Spaniard down, a decision he justified by powering over the line in first place 1,855 metres up into the mountains.