Tour de France 2018 - Geraint Thomas wins Stage 11, takes yellow jersey

Cavendish-Cropped

Team Sky riders Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas remained in the peleton for the duration of the stage and are now over two minutes behind Van Avermaet in General Classification.

More than an hour after Geraint Thomas had won the stage there was still one rider left out on the road.

Julien Alaphilippe has become the first home stage victor in this year's tour, after a long-range attack in the mountains of the Haute Savoie led to a solo win in Le Grand-Bornand.

Kittel fared better, but he too was unable to make the cut, coming in 42 minutes 51 seconds behind Thomas.

"I feel some guys might sit here and give some PR bullshit but I just say how it is with me and that's how it is". For me, whatever happens now it is a super successful Tour.

But Thomas and Sky have played that down.

Thomas dons the yellow jersey for a second straight Tour.

Thomas's attack laid to rest any question of whether he would be riding for Chris Froome in this year's race, although the defending champion was clearly stronger than other overall hopefuls in the group including Bahrain-Merida's Vincenzo Nibali, Romain Bardet of AG2R La Mondiale and Movistar's Nairo Quintana.

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There will be two more stages in the Alps with a summit finish at the iconic Alpe d'Huez, but fireworks should not be expected as the top guns are likely to hold fire, waiting for the finale in the Pyrenees.

Sky's rivals will now be pinning their hopes on potential leadership issues within the British team.

Cavendish, in danger throughout most of the day from being picked up by the race's notorious "broom wagon", crossed the line 1hr 05min 33sec behind compatriot Thomas. "We're going to have to keep a close eye on him", Froome said, looking ahead to the race's only individual time trial in the penultimate stage.

"Obviously, Froomey is the leader", Thomas said.

"I saw a massive occasion to take the yellow jersey".

With van Avermaet not a specialist climber, Thomas could potentially take yellow today when the Tour resumes with a huge 158.5km mountain stage from Annecy to Le Grand Bornand.

If Tour de France organizers wanted the soccer World Cup to end before the race started to heat up, then it is mission accomplished.

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