Tour de France 2018 Recap and Results: Stage 11
Thomas takes the win on La Rosiere
RBA/AFP Photos: Bettini
Welshman Geraint Thomas soared to victory in the 11th stage of the Tour de France on Wednesday to take the leader’s yellow jersey. Thomas, of Team Sky, completed an impressive ride on the 108.5 kilometer stage from Albertville to the summit of La Rosiere by overtaking Spaniard Mikel Nieve (Mitchelton) in the closing meters. Dutchman Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb) finished second at 20 seconds, just ahead of Sky leader and four-time champion Chris Froome. Thomas, who wore the yellow jersey for four days in 2017 after winning the opening time trial, now leads four-time champion and teammate Froome by 1 minute 25 seconds in the overall standings.
“It’s unreal I didn’t expect it at all,” Thomas said. “I knew there was a good chance (of going into yellow) but I didn’t know how everyone else was going to ride.”
“Wearing the yellow jersey is a massive honor. I managed to do it last year and to do it two years in a row is really nice.”
Dumoulin is third at 1:44, while the Spanish Movistar team’s best-placed rider is Mikel Landa at 2:56, in seventh.
“We didn’t do as well as we expected,” said Movistar climbing specialist Nairo Quintana, who dropped to ninth overall at 3:16 behind Thomas. “It was a very hard rhythm all day long. We lost a few seconds that, I hope, don’t ruin our chances of aiming for the overall victory.”
Thomas had struggled to hide his disappointment after missing the chance to race into the lead on Tuesday when Sky’s tactics fell short of his personal expectations. But a day before a third and final salvo in the Alps, which ends with the race to the summit of the legendary Alpe d’Huez, the formidable British outfit gave the Welshman a chance to make amends. A 20-strong breakaway group that escaped early on the first of the day’s four climbs contained no threats to Sky’s race-winning ambitions. And when Sky finally did come under threat, Spaniard Alejandro Valverde attacking them 5 kilometers from the summit of the Cormet de Roselend 33 kilometers from the finish, it proved too little too late.
Valverde raced over the summit to find Movistar teammate Marc Soler up ahead and, further up the road, found another ally in Dumoulin. But the Spaniard’s limits soon became clear when he refused, or was unable,
to help the Dutchman when it came to taking his turn at the front. With 15 kilometers and the final climb remaining, Sky’s impressive pace-setting was holding firm. Only 40 seconds behind Valverde and Dumoulin, they had the pair well within their sights.The final remnants of the earlier breakaway were left to their own devices when Nieve attacked 9 kilometers from the finish. One kilometer further on, Valverde was reeled in by Sky and soon dropped.
The real drama came after the 5.5 kilometer to go mark, however. An attack by Thomas prompted climbing specialist Romain Bardet to counter, which in turn prompted Froome to counter the Frenchman. An attempt by Dan Martin to leave Froome in his wake was answered in defiant fashion by the Kenyan-born Briton, who spun the pedals in furious fashion to catch and then overtake the Irishman. With less than 3 kilometers to the summit, Thomas and Dumoulin had Nieve only 30 seconds up ahead. And when the Spaniard came within sight, the Welshman accelerated inside the final 500 meters to overtake him and solo over the line with his arms in triumph.
Final Stage Results
1. Geraint Thomas (GBR/SKY) 108.5 km in 3hr 29min 36sec
2. Tom Dumoulin (NED/SUN) at 20.
3. Christopher Froome (GBR/SKY) 20.
4. Damiano Caruso (ITA/BMC) 22.
5. Mikel Nieve (ESP/MIT) 22.
6. Dan Martin (IRL/EAU) 27.
7. Jose Herrada Lopez (ESP/COF) 57.
8. Romain Bardet (FRA/ALM) 59.
9. Vincenzo Nibali (ITA/BAH) 59.
10. Nairo Quintana (COL/MOV) 59.
11. Primoz Roglic (SLO/LNL) 59.
12. Steven Kruijswijk (NED/LNL) 1:07.
13. Mikel Landa (ESP/MOV) 1:47.
14. Egan Bernal (COL/SKY) 1:47.
15. Ilnur Zakarin (RUS/KAT) 1:58.
16. Daniel Navarro (ESP/COF) 2:51.
17. Pierre-Roger Latour (FRA/ALM) 2:59.
18. Gorka Izagirre (ESP/BAH) 3:06.
19. Guillaume Martin (FRA/WGG) 3:08.
20. Warren Barguil (FRA/FST) 3:08.
21. Daniel Martínez (COL/EFD) 3:30.
22. Domenico Pozzovivo (ITA/BAH) 3:30.
23. Alejandro Valverde (ESP/MOV) 3:30.
24. Darwin Atapuma (COL/EAU) 3:41.
25. Tanel Kangert (EST/AST) 3:53.
26. Jakob Diemer Fuglsang (DEN/AST) 3:53.
27. Bob Jungels (LUX/QST) 4:42.
28. Adam Yates (GBR/MIT) 4:42.
29. Serge Pauwels (BEL/DDT) 7:10.
30. Antwan Tolhoek (NED/LNL) 8:59.
31. Michael Andersen (DEN/AST) 9:49.
32. Arthur Vichot (FRA/FDJ) 10:40.
33. Jesper Hansen (DEN/AST) 10:56.
34. Thomas De Gendt (BEL/LOT) 11:29.
35. Anthony Perez (FRA/COF) 11:29.
36. Bauke Mollema (NED/TRE) 11:29.
37. Rafal Majka (POL/BOR) 11:29.
38. Rudy Molard (FRA/FDJ) 11:29.
39. Ian Boswell (USA/KAT) 12:02.
Final Overall Standings
1. Geraint Thomas (GBR/Sky) 44hrs 06min 16sec
2. Christopher Froome (GBR/SKY) at 1min 25sec
3. Tom Dumoulin (NED/SUN) 1:44.
4. Vincenzo Nibali (ITA/BAH) 2:14.
5. Primoz Roglic (SLO/LNL) 2:23.
6. Steven Kruijswijk (NED/LNL) 2:40.
7. Mikel Landa (ESP/MOV) 2:56.
8. Romain Bardet (FRA/ALM) 2:58.
9. Nairo Quintana (COL/MOV) 3:16.
10. Daniel Martin (IRL/EAU) 3:16.
11. Alejandro Valverde (ESP/MOV) 4:28.
12. Jakob Diemer Fuglsang (DEN/AST) 4:53.
13. Ilnur Zakarin (RUS/KAT) 4:58.
14. Mikel Nieve (ESP/MIT) 5:21.
15. Bob Jungels (LUX/QST) 5:50.
16. Adam Yates (GBR/MIT) 5:51.
17. Domenico Pozzovivo (ITA/BAH) 6:36.
18. Damiano Caruso (ITA/BMC) 10:01.
19. Serge Pauwels (BEL/DDT) 10:30.
20. Pierre-Roger Latour (FRA/ALM) 11:46.
21. Warren Barguil (FRA/FST) 12:46.
22. Rafal Majka (POL/BOR) 13:19.
23. Bauke Mollema (NED/TRE) 13:45.
24. Guillaume Martin (FRA/WGG) 13:49.
25. Tanel Kangert (EST/AST) 14:50.
26. Egan Bernal (COL/SKY) 19:21.
27. Greg Van Avermaet (BEL/BMC) 20:11.
28. Lilian Calmejane (FRA/DEN) 23:36.
29. Tejay Van Garderen (USA/BMC) 29:32.
30. Rigoberto Uran (COL/EFD) 31:03.