Thomas cements Dauphine pole as Bilbao wins penultimate stage

Geraint Thomas puncture prompts verbal bust-up involving Team Sky and AG2R

Dan Martin's resurgence at Critérium du Dauphiné continued with a third-place finish on Saturday's penultimate day of racing that sees the Irish cyclist two and a half minutes down on leader Geraint Thomas.

The Astana rider completed the route, which started in Frontenex, in a time of 3:34:11.

Saint-Gervais - Welsh rider Geraint Thomas supplied Team Sky with their sixth Criterium du Dauphine success in eight years on Sunday.

Ireland's Daniel Martin (UAE Team Emirates) stayed in contention as he and France's Romain Bardet crossed the finish line together in third place, 23 seconds behind Thomas.

Thomas sealed overall victory in the prestigious race for the first time - becoming the fifth British victor in its history - after successfully defending his overall lead as second-placed compatriot Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) won the final stage on St Gervais Mont Blanc.

View more results below. I was always thinking of the next day or the next day.

Geraint Thomas puncture prompts verbal bust-up involving Team Sky and AG2R

"Ive been feeling good all year", the Irishman said after the race. "I'm more anxious about my form for the Tour de France".

"It's not a great situation for him, the team or just cycling in general", Thomas said. We're getting closer and closer so I'm happy to get confidence from this race.

For his part, Bardet denied any wrongdoing, insisting they were only riding hard to win the stage.

Thomas took overall honours by 1:00 from Yates with Bardet 1:47 back in this tune-up for the Tour de France, which gets under way on July 7.

"I knew I had about one minute 20 seconds to lose on Yatesy so at 200 (metres) to go, when they started sprinting for the win, I was relieved", Thomas was quoted as saying by the BBC.

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