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

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"To get a victory at the Tour de France was a dream for me", Alaphillipe said. "It meant Froomey could follow behind so ideal scenario really". "Froomey's won six Grand Tours". For me now, whatever happens, it's been a successful Tour, it's been an incredible feeling to win the stage and take the jersey, I'm super happy with that.

Dumoulin, the time trial world champion, is Sky's closest challenger. He finished the stage an extraordinary fourth, 1min... "For him, it's about the team winning, it's not about the individuals".

By catching Dumoulin, Thomas had already done enough for yellow but wanted more as Nieve slid into view, kicking again to pass Nieve inside the final 400 metres and take the stage win.

Thomas sits second to Greg Van Avermaet in the general classification after nine stages, 43 seconds off yellow but 59 seconds ahead of Froome as the race heads towards the Alps. Though the sight of Team Sky massed on the front of the peloton most of the day was not unexpected, the way in which he attacked with yellow on the line certainly was.

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While he seized the moment to attack the main protagonists in the mountains, his fearless ride is only likely to have extended his stay in yellow for 24 hours, as the Tour continues with another day for the climbers on Wednesday. He wore the yellow jersey for four days a year ago - before dropping to second behind Froome - then crashed out on a descent in Stage 9. Earlier that year, he crashed out of the Giro d'Italia when he was riding as Sky's GC leader.

Twice podium finisher Romain Bardet, hoping to become the first Frenchman to win the Tour since Bernard Hinault in 1985, has suffered from bad luck with four ill-timed punctures, including three in Sunday's stage to Roubaix.

Thomas attacked with a little more than 5.5 kilometres left of what was a pulsating 108.5 kilometre stage from Albertville to La Rosiere, which included four categorised climbs, the first two of those classified as Hors-Categorie.

The first overall contender to attack was Alejandro Valverde up the Col du Pre. While Valverde quickly dropped back, Dumoulin kept up his pace and was only surpassed by Thomas.

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