Thomas savours yellow jersey after enthralling stage victory

Thomas savours yellow jersey after enthralling stage victory

A medley of attacks between the race favourites saw the likes of Romain Bardet (Ag2R-La Mondiale), Nairo Quintana (Movistar) and Dan Martin (UAE Team Emirates) lose time as the yellow jersey Thomas finished alongside Sky team-mate Froome and their Dutch rival Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) more than 18 minutes down on the victor.

Quintana gave up 10 seconds to Thomas, while Bardet was 14 seconds back and Landa 29.

Only Slovenian Primoz Roglic, who is fourth overall now, 2 minutes and 38 seconds behind Team Sky's Thomas, gained some time on the main contenders when he attacked in the final climb.

"The Tour de France was scared that something was going to happen to (Chris) Froome in this last climb and that was the reason they were so close to the riders", Bahrain-Merida sports director Rik Verbrugghe said. But the Welshman said he wasn't only racing for himself. "It takes (courage) to do that with no teammate around".

But the Swiss rider only had a slim lead over the peleton and was quickly caught with six kilometers to go.

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. "I wouldn't know what it was".

Peter Sagan, right, wearing the best sprinter's green jersey, crosses the finish line in stage 13.

It was the first career victory at the Tour for Fraile, who rides for the Astana team.

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Fraile became the third Spanish victor of a Tour stage in Mende after Marcos Serrano in 2005 and Joaquim "Purito" Rodriguez in 2010.

Saturday's Stage 14 is a hilly 188-kilometre trek from Saint-Paul-Trois-Chateaux to Mende as the race makes its way to the Pyrenees Mountains.

The race ends with a run through the of three Pyrenean stages in the country's southwest and a time trial on the penultimate day. "Then we'd look pretty stupid", Thomas said.

"Tomorrow we can see some good battles between the favourites, " Froome said.

"It was a very annoying climb of the Alpe d'Huez".

Lying 6 th on GC at the day's start, he was ahead of riders like Quintana and Bardet, but still a sizeable 2:40 behind the race lead, and with Primož Roglič one place ahead of him, LottoNL-Jumbo had cards to play.

Briton Geraint Thomas retained the overall leader's yellow jersey.

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