Tuesday, 21 August, 2018

Tour de France crwod make life hard for Team Sky Chris Froome

Great Britain's Team Sky cycling team riders Great Britain's Christopher Froome and the race's overall leader Great Britain's Geraint Thomas address the media during a press conference Froome and Thomas have been team-mates for 10 years and there is no animosity between the two riders Credit Getty Images
Sergio Cook | 23 July, 2018, 16:12

"Months and months of waiting (for the anti-doping case to end) fueled the suspicion and it took its toll", said race director Christian Prudhomme, who informed Team Sky that Froome was not welcome at the Tour before he was cleared of doping.

"We will address this incident with Gianni once the Tour is complete and decide then if any further action should be taken".

"I would like to offer my honest apologies to both Elie Gesbert and Team Fortuneo for this unacceptable incident". Sky have been booed by spectators all their way around France during this Tour.

Team Sky's team principal also revealed for the first time that the team's young marketing executive, Emma Kennaugh, had also been spat at - and directly criticised France fans for their behaviour. "I am very happy to beat them".

Thomas claims he is taking the challenge "day by day" safe in the knowledge that: "If something happens to me, we still have him (Froome) in the race".

For a third straight day, Thomas heard some boos as he appeared on the podium to collect his yellow jersey in Valence.

But when former team-mate Mikel Nieve slid into view, trying to win the stage from the breakaway, another prize was on offer and Thomas kicked again, passing the Mitchelton-Scott man inside the final 400 metres.

The race will have a rest day on Monday.

"It's not a nice situation, and obviously we would prefer everyone to love us, but I'm not sure there's anything we've done, or especially that I've done, to deserve it", he said.

Facing no attacks on the flat stage, Thomas had no trouble maintaining his advantage of 1 minute, 39 seconds over defending champion Froome. Three kilometres before the finish line tried to attack Tom Dumoulin, but play time in the General standings, Dutchman failed. Primoz Roglic was fourth at 2:38 behind and Romain Bardet 3:21 behind in fifth.

The incidents make teams anxious fans are getting out of hand on the most famous climbs of the Tour.

But Sky, and Thomas in particular, are under attack from outside the race. There's no point in me racing Chris and him racing me and Dumoulin winning the Tour.

"I thought I was going to win, I started my sprint well but I came up short".

I don't know what kind of idiot you have to be to try to injure a biker, with hundreds of people around and the event being recorded and broadcast on live TV.

Thomas, Froome and the rest of the overall contenders slowly rolled across the finish line at Carcassonne and its medieval city walls 13 minutes after stage victor Magnus Cort Nielsen of Denmark. "I don't think we quite expected that going into today's stage".

It includes three categorised climbs, including the 12.3 km-long Pic de Nore, whose summit is 40 km from the downhill finish line.

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