Monday, 19 November, 2018

Froome ready to give up yellow jersey dream for team-mate Thomas

Tour de France halted after police pepper spray affects riders Stephane Mahe Reuters
Sergio Cook | 24 July, 2018, 20:29

"It's the last mountain top finish that will prove most decisive", said Thomas.

Team Sky have become accustomed to a hostile reception in France as their domination of the race has grown since Bradley Wiggins's victory in 2012, as a combination of weariness with their success and suspicion over their practices have whipped up animosity among spectators.

It was not the first time Moscon has fallen foul of race officials.

"I've learned a lot about his mental strength, the "never say die" attitude and how you deal with everything that's thrown at you in this race - that's what's most impressive".

With the Italian having been sent home in disgrace for throwing a punch at Fortuneo's Elie Gesbert, Rowe and the rest of the Team Sky squad will have to shoulder the responsibility of taking on the workload vacated by Moscon.

Frenchman Pierre Latour, who wears the white jersey for the best young rider, said he noticed police were using tear gas when he arrived at the road blockade.

He was disqualified from last year's world championship road race after holding onto a team vehicle. With six stages left of this race which ends in Paris on Sunday, Team Sky is in an excellent position to achieve a 1-2 and to secure a sixth win in seven years.

Yorick Jansens  Global Look Press
Yorick Jansens Global Look Press

Froome is chasing a record-equalling fifth Tour title, but goes into the final week still one minute 39 seconds behind Thomas.

The Tour threatened to bar Froome until that ruling, which still upset French fans. "For me, it's the highlight of my career and a massive honour and a privilege to be wearing the (yellow) jersey", Thomas said.

"Gianni is desperately disappointed in his behavior and knows that he has let himself, the team and the race down", Brailsford said in a statement.

"All this talk of attacking or not attacking. we are in an incredible position, we are one and two", said Froome, who won the Tour in 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2017.

And with teammate Froome in second place at 1min 39sec behind, the British outfit have a second option ready and waiting, if Thomas loses time over the coming stages.

"The police had to use tear gas on the protesting farmers...some of which has gone into the eyes of the riders, so the race has stopped for now", Team Dimension Data, one of the teams racing, tweeted when the race came to an abrupt stop.

"The Tour is promoted as the world's greatest annual global sporting event".

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