Thomas effectively seals his 1st Tour de France title

Thomas effectively seals his 1st Tour de France title

Thomas effectively seals his 1st Tour de France title

Vincenzo Nibali will undergo surgery next week on the back injury he suffered during a crash in the Tour de France as Arnaud Demare silenced his critics by claiming a comfortable win in the bunch sprint of the 18th stage. I mean he's feeling great and should get the job done.

Team Sky leader Froome, a four-time champion, finished the stage in eighth place at 1min 35sec behind Colombian victor Nairo Quintana and 48secs behind teammate and overall leader Geraint Thomas.

"Primoz couldn't help it, he just sat on his tube and kept going, but the motorcycle should have been behind us".

Providing he stays on the bike today and keeps closest rivals Tom Dumoulin and Primoz Roglic at bay to the tune of 2 minutes 5 seconds, Thomas will become only the first British-born victor of the Tour and the first Welshman to claim the maillon jaune.

Four-time Tour de France victor Chris Froome was dragged off his bike by a French policeman shortly after finishing stage 17 on Wednesday, in an incident that resulted in an angry exchange.

Roglic, who also excels at time trials, showed courage on a twisty descent made more hard by clouds and fog hanging over the Aubisque.

"It doesn't make sense". Team Sky's Tom Dumoulin is now in second place. It was a move in which Dumoulin then encouraged Roglič to contribute after Roglič and Thomas followed him, but without Froome in tow.

"I did not fight for nothing in the mountains, I was thinking of a possible victory when I was suffering", said Groupama-FDJ rider Demare.

Froome is in third place, a further 32 seconds behind, and is said to have all but conceded that he won't be defending his crown and will throw his support behind teammate, Thomas. I just need to get out there and ride as hard as I can.

"I think the chance of winning the Tour is really, really small".

While Dumoulin is the time trial world champion, Thomas is quite capable in the discipline and acknowledged he should be able to protect his advantage.

Bernal, meanwhile, will wear a skinsuit in his Colombian national champion's colours having won the time trial in February, but the slight climber is likely to shed more time to Latour during the 31km stage from Saint-Pée-sur-Nivelle to Espelette. In a last attempt to snatch a podium finish in Paris, Bardet and Landa jumped away from the main pack in the ascent of the Col du Tourmalet and they bridged the gap with the breakaway riders in the descent.

Stage victor Dumoulin said: "It's an fantastic day".

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