Thomas gains time but stands behind Froome

Greg van Avermaet

The new race leader has an advantage of 1 minute 25 seconds over Froome, who moves to second overall, with Dumoulin a further 19 seconds back in third place.

While Froome survived, 2014 Tour victor Nibali hit the deck as the leading group tried to weave their way through the thick crowds, nearly taking Thomas with him. "Who knows? Anything can happen to me".

"I didn't plan to go in the breakaway, but once I did, I just had to go for it".

Though Sky have reiterated that Froome remains the team leader, Thomas has so far been given licence to race for himself and 2012 victor Wiggins feels it could cause trouble.

"Dave will certainly be in both of their ears and be telling them they can both win it, as a way of motivating them, as a way of playing these cards deep into the race and let the natural selections come in to play".

Dumoulin, the time trial world champion, is Sky's closest challenger.

"I'm calling for serenity", Prudhomme told French radio station France Info on Friday before the start of the 13th stage, a 169.5-km ride from Bourg d'Oisans to Valence. 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. "It was pretty steady", said Froome, whose climbing abilities should do the talking in the coming days.

"I've been called a lot worse - on my Richter scale, that's not bad", he said.

It was the Welshman's second stage win on the Tour, after his victory in the opening time trial a year ago which saw him wear the leader's yellow jersey for four days before crashing out on stage nine.

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Stage victor France's Julian Alaphilippe, wearing the best climber's dotted jersey, celebrates on the podium after the tenth stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 158.8 kilometers (98.7 miles) with start in Annecy and finish in Le Grand-Bornand, France, Tuesday, July 17, 2018.

The Sky ace outsprinted team-mate Froome, as well as rivals Tom Dumoulin, Romain Bardet and Mikel Landa.

Dumoulin is third overall, 1:50 behind, while Nibali recovered to hold on to fourth, 2:37 back.

But Thomas added: "People have their opinions, and that s fine".

"Wearing the yellow jersey is a massive honour". 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.

The first overall contender to attack was Alejandro Valverde up the Col du Pre.

Geraint Thomas led out the sprint and won atop Alpe d'Huez.

Thomas was tucked in between Dumoulin and Bardet and they rejoined Froome as they passed under the 3km to go marker. Some guys might sit here and give some PR bull**** but I just say how it is with me and that's how it is.

The fast finale caught out several, with Mitchelton-Scott's Adam Yates shipping nearly five minutes and dropping to 16th overall, perhaps leaving the Lancastrian to focus on stage wins.

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