Third Tour de France stage win for Sagan as Thomas retains lead

Rex Christensen
July 21, 2018

Asked why, he said: "I think that's a question for the people out there. We've got to figure out something to resolve it". The riders on the Tour, and champions of the Tour, must obviously be respected, as they are by the large majority of the public.

But Thomas, who has a real chance of upstaging Froome to win the yellow jersey if the Kenyan-born champion fails to step up in the crucial third week, said the doubters are wrong.

"I think the organisers had tried to put in a few special precautions to stop those kind of things happening", Froome said.

After overzealous fans marred Thomas' win on Thursday atop the Alpe d'Huez, the otherwise complete calm of Friday's leg was briefly disturbed by a man on the roadside who tossed a smoke bomb into the centre of the peloton as it passed by with 16 kilometres left.

As for the jeers directed toward him and Froome by fans skeptical of Froome's clearance from doping allegations days before the start of the Tour, he said it was part of being in the spotlight.

"As a Frenchman, I feel ashamed", said Team Sky sports director Nicolas Portal.

"He was feeling really good yesterday and he was looking for the stage victory", Slongo said.

Franco Pellizotti, a teammate of Nibali's and the oldest rider in the Tour at 40, noted that incidents with fans on Alpe d'Huez are nothing new - such as when Giuseppe Guerini rode into a spectator taking a photo in the middle of the road in 1999.

Fans camping out on Huez for weeks before the race create a raucous atmosphere. "In cycling, you can support a rider without booing the others".

Spain's Omar Fraile celebrates a she crosses the finish line to win the 14th stage
Spain's Omar Fraile celebrates a she crosses the finish line to win the 14th stage

"It doesn't take much to make a rider fall".

Geraint Thomas, the stage victor, overall leader and Froome's Team Sky teammate, was booed both as he crossed the finish line and stood on the winner's podium, and now Tour director Christian Prudhomme has had just about enough.

Peter Sagan won Stage 13 of the Tour de France while Geraint Thomas of Team Sky retained the yellow jersey for the third consecutive day.

Both Team Sky riders finished safely in the pack with their top rivals.

Tom Dumoulin stayed third overall at 1:50 behind.

World champion Sagan was fastest down the final stretch, crossing the line ahead of Alexander Kristoff and Arnaud Démare in a bunch finish in Valence.

On stage 12, Geraint Thomas got a gap on his rivals with a sprint to the line.

This time, Sagan was racing against a field of sprinters greatly depleted by three grueling days in the mountains.

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.

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