Nibali withdraws from Tour de France with back fracture

Thomas’ teammate (and four-time Tour champion) Chris Froome crossed the line another second behind Bardet.

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From uncertainty over his role for Sky in the final week, to the virulent criticism of his team as they continue to dominate with impunity, Thomas is unlikely to forget what has been his most successful Grand Tour so far.

“We need to restore calm and respect all the riders”, he said. “But that’s part of winning”. All that was left, as if it was the simplest task in the world, was to cover any attacks (the Spaniard launched the only full-throated attempt to get away), before easily outsprinting the pair to take another win for Astana.

“We were always in control”, Thomas said.

Team Sky also tweeted a video statement from Moscon, apologising for the incident.

“It’s interesting that we’ve just done the Tour of Italy and Chris’s case was open and the Italians were fantastic, and the Spanish the same”, he added.

“I played, I went all-in, and I lost”. But it’s okay to spit at us and our staff? Emma Kennaugh is 21. It’s very, very intimidating.

Brailsford gives a press conference on the second rest day.

Sprinters Fernando Gaviria of Colombia and Dylan Groenewegen of the Netherlands, winners of two stages each, abandoned the race during the stage ending atop the iconic Alpe d’Huez, exhausted after an opening block of racing in extreme heat. When Froome accelerated, I followed him, and I felt good, too, but then there was this slowing down, and I went down. “With the short climb I tried to bring myself to the front and stay on the wheel of Kristoff”. We’re trying to remain dignified, we’re trying not to react and we’re trying not to get distracted by it.

“I don’t think spitting and throwing things really has a base in professional sport, nor in everyday life”. “We’ll just carry on”.

With the Tour dropping down from the Alps, there were only two categorized climbs for the riders to contend. De Gendt won the first of the day at Côte de Brié while Scully won the second at Côte de Sainte-Eulalie-en-Royans.

Three years ago, before going on to win his second Yellow Jersey, Froome was doused with urine on his previous ride into Mende. “I want to publicly apologise for what happened, to my team-mates, to everyone involved in Team Sky, and everyone involved in the Tour de France”.

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The UCI’s disciplinary committee dropped that case due to a lack of evidence, but the incident did not help Moscon’s reputation, which then suffered a further blow when he was disqualified from last year’s world championship road race after a video emerged of him taking a tow from the Italian team vehicle after he was caught up in a crash on the penultimate lap.

Denmark's Magnus Nielsen celebrates as he crosses the finish line to win the 15th stage of the Tour de France