Tour de France 2018 Stage 12: Geraint Thomas cements lead in Alpe d’Huez

The Tour de France's 12th stage is the third Alpine test in a row. Following a heroic 70 kilometres solo by Steven Kruijswijk, the race boils down to a sprint of five with maillot jaune Geraint Thomas winning ahead of Tom Dumoulin and Romain Bardet. It is the second consecutive victory of Thomas, who extends his overall lead. (Slideshow route/profile)

Results 12th stage 2018 Tour de France

1. Geraint Thomas (gbr)
2. Tom Dumoulin (nld) + 0.02
3. Romain Bardet (fra) + 0.03
4. Chris Froome (gbr) + 0.04
5. Mikel Landa (spa) + 0.07
6. Primoz Roglic (slo) + 0.13
7. Vincenzo Nibali (ita) s.t.
8. Jakob Fuglsang (den) + 0.42
9. Nairo Quintana (col) + 0.47
10. Steven Kruijswijk (nld) + 0.53

11. Egan Bernal (col) + 1.41
12. Daniel Martin (irl) + 1.45
13. Bob Jungels (lux) + 3.09
14. Alejandro Valverde (spa) + 4.29
15. Ilnur Zakarin (rus) s.t.

GC after the 12th stage
1. Geraint Thomas (gbr)
2. Chris Froome (gbr) + 1.39
3. Tom Dumoulin (nld) + 1.50
4. Vincenzo Nibali (ita) + 2.37
5. Primoz Roglic (slo) + 2.46
6. Romain Bardet (fra) + 3.07
7. Mikel Landa (spa) + 3.13
8. Steven Kruijswijk (nld) + 3.43
9. Nairo Quintana (col) + 4.13
10. Daniel Martin (irl) + 5.11

11. Jakob Fuglsang (den) + 5.45
12. Alejandro Valverde (spa) + 9.07
13. Bob Jungels (lux) + 9.09
14. Ilnur Zakarin (rus) + 9.37
15. Mikel Nieve (spa) + 15.28

Race report
Despite several attacks in the early stages of the race, the pack is bunched when they tackle the Col de la Madeleine. Warren Barguil, Andrey Amador, Tejay van Garderen, Robert Gesink, Laurens ten Dam and Rafal Majka are among the most active riders. They are accompanied by a 20-plus group with Steven Kruijswijk best-placed on GC. Also on board are Alejandro Valverde, Ilnur Zakarin, Julian Alaphilippe, Felipe Martínez, Pierre Latour, Gorka Izagirre, Gregor Mühlberger, Pierre Rolland, David Gaudu and Mikel Nieve.

Alaphilippe is the first rider at the crest of the Madeleine and extends his KOM-lead. Barguil and Pauwels are second and third.

Pierre Rolland heads out alone on Les Lacets de Montvernier. He reaches the crest half a minute ahead of Alaphilippe and Pauwels with the other chasers close behind.

At the foot of the Col de la Croix de Fer Valverde and Kruijswijk rejoin Rolland. Barguil, Gesink, Amador, Majka, Zakarin, Martínez, Izagirre and Nieve bridge across a little later.

Kruijswijk goes solo with 19 kms to climb on the Croix de Fer. He faces a huge challenge as the finish is more than 70 kilometres ahead. He is the first rider over the top with Barguil, Majka and Nieve more than 3 minutes in arrears. The peloton is 6 minutes down on the lone leader.

On a flat section leading to the climb to Alpe d’Huez the chasers are brought back by the GC group, while Kruijswijk hits the final haul up with a lead of 4.20.

Bob Jungels, Alejandro Valverde and Daniel Martin are dropped in the peloton. Attempts by Vincenzo Nibali and Nairo Quintana to distance their rivals are neutralised. Romain Bardet’s attack is more successful, while Nairo Quintana is dropped.

Chris Froome closes the gap to Bardet with 4 kms to go and Vincenzo Nibali hits the deck. The title holder pushes on to catch Kruijswijk. Tom Dumoulin goes after him with Geraint Thomas and Bardet in his slipstream. Primoz Roglic and Mikel Landa are dropped. Only four riders left at the front: Thomas, Froome, Dumoulin, Bardet.

Bardet strikes again with 2.5 kms out, but he is brought back. Then Dumoulin kicks with only Thomas on his wheel. Again the four regroup. In the ensuing cat-and mouse play Landa rejoins the front.

With five they enter the finishing straight. Thomas opens his sprint with 300 metres to go and he distances his rivals. Dumoulin is closest, 2 seconds down on him, while Bardet pips Froome for third place.

Nibali and Roglic almost rejoin the front group with a strong pursuit to limit their losses. Kruijswijk finishes 53 seconds down on the stage winner.

Read also: route 12th stage 2018 Tour de France.

Tour de France 2018 stage 12: Route maps, height profiles, and more

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Geraint Thomas

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