Tour de France 2018: Rest Day 2 Recap

From the cobbles to the Alps, the GC gaps widen

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The three brutal stages in the Alps defined the overall classification of the 2018 Tour de France through stage 15, and after Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) earned one more day in the race leader's jersey thanks to a day-long breakaway, Team Sky's Geraint Thomas claimed the next two summit victories including the coveted Alpe d'Huez stage to take firm hold of the maillot jaune.

Defending Tour de France champion Chris Froome remained quietly in second place overall, with Thomas deflecting much of the media attention from his teammate for the time being. But the question of who is the real team leader remains the hot topic of the Tour as the Pyrenees loom.

With Team Sky looking almost unflappable - aside from Gianni Moscon, who was ejected on stage 15 for hitting Elie Gesbert - Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) was left as the rider most likely to challenge the duo following the unfortunate exit of Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) because of a crash on Alpe d'Huez.

Dumoulin has matched Froome blow-for-blow, his 1:50 gap to Thomas largely a product of his mishap en route to the Mûr de Bretagne. He is only 11 seconds behind Froome and as he showed on La Rosière, he is unafraid to attack him.

Primoz Roglic (LottoNl-Jumbo) has also become increasingly aggressive, in particular on stage 14 to Mende, where he picked up eight seconds on Thomas. The 1:11 he lost in the team time trial will continue to haunt him: Roglic is now 2:38 down on Thomas and 59 seconds down on Froome. Given his strength in the time trial and rising form, he is poised for a podium push in the Pyrenees.

Roglic's teammate Steven Kruijswijk has also been quietly climbing the rankings, waging a heroic day-long attack to Alpe d'Huez only to be denied at the last. The Dutch team might yet have something up their sleeves.

The second week cracked a number of riders: Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) lost 4:42 on the stage to La Rosière and then struggled to the finish of Alpe d'Huez with the gruppetto the next day, while Rafal Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) each lost double-digit minutes in the Alps.

Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) lost almost four minutes on La Rosière but slowed the bleeding on Alpe d'Huez, giving up just 42 seconds. Dan Martin (UAE Team Emirates) lost 27 seconds on La Rosière and 1:45 on Alpe d'Huez, then lost another 1:43 on the uphill finish in Mende due to a late puncture.

The time losses for Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale) were more of a slow leak than a blow-out, with the French hope ceding a minute on La Rosière but then keeping Thomas and Froome within reach on subsequent stages, but the 31km individual time trial next week will not play into his strengths. He will need to gain minutes in the Pyrenees to have a hope of a podium.

Movistar's much-questioned three-headed approach to the Tour de France proved worth the doubt, with Alejandro Valverde using up all his bullets on La Rosière and neither Mikel Landa nor Nairo Quintana able to capitalize on his work. The team's hopes of a podium finish seem distant, with Landa best-placed in sixth at 3:42 from Thomas, and none of the three a match for Froome or Dumoulin in the time trial. At least they have the teams classification.

There is plenty more intrigue in store for the final week, however, with the tricky descent from the Col du Portillon to the finish on stage 16 sure to raise some heart rates, the breathless 65km stage to Saint-Lary-Soulan on stage 17, and another downhill finish off the Col d'Aubisque on stage 19 all preceding the 31km individual time trial.

While the GC is still up for grabs, Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) has such a huge lead in the points classification he hardly needed his stage win in Valence to get a virtual lock on the green jersey. Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors) has the mountains jersey, while Pierre Latour (AG2R La Mondiale) leads the young riders classification.

Time (loss)/gains (+=bonuses) on general classification among contenders

GC PlaceRiderGap to ThomasRest Day 1Time lost week 2Stage 10Stage 11Stage 12Stage 14
1 (-1)Geraint Thomas62:49:470:00:00  +0:10+0:10 
2 (-6)Chris Froome0:01:390:00:590:00:40 (0:20) +0:04(0:04) 
3 (-12)Tom Dumoulin0:01:500:01:200:00:30 (0:20) +0:06(0:02) +0:06 
4 (-9)Primoz Roglic0:02:380:01:140:01:24 (0:59)(0:13)0:08
5 (-12)Romain Bardet0:03:210:01:490:01:32 (0:59)(0:03) +0:04(0:14)
6 (-4)Mikel Landa0:03:420:00:590:02:43 (1:47)(0:07)(0:29)
7 (-9)Steven Kruijswijk0:03:570:02:060:01:51 (2:40)(0:53)(0:14)
8 (-13)Nairo Quintana0:04:230:02:070:02:16 (0:59)(0:47)(0:10)
9 (+2)Jakob Fuglsang0:06:140:00:500:05:24 (3:53)(0:42)(0:29)
10 (-14)Daniel Martin0:06:540:02:390:04:15 (0:27)(1:45)(1:43)
11 (+6)Alejandro Valverde0:09:360:00:480:08:48 (3:30)(4:29)(0:29)
12 (+8)Bob Jungels0:09:530:00:070:09:46(0:51)(4:42)(3:09)(0:44)
13 (-6)Ilnur Zakarin0:10:010:01:590:08:02(0:51)(1:58)(4:29)(0:24)
DNFRigoberto Uran 0:05:22 (2:36)(26:07)DNF 
DNFVincenzo Nibali 0:01:05  (0:59)(0:13) 

Rest Day 1 News

Stage 10: Annecy - Le Grand-Bornand, 158.5 km

Winner: Julian Alaphilippe
Leader: Greg Van Avermaet

Julian Alaphilippe wins stage 10 at the Tour de France

Stage 11: Albertville - La Rosière, 108.5 km

Winner: Geraint Thomas
Leader: Geraint Thomas

Geraint Thomas (Team Sky)

Stage 12: Bourg-Saint-Maurice Les Arc - Alpe d'Huez, 175.5 km

Winner: Geraint Thomas
Leader: Geraint Thomas

Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) wins on the Alpe d'Huez

Stage 13: Bourg d'Oisans - Valence, 169.5 km

Winner: Peter Sagan
Leader: Geraint Thomas

Peter Sagan wins stage 13 at the Tour de France

Stage 14: Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux - Mende, 188 km

Winner: Omar Fraile
Leader: Geraint Thomas

Omar Fraile (Astana) celebrates winning stage 14 at the Tour de France

Stage 15: Millau - Carcassonne, 181.5 km

Winner: Magnus Cort
Leader: Geraint Thomas

Magnus Cort Neilsen wins

StageWinnerLeaderPointsMountainsYouthTeamsCombativity
1Fernando GaviriaFernando GaviriaFernando GaviriaKevin LedanoisFernando GaviriaQuick-Step FloorsYoann Offredo
2Peter SaganPeter SaganPeter SaganDion SmithSylvain Chavanel
3BMC Racing TeamGreg Van AvermaetSøren Kragh Andersen
4Fernando GaviriaJerome Cousin
5Peter SaganToms SkujinsToms Skujins
6Dan MartinDamien Gaudin
7Dylan GroenewegenLaurent Pichon
8Dylan GroenewegenFabien Greiller
9John Degenkolb Damien Gaudin
10Julian AlaphilippeJulian AlaphilippePierre LatourMovistarGreg Van Avermaet
11Geraint ThomasGeraint ThomasAlejandro Valverde
12Geraint ThomasSteven Kruijswijk
13Peter SaganMichael Schar
14Omar FraileJasper Stuyven
15Magnus CortRafal Majka

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