Team Sky have signalled that they fully intend to defend Rigoberto Uran’s lead in the white jersey classification, after bringing back a break that included white jersey rival Arnold Jeanneson (FDJ) early in the race.
The Jeannesson group escaped the peloton following a flurry of attacks in the opening 90 kilometres. Despite building an advantage of nearly a minute, however, the break was brought back thanks to a determined chase from Sky. Sporting Director Sean Yates explained after the stage that the team was always going to chase once they realised the Frenchman was in the move.
"[When that move] went away - we had to close it down to defend the white jersey for Rigo [Uran]," commented Yates. "Everyone got stuck in and it was a great, great team effort [to bring the move back].
"The team covered every move and it took a long, long time for that break to go so there was a lot of work involved."
When the break of the day, which included Edvald Boasson Hagen, did eventually get away, the rest of the team nurtured Uran through to the finish. Geraint Thomas was one of a number of riders who turned themselves inside out to help Uran over the category two Col de Manse.
"G [Thomas] did a fantastic amount of work. He's flying and to be there on that climb playing it cool with Rigoberto was great to see. I can't praise the boys highly enough today," continued Yates.
Simon Gerrans, who missed the move of the day, was also full of praise for the Colombian and reaffirmed to Cyclingnews the team’s commitment to supporting him all the way to Paris.
"The guy has a very real chance of winning the white jersey and holding a top-10 position in Paris. We’re going to do all we can to support him to get there."