Published: Fri, July 27, 2018
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

Chris Froome crashes after police mistake him for a spectator

Chris Froome crashes after police mistake him for a spectator

But the penultimate stage features a spiteful profile, including an energy-sapping final climb up the 22 percent gradient Col de Pinodieta, which could be the undoing of many hopefuls within sight of the Champs-Elysees.

Quintana said: "I'm happy for the win". Froome is fourth at two minutes and 37 seconds. It looked like a fast corner, but after I just went a little more right - I was braking but it wasn't enough.

"I was braking but it wasn't enough".

"I fell onto rocks and, when I landed, I thought I'd been broken apart".

So big is his lead in the points competition, Sagan only needs to finish in Paris on Sunday to secure the green jersey for a record-equalling sixth time.

Latour burnt himself out before the top, and the yellow jersey group went down after the breakers, who were still flying down the mountain on the toughest descent of the tour.

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Otherwise, it was a very calm stage except for a minor crash involving Stage 17 victor Nairo Quintana and British rider Adam Yates midway through the route.

"I did not see him crash", Sagan's teammate Daniel Oss said after the race. "But when I got back to the hotel and was showed the pictures it was obviously something else".

"He must have made a mistake on one of the corners".

On a warm day in southern France, Stage 18 took riders through the vineyards of Madiran to the city of Pau, the birthplace of 16th-century king Henri IV.

Froome said the priority now was to make sure that Thomas keeps hold of the yellow jersey. "It could be worse".

The Manxman is one of two Brits selected for the African team, alongside fit-again Scott Thwaites.

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"I felt a tingle in the eyes, and in the back of my throat".

Thomas opened up a 1min 59sec to Dutch rival Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb), with four-time champion Froome at 2:31.

"Obviously I didn't want him to have a bad day, like he did, but it gave me confidence knowing somebody of Froomey's stature was struggling", said Thomas.

"The best answer I could give Andre Greipel was to win today", said Demare. "It was good to do that, a 40km-odd time trial, so I feel confident that I'll be able to do a decent ride".

Four-time Tour de France victor Chris Froome was upended by a French policeman and taken off of his bike during stage 17 of the race.

Thomas will have the rare luxury of having four-time Tour victor Chris Froome ride in his service after his team-mate slipped to third overall on Wednesday, declaring afterwards he is now all-in for Thomas.

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The stage started with an 18-rider break which then became 12 by the time it reached the Col de Tourmalet where the stage came alive. Team Sky seemed to have matters under control with five riders protecting Thomas' maillot jaune, but Landa had overtaken all but Thomas in the virtual general classification, with a lead on the road of three and a half minutes.

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