Published: Sun, July 14, 2019
Sport | By Wilson Duncan

Geraint Thomas loses time to rivals after crash on Tour de France

Geraint Thomas loses time to rivals after crash on Tour de France

French duo Alaphilippe and Thibaut Pinot, from rival teams, appeared to work together on the closing section of the final climb, which will not have escaped the French public.

France's Thibaut Pinot, right, and France's Julian Alaphilippe crosse the finish line of the eighth stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 200 kilometers (125 miles) with start in Macon and finish in Saint Etienne, France, Saturday, July 13, 2019. "(Michael) Woods crashed and took out Gianni (Moscon) and me and I just got tangled in Gianni's bike". Instead, the Frenchman now builds on a 23-second advantage atop the overall standings, and embraces for the Bastille Day with yellow jersey back.

Thomas was frustrated that Alaphilippe's move came shortly after he had made his way back into the peloton.

Alaphilippe and compatriot Thibaut Pinot staged a late attack, but failed to overturn their deficit from De Gendt, both finishing six seconds behind.

"If I hadn't crashed I could have followed (Pinot and Alaphilippe) and it's a totally different story then".

Defending champ Geraint Thomas of Wales survived a spectacular crash 15 kilometres from the finish and crossed the line 20 seconds behind Alaphilippe.

It was breakaway specialist De Gendt's second stage victory on the Tour after the Lotto Soudal rider prevailed at the top of the iconic Mont Ventoux in 2016. It hurts so much but it's wonderful.

Alaphilippe - who won the yellow jersey on Stage three - handed it over after losing just six seconds to Giulio Ciccone on Thursday at the Planche des Belles Filles ski station.

"I had a really good feeling all day so I believed in it all day, but we only got five minutes (lead) and it went down really quick to three and a half", De Gendt said.

"It was frustrating to skip April and races like the Tour of the Basque Country but I knew it would pay off". Moscon's bike was busted into two piece by the impact.

"It's annoying, but at the same time, to come back like I did shows I had good legs". I was trying to catch the group again in case there was another mechanical or a fall. "It's just unfortunate I can't get into free wind in the bunch sprints", Matthews said.

"The worst thing was that Pinot got time".

While Alaphilippe and Pinot will be a little disappointed to have fallen just a couple of hundred metres short of winning the stage, both will find much to console them.

The national holiday test is a 170 kilometre ride from former mining town Saint Etienne to Brioude, French climber Romain Bardet's hometown, and the AG2R man has sworn to fight back after dropping over two minutes so far in the overall.

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