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Thomas tightens grip on yellow as Roglic powers to 19th stage win at the Tour

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Primoz Roglic wins stage 19 tour de france 2018

Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) stretched his Tour de France yellow jersey lead on Friday as Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo) won the 19th stage in controversial fashion to push Chris Froome off the virtual podium.

Thomas finished second on the final stage in the high mountains at 19secs behind Roglic after the LottoNL-Jumbo rider had launched a series of small attacks before the summit of the Aubisque.

The Welshman’s final sprint to clinch second place earned him six bonus seconds, which increased his overall lead on Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) to 2min 05secs ahead of the penultimate-stage time trial on Saturday.

Roglic moved up to third overall at 2:24 behind Thomas, with Froome now fourth at 2:37. But while the 28-year-old Slovenian celebrated, Dumoulin was furious at the finish, claiming Roglic “used the slipstream of the motorbike” that had moved in front of him shortly after the summit to build an advantage which, in the end, proved decisive.

Asked to confirm the allegation, Roglic said: “What can I say? I can’t comment on things on which I don’t have influence over. I don’t see where the problem is.”

Roglic was a constant thorn in the side of Team Sky on the final climb, where his accelerations left four-time champion Froome struggling to hold the wheel on several occasions.

The Slovenian redoubled his efforts shortly after cresting the summit, defying the shrouds of mist to accelerate away from Thomas, Froome, Dumoulin, Mikel Landa and Romain Bardet to leave them in a desperate chase on the 20 km descent to the finish.

Later, as the accusations poured in, Thomas voiced his suspicions, saying: “All of a sudden it seemed Roglic got a gap. The way he did get the gap was a little surprising… but I didn’t actually see it myself.

“I was concentrating on the corners, following Tom’s wheel. There has been an issue with motorbikes getting too close, but I didn’t see it.”

Although Thomas’s yellow jersey bid was not at stake, except in the event of catastrophe, Sky are desperate to see Froome finish among the podium places in Paris on Sunday and were in no mood to give Roglic a free run to the finish.

Froome managed to limit the damage by following wheels most of the way down before finishing eighth and last from the seven-man group of favourites who crossed the line 19secs behind Roglic.

“The only thing I can focus on in the time trial is myself,” added Roglic.

Julian Alaphilippe, meanwhile, did enough over the first two big climbs, the Col d’Aspin and the Col du Tourmalet, to secure the ‘King of the Mountains’ polka dot jersey.

“It’s exceptional,” said Alaphilippe. “It was my dream to win a stage, now I’ve won two and I’ve got the polka dot jersey on my shoulders. It’s an incredible feeling.”

Peter Sagan also battled through a final, gruelling day in the mountains, finishing 38:23 behind Roglic to secure his sixth green jersey for the points competition.

Tour de France 2018 – stage 19 results (Lourdes – Laruns):

1 Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo)

5:28:17

2 Geraint Thomas (Team Sky)

+19”

3 Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale)

,,

4 Daniel Martin (UAE Team Emirates)

,,

5 Rafal Majka (Bora-hansgrohe)

,,

6 Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb)

,,

7 Mikel Landa (Movistar)

,,

8 Chris Froome (Team Sky)

,,

9 Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo)

+31”

10 Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha-Alpecin)

,,

11 Gorka Izagirre (Bahrain-Merida)

+01’47”

12 Bob Jungels (Quick-Step Floors)

,,

13 Egan Bernal (Team Sky)

,,

14 Domenico Pozzovivo (Bahrain-Merida)

+03’39”

15 Ion Izagirre (Bahrain-Merida)

,,

16 Tanel Kangert (Astana)

+03’57”

17 Pierre Latour (AG2R La Mondiale)

+04’31”

18 Antwan Tolhoek (LottoNL-Jumbo)

+06’52”

19 Nairo Quintana (Movistar)

+07’09”

20 Jakob Fuglsang (Astana)

+07’18”

 

General classification after stage 19:

1 Geraint Thomas (Team Sky)

79:49:31

2 Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb)

+02’05”

3 Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo)

+02’24”

4 Chris Froome (Team Sky)

+02’37”

5 Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo)

+04’37”

6 Mikel Landa (Movistar)

+04’40”

7 Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale)

+05’15”

8 Daniel Martin (UAE Team Emirates)

+06’39”

9 Nairo Quintana (Movistar)

+10’26”

10 Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha-Alpecin)

+11’49”

11 Bob Jungels (Quick-Step Floors)

+15’54”

12 Jakob Fuglsang (Astana)

+16’36”

13 Pierre Latour (AG2R La Mondiale)

+20’21”

14 Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)

+25’50”

15 Egan Bernal (Team Sky)

+26’08”

16 Tanel Kangert (Astana)

+31’19”

17 Warren Barguil (Fortuneo-Samsic)

+33’59”

18 Domenico Pozzovivo (Bahrain-Merida)

+36’37”

19 Rafal Majka (Bora-hansgrohe)

+37’35”

20 Guillaume Martin (Wanty – Groupe Gobert)

+40’00”