Demare silences critics with stage 18 victory at the Tour de France

Arnaud Demare wins stage 18 tour de france

Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ) silenced his critics by claiming a comfortable win in the bunch sprint of the 18th stage of the Tour de France on Thursday, the first victory this year for a French team in the race.

The Frenchman, who had been accused by Andre Greipel of holding on to his team car in Wednesday’s mountain stage to avoid missing the time cut, was perfectly set up by Jacopo Guarnieri.

He beat compatriot Christophe Laporte (Cofidis) and Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates), who were second and third respectively as Geraint Thomas retained the overall leader’s yellow jersey after 171km from Trie sur Baize.

“I did not fight for nothing in the mountains, I was thinking of a possible victory when I was suffering,” said Demare.

On Wednesday, Greipel hinted on Twitter that Demare held on to his team car in the final climb up to the Col du Portet, which the Frenchman denied.

Demare sent his power and time data to Greipel, who had quickly deleted his tweet. “Today I thought of him,” said Demare of Greipel, who abandoned the race last week along with several other top sprinters, exhausted by extreme heat and grueling efforts in the mountains.

Demare grinded his teeth though the mountain stages, narrowly avoiding missing the time cut on a couple of occasions.

“I had good legs and today all the hard work I did paid off,” he said. I stayed strong in my head. (Cheating) is not my philosophy. I gave everything, I worked super hard in the mountains ahead of the Tour de France. Several sprinters are home today and I’m still here. I deserved this victory, the whole team deserved it for their hard work.”

Tour de France 2018 – stage 18 results (Trie-sur-Baïse – Pau):

1Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ)

3:46:50

2Christophe Laporte (Cofidis)

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3Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates)

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4Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension Data)

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5Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida)

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6Maximiliano Richeze (Quick-Step Floors)

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7John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo)

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8Peter Sagan (Bora-hansgrohe)

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9Taylor Phinney (EF Education First-Drapac)

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10Timothy Dupont (Wanty-Groupe Gobert)

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11Yves Lampaert (Quick-Step Floors)

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12Jasper De Buyst (Lotto Soudal)

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13Oliver Naesen (AG2R La Mondiale)

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14Reinardt Janse van Rensburg (Dimension Data)

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15Jacopo Guarnieri (Groupama-FDJ)

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16Michael Hepburn (Mitchelton – Scott)

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17Andrea Pasqualon (Wanty – Groupe Gobert)

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18Lilian Calmejane (Direct Energie)

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19Nils Politt (Katusha-Alpecin)

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20Magnus Cort (Astana)

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General classification after stage 18:

1Geraint Thomas (Team Sky)

74:21:01

2Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb)

+01’59”

3Chris Froome (Team Sky)

+02’31”

4Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo)

+02’47”

5Nairo Quintana (Movistar)

+03’30”

6Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo)

+04’19”

7Mikel Landa (Movistar)

+04’34”

8Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale)

+05’13”

9Daniel Martin (UAE Team Emirates)

+06’33”

10Jakob Fuglsang (Astana)

+09’31”

11Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)

+11’25”

12Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha-Alpecin)

+11’31”

13Bob Jungels (Quick-Step Floors)

+14’20”

14Pierre Latour (AG2R La Mondiale)

+16’03”

15Guillaume Martin (Wanty – Groupe Gobert)

+22’30”

16Egan Bernal (Team Sky)

+24’34”

17Warren Barguil (Fortuneo-Samsic)

+26’54”

18Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo)

+27’22”

19Tanel Kangert (Astana)

+27’35”

20Domenico Pozzovivo (Bahrain-Merida)

+33’11”

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