Egan Bernal: Thomas asked me to attack to try to move the race

Egan Bernal made a move on the last climb of stage 18 in the Tour de France and crossed the finish line four minutes and 46 seconds from the winner of the stage Nairo Quintana.

Geraint Thomas gave his team-mate the freedom to attack on the Galibier as the Colombian gained 32 seconds to move ahead of Thomas.

“For us, it was really good,” said Bernal. “I gained a little bit of time on Alaphilippe so I’m really happy about that. G asked me how I was feeling. I said I was feeling really good so he asked me to attack to try to move the race. Then he tried to come with me, but once he saw the guys were on his wheel he stayed with them.

“I was feeling much better when I was at altitude, I don’t know if it was just mentally. The last 8km was more than 2000 metres. I was feeling much better and I hope tomorrow can be good for me. I tried to do a time trial in the last 3km. I don’t know from how many kilometres out I attacked. I just viewed the finish as the King of the Mountains (summit) and I did my best on the downhill. I was careful to not crash.

“I think that for the team, I’m second in GC, Thomas is third, but just five seconds to me. We’re in a really, really good position. We will see how Julian Alaphilippe is tomorrow, today he was really strong so we will see,” said Bernal.

“I don’t [if we can drop him], we need to see what happens but Julian Alaphilippe is really strong, we will need to see how is he tomorrow and after tomorrow, but if he continues like today and the other days it will be really difficult.”

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