Thomas wins 12th stage

Thomas wins 12th stage

Thomas, 32, becomes the first Briton to win a stage of the Tour de France on Alpe d'Huez.

"It's great for us to have those options to play when it comes down to it, especially looking at some of our rivals who have got two or three options in their team", Froome said.

"I didn t plan to go in the breakaway, but once I did, I just had to go for it".

"I'm not sure what happened to Nibali but I think Thomas went over his back wheel and almost came off himself", he said. "It's one of those things that will stay with me for the rest of my life".

Alejandro Valverde of Movistar is third overall, 3 minutes and 10 seconds adrift, while Froome trails by 3 minutes and 21 seconds.

Froome attacked as soon as Bardet punctured for the last time just at the end of the last cobbled sector, but the Frenchman, who at some points was lagging 40 seconds behind, benefited from huge pulls by his team mates Tony Gallopin and Oliver Naesen.

France's Romain Bardet, who was third overall previous year, suffered three punctures but managed to limit the damage, only losing seven seconds to Froome and the four-time champion's Sky team mate Geraint Thomas.

"I didn't see that..." "Froomey is still the man".

With bonus seconds applied, Thomas extends his lead in yellow over Froome by 14 seconds to one minute and 39 seconds, with Dutchman Dumoulin a further 11 seconds back. Nibali was fourth at two minutes 37 seconds. But it was the battling Thomas who made the decisive move - kicking clear on the home straight to secure back-to-back wins in the high Alps.

"I want to say thank you to Mark Cavendish". "It was a bit too hard to enjoy today".

Sky started this Tour de France featuring Froome as the leader, with Thomas given wildcard status after years of putting in loyal domestique work.

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"Sky have a strong hold on the race, everyone is asphyxiated", said AG2R-La Mondiale team manager Vincent Lavenu.

Julian Alaphilippe of Team Quick-Step climbed brilliantly to secure victory in Stage 10 of the Tour de France, as the race hit the Alps for the first time. It's a massive, massive feather in his cap.

"We couldn't have asked for much more, really". Yesterday "G" went up the road and left other riders scrambling to try and chase.

"I had a puncture on the dirt section and got a spare wheel from a teammate only to find out it was actually flat as well" Froome said. It's just a dream scenario for us right now.

Froome had attacked with four kilometres to go but couldn't quite drop Thomas, Dumoulin and Bardet.

Though the sight of Sky massed on the front of the peloton most of the day was not one to excite fans, Thomas delivered the stage win with panache.

Here, we take a look at five key questions ahead of the second week of the race. "Have a bit of decency".

The American's stage win, like all his results, were later scrapped from the history books after he was found guilty of doping throughout his career.

"The Shark" could yet be added to a lengthy casualty list on a day which saw the sprint field decimated.

Though it wasn't enough to reel in stage victor Julian Alaphilippe, Martin's race up the to the 1,613 summit was completed in record time.

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