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Cycling: Thomas in the driving seat as rivals lose considerable time

Cycling: Thomas in the driving seat as rivals lose considerable time
FILE PHOTO: Cycling - Tour de France - The 215-km Stage 3 from Binche to Epernay - July 8, 2019 - Team INEOS rider Geraint Thomas of Britain before the start. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann   -   Copyright  CHRISTIAN HARTMANN(Reuters)
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ALBI, France (Reuters) – Defending champion Geraint Thomas gained time on a handful of rivals as crosswinds caused chaos in the peloton in the climax of Monday’s 10th stage of the Tour de France.

Thomas was on the right end of a bunch split 35 kilometres from the finish of the 217.5-km ride from St Flour with France’s Thibaut Pinot, Dane Jakob Fuglsang and Australian Richie Porte trapped behind. The trio finished 1:39 off the pace, according to a provisional result.

Dutchman Wout van Aert won the stage in a sprint finish with Thomas, his Ineos team mate Egan Bernal and fellow Colombian Nairo Quintana in the main group.

Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe, whose Deceuninck-Quick Step team’s acceleration in the crosswinds caused the decisive split, retained the overall leader’s yellow jersey as he crossed the line at the same time as Van Aert.

(Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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