Briton rider eliminated from Tour de France

Cavendish-Cropped

Cavendish-Cropped

La Rosiere: Geraint Thomas claimed the stage win and the race leader's yellow jersey on the Tour de France on Wednesday, with a powerful ride up the final climb of a gruelling 108-kilometre run from Albertville to La Rosiere.

Movistar have three options in Alejandro Valverde, Nairo Quintana and Mikel Landa, but their conservative tactics are likely to do little to open up the race.

Froome won the season's first grand tour ahead of Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb), who now sits third overall at 1:44 in the Tour.

There was talk before and during this year's Tour that Thomas could challenge Froome as Sky's team leader, even though Froome has won the last three Grand Tours.

Froome is 59 seconds further back and 2014 champion Vincenzo Nibali trails the Briton by six seconds. For me, it's already a success.

The Tour continues Thursday with stage 12 to Alpe d'Huez, live on NBCSN and NBC Sports Gold (full broadcast schedule here).

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Cavendish, in danger throughout most of the day from being picked up by the race's notorious "broom wagon", crossed the line 1hr 05min 33sec behind compatriot Thomas. "If I have to pull towards the end, then I will", Thomas said. "We're going to have to keep a close eye on him", Froome said, looking ahead to the race's only individual time trial in the penultimate stage.

Froome is 3:21 behind Van Avermaet after recovering from a punctured tire atop the second of the stage's ascents, finishing with Thomas and most of the top contenders.

"For sure I'm not going to sit up and lose time, but I think we're in a great position". "If Geraint stays where he is and takes the yellow jersey they've got a real problem on their hands".

Alaphilippe increased his lead over Taaramäe in the descent before the final climb of the day, Col de la Colombiere, and with 20 km to go the French rider was 20 seconds in front.

It also means neither rider has been able to add to their career tally of Tour stage wins, leaving Cavendish still four behind Eddy Merckx's all-time record of 34.

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