Chris Froome’s climb and punishment as Geraint Thomas rises in Sky

Geraint Thomas leads his Team Sky teammates on a training ride

Geraint Thomas in the yellow jersey, second-placed Chris Froome and third-placed Tom Dumoulin all crossed together almost nine minutes behind.

Ireland's Dan Martin (UAE) finished second at 28secs behind Quintana, with Thomas third at 47 and Slovenian Primoz Roglic (Lotto-Jumbo) in fourth at 52.

Despite finishing around 9 minutes behind Alaphilippe, Thomas retains the yellow jersey, maintaining his 1 minute and 39 second advantage over teammate Chris Froome in general classification.

Team Sky have said that Thomas and Froome will not race against each other, but the four-times champion is a far better descender than the yellow jersey holder, and knows he must take time off of his team mate to stand a chance of winning the race for a record-equalling fifth time.

Jul 25 2018 12:28 am CET The 16th stage of the Tour de France has been the first day in the Pyrenees and despite the lack of attacks in the peloton, the breakaway displayed a good performance that even included some worrying crashes.

CHRIS Froome has endured a nightmare day at the Tour de France.

"But I still felt strong and had the energy to finish the race on a high". Froome has won the last three Tours.

"I wanted to win for my people in Colombia, after months of hard work", said Quintana, who has won the Giro d'Italia and the Vuelta.

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Inside the opening 30 kilometres of the 218km route from Carcassone to Bagneres-de-Luchon, a group of farmers attempted to block the road with hay bales, seemingly in response to the French government's plans to reduce the number of areas that are set to receive agricultural subsidies. "We came here with a great team although things did not play out the way we expected".

"I just sprayed some water, water in the eyes, water on the face", he said.

This means Tom Dumoulin moves into second place to split the two Sky riders, Thomas and Froome, on the podium. His team shared a supportive message on Twitter, and so did Team Sky.

Froome's hopes are hanging by a thread after he crossed the line 1:35 off the pace as he does not seem to have the legs to overturn the deficit and might not be allowed to by his team after Thomas emerged as the clear leader in the British squad.

The Tour de France is several weeks of gruelling cycling and a test of strength, both physical and mental, that it's any wonder people come out alive doing it. Philippe Gilbert managed to break his knee cap and cycle for another 60km.

But the day belonged to Alaphilippe, who has spent the past 10 days chasing points to add to his collection for the King of the Mountains' polka dot jersey.

The events of stage 16 did highlight again, though, just how vulnerable the riders are.

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