• Great Britain's Chris Froome for team Sky (GodingImages)Source: GodingImages
Chris Froome and Team Sky shook off early mechanicals to once more exercise domination on a bunch still licking its wounds after the Tour's opening nine stages.
Cycling Central

18 Jul 2018 - 11:10 AM  UPDATED 18 Jul 2018 - 4:42 PM

Froome labelled the experience of puncturing on the gravel section of the Plateau des Glières, 68 kilometeres from the finish a 'comedy of errors' after grabbing the wheel of team mate Jonathan Castroviejo to resolve his first mechanical, only to discover it too was flat. 

“There was a little bit of wacky races going on when I had a puncture on the dirt section and had to swap wheels. 

"Then when I got the spare wheel from my teammate I realised that the wheel was also flat so there was a little bit of a comedy of errors going on there. Thankfully it was quite far from the finish so I was able to get back in."

The four-time Tour de France champion agreed with much of the post-stage, 'everyone played it conservatively' rhetoric. 

"It was the first day of a three-day block. It wasn't a summit finish. I don't think our big rivals necessarily showed their hand today. For us, it was more about staying up front and out of trouble, and it was really nice to see as well that we had the numbers up there when it started to get selective towards the end."

While most of the main GC contenders stayed together, Sky's work still affected some. Bob Jungels, Rafal Majka, Bauke Mollema, Ilnur Zakarin and Rigoberto Uran all lost time as Sky pounded away on the front of the main bunch. 

Jungels still sits ahead of Froome by one second on the general classification but Uran was the biggest loser, finishing just under six minutes behind stage winner Julian Alaphilippe, with a gap now to Froome of just under four minutes. 

Geraint Thomas remains second overall, ascribing his position to the work of his team.

“It was a real good ride by the team, but it was still hard. There were some really steep climbs and we expected it to kick off on the last two [climbs] but it never really materialised, but I suppose there was a bit of headwind on the last climb and Kwiatkowski was putting in a really good tempo.

“There’s some big days to come and maybe everyone was just saving it a little bit or on the limit I don’t know, but it was a good day I guess. But there’s two more big days.” 

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Strap yourself in! Watch Stage 11 of the 2018 Tour de France on SBS LIVE from 9.30pm AEST with pre-show intros or go direct to the racing on the ŠKODA Tour Tracker  at 9.50pm AEST.