• Chris Froome, Geraint Thomas, Tom Dumoulin Stage 12 2018 Tour de France (Getty)Source: Getty
Geraint Thomas endured a flurry of attacks to take hold of the yellow jersey on stage 11 of the Tour de France and stengthen his grip on it a day later on Alpe d'Huez. So does that mean the fight for the yellow jersey is done and dusted? It's hard to say.
By
Cycling Central

20 Jul 2018 - 10:30 AM  UPDATED 20 Jul 2018 - 1:10 PM

Firstly, who have we lost? 

Rigoberto Uran pulled out of the Tour before the start of Stage 11. Vincenzo Nibali looked strong towards the finale on Alpe d'Huez but was felled by a spectator's camera strap. He managed to regroup and finished just 13 seconds behind Stage 12 victor, Thomas, but tests later confirmed a non-displaced fracture of the T10 vertebra and he too has withdrawn. 

More details on the pair:

Nibali out of Tour with fracture after crash with spectator
In the final kilometres, just as the race was in its last throes before the finish, the broadcast cameras came across Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain Merida) prostrate on the road next to his bike.
Uran withdraws from Tour de France
Rigoberto Uran's dreams of making the 2018 Tour de France podium for a second consecutive year will not be realised after the Colombian pulled out prior to Stage 12.

So how does the fight for the jersey look now after a few days in the Alps?

1. Geraint Thomas and 2. Chris Froome (+1.39)

Geraint Thomas' post stage 11 interview

Team Sky took control on the final climb of Stage 11 using the likes of non pure climbers Michal Kwiatkowski to do all the work, allowing Egan Bernal to rest for another day. They had six riders still present nine kilometres from the finish and did an easy enough job chasing down Alejandro Valverde leftover from a jaunt with Tom Dumoulin, still 20 seconds up the road.

Thomas bridged the gap to Dumoulin and enjoyed a moment's respite before attacking the Dutchman and then mowing down the last man standing from the breakaway, Mikel Nieve, metres from the line, nabbing the stage victory and the yellow jersey. 

Behind, Froome attacked and managed to distance Dan Martin and tried to bridge to Thomas before the Welshman left for home. Instead he made it to just Dumoulin sticking with him until the finish, the Dutchman outsprinting him over the line for second on the stage. 

After Stage 12, Thomas' time over his nearest and dearest, team mate Froome and rival Dumoulin changed only with the bonus seconds he took with his Stage 12 victory. That makes it sound like noone else tried anything which couldn't be further from the truth, and perhaps without the efforts of Egan Bernal on Alpe d'Huez things might look a little different. 

Bernal ground the pace and guaranteed the long-range attack of Steven Kruijswijk was finally caught. Thomas and Froome then weathered successive attacks from Nibali, Nairo Quintana, Romain Bardet and Mikel Landa. The yellow jersey then accelerated away from a regrouped GC bunch in the final metres to beat Dumoulin, Bardet, Froome and Landa. 

The main problem for Team Sky is that Geraint Thomas has never finished better than 15th in a Grand Tour, as he often suffers a bad day. If you take 'G' out of the picture, it's only a slender lead for Froome over his rivals.

Geraint Thomas post stage 12 interview

3. Tom Dumoulin (+1.50)

Tom Dumoulin post stage 11 interview

Sky can't shake 2018 Giro d'Italia runner-up Tom Dumoulin. When the Dutchman's looked in trouble, he's just relaxed and switched on his diesel engine. And when he hasn't, he's tried a few attacks himself. 

On Stage 11, he used the descent from the Cormet de Roselend to escape with Soren Kragh Andersen, slipping across a minute gap to join Valverde's group. Nine kilometres from the finish, Dumoulin left a flagging Valverde behind, for Sky to soon absorb.  Thomas did make it to the powerhouse and while the Welshman trounced away solo to the stage victory and the yellow jersey, Dumoulin limited his losses, finishing just 20 seconds behind the new yellow jersey.  

On Stage 12, Dumoulin was able to endure the attacks from the likes of Froome, Bardet, Quintana, Nibali and Landa, attacking the regrouped GC bunch to finish second just two seconds behind Thomas. What's more worrying for Sky is Dumoulin was able to back up after his efforts on Stage 11.

Dumoulin isn't done with the fight for yellow jersey just yet. 

Dumoulin post stage 12 interview

4. to 10. 'The rest'

4. Primoz Roglic +2:46
5. Romain Bardet +3:07
6. Mikel Landa + 3:13
7. Steven Kruijswijk +3:43
8. Nairo Quintana +4:13
9. Dan Martin +5:11
10. Jakob Fuglsang +5:45

Primoz Roglic - the Slovenian is quietly going about his business after stellar form this season saw him win key lead-up races Pais Vasco and Romandie.

On Stage 11 he finished with Quintana, Bardet, team mate Kruijswijk and Nibali, 59 seconds behind Thomas. On Alpe d'Huez he finished with an embattled Nibali, 13 seconds down. He's got a strong time trial so the favourites won't want to give him a long leash, but he's still unproven as a leader over three weeks. 

Romain Bardet - the Frenchman is trying. He attacked five kilometres from the finish on Stage 11, but was unable to deploy any further explosions, finishing the day 59 seconds behind Thomas.

He lit up the final kilometres of Alpe d'Huez with attack after attack and impressed with a third place finish. Over three minutes in arrears with a time trial still to come on Stage 20, and now down to four team mates after Tony Gallopin DNF'd stage 12, the rest of the Tour will be tough. 

Mikel Landa - after finishing one minute and 47 seconds behind Thomas on Stage 11, he finished just seven seconds down on Stage 12 and attempted multiple attacks. He's now the best-placed Movistar rider on the General Classification and will likely get a bit more team support with Quintana and Valverde slipping off the pace. 

Steven Kruijswijk - not enough superlatives for the efforts of the Dutchman on Stage 12. Starting the day two minutes and 50 seconds in arrears to Thomas, only an epic feat would move him within reach of the yellow jersey. And epic his attempt was; somehow managing to get into the break of the day, attack it, and by the early slopes of the Alpe d'Huez, he enjoyed a lead of around four minutes.

The LottoNL-Jumbo rider nearly pulled it off, only the power of Sky foiling his efforts. Now three minutes and 43 seconds behind Thomas, at least he won't be wondering 'What if?'

Post Stage 12 interview with Steven Kruijswijk

Dan Martin - on Stage 11 he demonstrated more of the good form he displayed in the earlier part of the race by sticking it to Froome with an attack on the final climb and finished 27 seconds down on Thomas. But he couldn't hang tough with the main favourites today, slipping down the GC after he crossed the line one minute and 45 seconds after Thomas. 

Jakob Fuglsang - only in the top 10 because Nibali moved out from fourth with his withdrawal. But the Dane has tried his best despite his three minute and 53 second time loss on Stage 11 and 42 seconds on Alpe d'Huez. 

Tour de France Power Rankings - Stage 12
The Alpe d'Huez stage didn't disappoint as Steven Kruijswijk nearly pulled off a performance for the ages. From a Power Rankings perspective it was the elimination of many of the sprinters that will have the longest ongoing effect.
Zwift Cycling Central Podcast - Tour de France 2018 - We walk up Alpe D'huez

Stage 12 of the Tour de France and Christophe and Macca decided to walk to Alpe D'Huez with the fans .. and take you on the journey.

Adventurous Kruijswijk thwarted as Thomas doubles on Alpe d'Huez
Team Sky's Geraint Thomas defended his yellow jersey with a victory on the 175.5km stage from Bourg-Saint-Maurice ending up on the iconic Alpe d’Huez, to extend his overall lead.