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Tour de France: Chris Froome demands action over smoke grenade

Tour de France: Chris Froome demands action over smoke grenade

His reward for the day, which ended with a 10th place and a 53-second time loss, was limited to the combativity prize, but it was a ride that will go down as one of the most gutsy of the 2018 Tour de France.

The Slovak beat Norway's Alexander Kristoff and Frenchman Arnaud Demare, who were second and third, respectively.

A medley of attacks between the race favourites saw the likes of Romain Bardet (Ag2R-La Mondiale), Nairo Quintana (Movistar) and Dan Martin (UAE Team Emirates) lose time as the yellow jersey Thomas finished alongside Sky team-mate Froome and their Dutch rival Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) more than 18 minutes down on the victor.

"It's a tough day, a big day with a challenging final which I am sure we will race". "Everybody wants to do a sprint now".

Froome, who was cleared of a suspected doping offence in the week leading up to the start of this year's race, has for years been targeted by the French crowd and on Saturday had some form of liquid thrown at him as he neared the finish.

Tom Dumoulin stayed third overall at 1:50 behind.

Thomas won at the top of the iconic Alpe d'Huez on Thursday to tighten his grip on the race as Team Sky bid for a one-two finish in Paris.

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The vulnerability of the Tour de France riders was highlighted when a smoke grenade was tossed into the middle of the peloton on the run-in to Valence.

"I would rather be on the podium and be booed than be on the bus and have everyone cheering me, " Thomas said.

"I don't actually recall it, but I'm not surprised", he said.

But with Thomas so far proving to be the stronger rider even in the mountains where Froome normally makes his mark, their team appears ready to let the road decide.

Thomas has said that although he would work to support Froome, he is not going to intentionally lose time.

"It's not good to see, because he should have been there challenging for the stage".

"We have no wish to see that again". It may not have come off, but it's the kind of move we all savour in modern cycling, more so when it results in a glorious win.