Arnaud Démare may well have proven the point that only the strongest survive, the Groupama-FDJ sprinter winning the penultimate sprint stage of the 2018 Tour de France in Pau.
Démare’s win sets up a thrilling Champs d’Elysees showdown, himself and now 6-time Green Jersey winner Peter Sagan being the front runners in the final sprint of this year’s Tour de France in Paris on Sunday. Other than Démare and Sagan, all other pure sprinters have been eliminated or have retired from this edition of the race.
Can Geraint Thomas Take Yellow To Paris?
So far as General Classification goes, Geraint Thomas retained the yellow jersey overnight with all eyes now on tonight’s final climbing stage before Saturday’s 31km Individual Time Trial.
Thomas is sitting nervously in the yellow jersey – he’s just 1m and 59 seconds over Tom Dumoulin of Team Sunweb, and 2:31 over 4-time winner Chris Froome.
The Froome Factor
‘Two minutes … that’s plenty of time’ you might say. But with Dumoulin looking fresh, and in the climbing form of his life – plus of course his dominant time trialling ability – tonight’s final mountain stage and Saturday’s TT will be edge-of-seat viewing.
The Froome factor is something many are also discussing. Is Chris Froome saving gas for a final attack tonight? Will he pull off a last-minute Giro-like performance to at least go for second overall? These questions and more will be answered when racing resumes tonight.
Tour de France Top 5 After Stage 18
1. Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) 74:21:01
2. Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) +1’59”
3. Chris Froome (Team Sky) 1’35”
4. Primoz Roglic (Team LottoNL-Jumbo) +2’47”
5. Nairo Quintana (Movistar) +3’30”