Tour de France rider reveals brutal injuries from horror crash

Adam Yates bearing the brunt of his Stage 16 crash of the 2018 Tour de France

Adam Yates bearing the brunt of his Stage 16 crash of the 2018 Tour de France

Froome has been a repeated target of fans in this Tour after he was cleared of doping five days before the race began.

Sprinters Fernando Gaviria and Dylan Groenewegen - who had each won two stages in this Tour - called it quits during Stage 12 to Alpe d'Huez.

But Dumoulin will feel he needs to take at least a minute off Thomas's advantage heading into the time trial, a discipline in which he is the reigning world champion.

Demare said he was motivated by an accusation on social media from Andre Greipel, a top German sprinter, who alleged that Demare held on to his team vehicle on the way up the gruelling Col du Portet in Stage 17.

Demare finished Wednesday's stage second to last but managed to avoid the time cut as thousands of French spectators cheered him on.

Greipel, who also quit in Stage 12, later apologised on Twitter, saying he had relied on "incorrect" information. A large group of riders broke away from the peleton early on, settling at 18 riders ahead of the first serious climb of the day to Col D'Aspin. "It's a shame that people cast doubts over my performance and my hard work".

"The best response would be to win today". It's not in my mindset or my philosophy to [cheat]. The last climb will mostly be down to the legs.

The Frenchman beat compatriot Christophe Laporte and Norway's Alexander Kristoff, who were second and third respectively as Briton Geraint Thomas retained the overall leader's yellow jersey after 171km from Trie sur Baize.

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Nairo Quintana won stage 17 and Thomas moved closer to the overall title on Wednesday, now holding a 1 minute 59 second lead over Tom Dumoulin, who is in second.

As tradition dictates, Sunday's final stage, from Houilles to the Champs Élysées, is effectively neutralised between the main contenders and the battle for the yellow jersey already concluded, but with hardly any flat road between the start and the finish of Saturday's time trial, this stage will be a brutal climax to the three-week race.

The queen stage of this year's Tour it features a hellish profile for the peloton, 200.5km between Lourdes and Laruns, that takes in vertical slogs up Col d'Aspin, Col du Tourmalet and Col d'Aubisque - aptly nicknamed the "Circle of Death". "It's the last mountain stage, and I think guys will try to take every opportunity they can", Thomas said. "I think it was too much to drink and a bit of an idiot". "Chris is fine", said a Team Sky spokesman.

"Hopefully we won't have to use Froomey. It'll be good to just keep doing what we've been doing".

"Obviously having "Froomey" at my disposal so to speak is phenomenal", Thomas said. But Froome voiced his frustration by yelling an expletive at the officer before riding off.

One fan who reached over the barriers almost took Thomas down Wednesday.

"That's a secondary thought for me right now", Froome said of the podium in Paris.

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