Tour de France champ hot but not bothered

Sports | AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE 22 Jul 2019

Tour de France champion Geraint Thomas put a brave face on a mountain test after slipping more than two minutes behind overall leader Julian Alaphilippe.

The Welshman's defense preparations were hit by a fall in June's Tour de Suisse, but he went into the race as favorite.

French outsider Alaphilippe, however, has rocked the race and gone to the front, though Thomas insisted: "Everyone within four minutes is dangerous." Worries about a threat from Alaphilippe took hold after Thomas was second to him in Friday's time trial - a discipline in which the Briton usually excels. "I was overheating," said Thomas.

Thomas had predicted Alaphilippe would crumble as the Tour took to the peaks, but on the first of the summit finishes the opposite happened. Thomas was 29 seconds adrift of Alaphilippe on Saturday.

"I thought it was better just to try to ride my own pace," Thomas said.

He added: "If you worry about one rider too much you forget about the rest and you end up losing."

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