Tour de France: Arnaud DÃ©mare shrugs off AndrÃ© Greipel row to win stage 18
Tour de France 2018 Tour de France: Arnaud DÃ©mare shrugs off AndrÃ© Greipel row to win stage 18 â¢ French sprinter holds off Christophe Laporte to win in Pau
â¢ Geraint Thomas stays in yellow after keeping out of trouble
For Arnaud DÃ©mare, revenge was a dish best served hot. As the temperatures climbed into the 90s, the Frenchman emerged from the peloton to win his first victory of this year âs Tour â" and then revealed his prime motivation was a hot-headed row with the German sprinter AndrÃ© Greipel 24 hours earlier.
On a day where Geraint Thomas finished safely in the pack to retain his 1min 59sec lead, DÃ©mare provided the main talking point. On Wednesdayâs brutal stage in the Pyrenees he had come in nearly 30 minutes behind Nairo Quintana and was immediately hit by insinuations on Twitter by Greipel that he held on to cars up the final climb to make the time cut.
âThose comments made me more aggressive,â explained DÃ©mare, who blasted clear of his compatriot Christophe Laporte and Alexander Kristoff to win stage 18 from Trie-Sur-BaÃ¯se to Pau. âI was hurt by his comments. But the best answer I could give to Greipel was to win.âTour de France 2018: Arnaud Demare wins stage 18 â" live! Read more
DÃ©mare was so far back on Wednesday that he was still going up the Col du Portet just as Chris Froome was coming down to th e Team Sky bus â" and the pair passed each other just before Froome was brought down by a policeman. However, he had recovered sufficiently to take the stage â" and Laporteâs second place ensured that it was the first time that French riders had finished first and second in a sprint stage since 1978.
âI sometimes regret that my performances are put in doubt,â added DÃ©mare, who was also accused of holding on to motorbikes in the 2016 Milan-San Remo race. âIt is true that I am not the best rider in the mountain but I have worked hard to improve.
âAnd there is always criticism and jealousy. There were a lot of referees in Milan-San Remo and if I had done anything wrong I would have been punished. On the stage yesterday there were a lot of judges too. I have nothing to say to the critics, they can say what they want.â
Meanwhile Thomas was delighted at moving a step closing to winning his first yellow jersey.
âIt definitely wasnât an easy st age,â he said. âWe were on the pedals all day and it was hot which made it tough. It was a really fast finale too which was a bit stressful, so Iâm happy to make it through.â
The Welshman is only two days from Paris but he is refusing to think about the yellow jersey given that Fridayâs final stage in the mountains and Saturdayâs individual time trial are still to come. âI try to just think about it day by day. But obviously thereâs one more big mountain day,â he said. âItâs the last road stage and weâre expecting a lot of attacks.âTopics
- Tour de France 2018
- Geraint Thomas
- Chris Froome
- Team Sky
- Tour de France
- Share on Facebook
- Share on Twitter
- Share via Email
- Share on LinkedIn
- Share on Pinterest
- Share on Google+
- Share on WhatsApp
- Share on Messenger
- Reuse this content