Criterium du Dauphine Summaries

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Team Sky's Welsh rider Geraint Thomas cemented his control of the Criterium du Dauphine after finishing second on yesterday's 6th and penultimate stage won by Spaniard Pello Bilbao.

Thomas, who had two punctures, ended the stage in fifth place, but the Welshman stayed one minute ahead of Yates in the general classification of what is the final warm-up race for the Tour de France.

Thomas managed to close the gap on the peloton within 15km, but was far from happy with the conduct of AG2R as he informed Romain Bardet when he caught up with the French rider.

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"Without the boys here I would not have won the Dauphine". "I'm more anxious about my form for the Tour de France. I explained to Geraint that of course, we're riding hard to win the stage".

Yates said: "The Tour de France has been my main goal for the whole season".

It was Thomas' second World Tour stage race win after he won Paris-Nice in 2016.

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Thomas would normally expect to be a domestique for four-time champion Froome at the Tour but victory at the Criterium against potential Tour contenders, coupled with the uncertainty surrounding Froome's adverse analytical finding from a drug test past year, means the Welshman could yet be riding for his own glory next month.

"From the start of the year I said I wanted to get there [the Tour de France] in the best shape possible and I'm on course for that".

After catching up with the main leaders with 30km remaining, he crossed the line a handful of seconds off the pace without ever being in danger of losing possession of the yellow jersey. Romain Bardet (FRA) AG2R La Mondiale +9 4. Emanuel Buchmann (GER/BOR) 14, 5. Daniel Martin (IRL) UAE Team Emirates +24 7. Pierre Latour (FRA/ALM) 35, 10.

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Thomas now leads Yates by 1:29 in the overall standings.

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