"I think this was the maximum".
Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) +02:22 3.
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The 158.5 km stage from Annecy to Le Grand-Bornard featured three category one climbs, including two in the final 30 km.
The Belgian rider was joined in the lead by fellow General Classification contender Philippe Gilbert and green jersey leader Peter Sagan but Team Sky riders Geraint Thomas and Chris Froome remained behind. I knew it was a good chance but I didn't know what everyone else would ride like.
Watch every minute of the Tour de France live and on-demand on the Eurosport Player, with six additional camera feeds and uninterrupted, ad-free coverage. "To get a victory at the Tour de France was a dream for me", Alaphillipe said.
"It is an ideal scenario at the moment", Thomas added.
The top five in the overall classification is rounded out by 2014 champion Vincenzo Nibali in fourth, 2:14 behind Thomas, and Primoz Roglic in fifth, 2:23 back.
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But Thomas and Sky have played that down.
Thomas won the Critérium du Dauphiné heading into the Tour while Froome recovered from winning the Giro d'Italia. "To wear the yellow jersey is a massive honour and to wear it three years in a row is pretty nice.I rode really well".
The Australian fractured his collarbone in an early crash and abandoned the race for the second year in a row.
Movistar's Alejandro Valverde tried a long-range attack, while Dumoulin attacked on the descent of the penultimate climb, the Cormet de Roseland, linking up with Valverde before the road rose up again towards La Rosiere.
The second grand tour of the season concludes on Sunday July 29 with the 116km stage from Houilles to Paris.
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