Froome crashes after police mistake him for TDF fan

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Quintana's victory came despite two early mechanicals on a 65km stage - the shortest road stage in the Tour for over 30 years - that was created to be explosive from the start. "That gave me confidence because I knew if Froomey suffered, everyone suffered".

Anyway enough of the boring stuff we know you like the harsh, weird and brutal injuries.

A Formula One-style grid start turned into something of a damp squib but by the end of the day it appeared Team Sky's leadership battle had been decisively settled in favour of Thomas.

Geraint Thomas retains his lead at the top of the overall leaderboard, with fellow Briton and Team Sky rider Froome 1 minute and 39 seconds behind. He looks pretty strong and I imagine he'll be able to finish it off.

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Although he was helped back onto his bike to finish the stage, won by French teammate Julian Alaphilippe, Gilbert emerged from the X-ray truck suffering from his endeavours.

Team Sky said the rider was not injured in the incident, which came a day after police used tear gas to disperse a farmers' protest that had blocked the road with bales of hay.

He has been a repeated target of fans after he was cleared of doping five days before the race began.

Chris Froome's chances of winning this year's Tour are now all but over. Froome, who was also hoping to be the first man in 20 years to achieve a Giro d'Italia-Tour double, has very limited options as he will not be allowed to attack the yellow jersey so close to Paris. The final mountain stage on Friday could prove to be a final hurrah for Froome, Bardet, Roglic, Nairo Quintana, or any combination of those names. Saturday's individual time trial will determine the final standings ahead of Sunday's parade to the Champs-Elysees.

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"I don't [feel exhausted from the Giro], I'm still riding strong, so I'm happy with my Tour so far".

With 2.5 km to go, Roglic attacked for the second time but was quickly shut down by Thomas.

That encouraged Dumoulin to put a dig in next, with Thomas again following, but this time - even with Bernal immediately dropping to pace Froome - a gap opened up to the defending champion.

Peter Sagan, in the green jersey, having hung on to the GC group until halfway into the stage, crashed on the descent, meanwhile, but remounted - knowing he only has to reach Paris now to win the points classification.

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