Thomas pact will not be broken, says Froome

Punching Other Cyclists Will Get You Kicked Off The Tour De France [Video]

Punching Other Cyclists Will Get You Kicked Off The Tour De France [Video]

"The road should remain free, we are not going to lock the riders in a stadium or on a tennis court", he said.

CARCASSONNE, France-So the era of Team Sky dominance at the Tour de France has come to this.

It was not the first time Moscon has fallen foul of race officials.

A key member of Team Sky's eight-man squad for the race, the Italian will head home with unanswered questions over his future on the team.

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Stage 11 last week, a 108.5-kilometer leg from Albertville to the La Rosiere ski resort, saw elite riders such as Alejandro Valverde attack from far out, forcing Team Sky to increase its pace far earlier than it would have liked.

Those riders included Geraint Thomas (wearing the overall leader's yellow jersey) and world champion Pete Sagan, who were seen washing their faces with bottles of water.

"I was not affected because I was not in the first 10 of the group", he said. With six stages left of this race which ends in Paris on Sunday, Team Sky is in an excellent position to achieve a 1-2 and to secure a sixth win in seven years.

Froome was initially barred from starting his title defence by organizers because of the suspicion surrounding his "adverse analytical finding" for the asthma drug salbutamol at the Tour of Spain past year.

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And although the race began with adamant claims that Thomas would be a loyal super-domestique for Froome, the team can not ignore the weight of public opinion. "We just concentrate on the last week", said Thomas.

Thomas, meanwhile, is generally well received and cheered more than his more accomplished team-mate. "They won't attack from the starting line", Steels says, adding that the only instance where an immediate attack could occur is if one team has four or five riders in the top 20.

Thomas finished the drama-filled 16th stage - halted temporarily as national gendarmes cleared protesting farmers and bales of hay from the route - with his 1min 39sec lead on teammate Froome intact. With another gruelling trip across the Alps and Pyrenees, who will wear the yellow jersey on the Champs-Elysees?

"The Tour is promoted as the world's greatest annual worldwide sporting event".

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By this time the tunnels had become partially flooded, forcing the group to swim back towards the cave's entrance. The team reportedly survived by drinking the water dripping off the cave's roof, which is naturally filtered.

Speaking of Froome's form peaking in the third week, Wiggins reasserted that '10 days into the Giro everyone thought Chris was going to climb off and go home.

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