Geraint Thomas survives late scare to win Criterium du Dauphine

Briton Thomas takes Dauphine lead as Ireland's Martin wins stage

Ireland's Dan Martin resisted a late challenge from Welsh all-rounder Geraint Thomas to clinch his first win in 16 months after a thrilling summit duel at the Criterium de Dauphine on Friday.

The Astana rider completed the route, which started in Frontenex, in a time of 3:34:11. Thomas was clearly the strongest rider in the field, moving up into the top five after Sky won the team time trial, and then remaining consistent in the mountains.

Thomas held off Briton Adam Yates, victor of the concluding seventh stage, with France's Romain Bardet taking third in the overall standings.

"I was counting down the kilometres on the last climb and knew I had about 1'20" to lose to Adam Yates so, as each kilometre went by, I was more confident and happy.

"Ive been feeling good all year", the Irishman said after the race.

Briton Thomas takes Dauphine lead as Ireland's Martin wins stage
Geraint Thomas puncture prompts verbal bust-up involving Team Sky and AG2R

"I'm just going to enjoy this win now, rest up and recover and look forward to July".

And Yates' second place ensured the first ever British one-two in the race, with his second win on the WorldTour in 2018 confirming both he and the Welshman will head to the Tour de France in top form. Thomas came in second, managing to put further valuable seconds between himself and his rivals for the yellow leader. I get to ride the races I want and I am a leader in majority.

"It's not a great situation for him, the team or just cycling in general", Thomas said. "They're super hard climbing stages and even harder over the weekend".

Baudet and Martin, third and fourth in the overall standings respectively, were unable to stay with Thomas, who broke clear of their small group 500 metres from the line.

For his part, Bardet denied any wrongdoing, insisting they were only riding hard to win the stage.

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