Nielsen wins 15th stage, Thomas still in Tour de France yellow

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"We'll take each day as it comes".

Team Sky's Gianni Moscon has been expelled from the Tour after "punching" Elie Gesbert of team Fortuneo-Samsic at the start of today's stage 15.

"Gianni is desperately disappointed in his behaviour and knows that he has let himself, the team and the race down".

"It's interesting that we've just done the Tour of Italy and Chris's case was open and the Italians were fantastic, and the Spanish the same", he added.

"I would like to offer my honest apologies to both Elie Gesbert and Team Fortuneo Samsic for this unacceptable incident".

In 2017 he was suspended for six weeks and sent on a diversity awareness course after racially abusing Reza during the Tour de Romandie, while in June this year he was cleared of deliberately causing a crash with Reza's team-mate Sebastien Reichenbach - an incident which was alleged to be related.

Team Sky riders have been booed and spat at during this year's race, while Froome was pushed by a spectator on Alpe d'Huez.

With the Pyrenees looming, Thomas had his last calm ride wearing the yellow jersey at the Tour de France on Sunday.

"Wearing the yellow jersey, you get a buzz out of that", Thomas said after his fourth full day in the race lead he took on stage 11 with the first of two successive wins in the high Alps.

Four of the six remaining stages are likely to determine the victor - three mountainous stages in the Pyrenees and an individual time trial on Saturday, when Dumoulin will be favourite.

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"Anything can happen. Three big days in the Pyrenees to come plus a hard time trial". Tom Dumoulin (Netherlands, Sunweb) - 1,50 4.

So far, Thomas and Froome have not attacked each other, but that uneasy truce could be put to the test as the race enters its decisive phase.

But the British outfit's prime target is to win the race, whether it is with Thomas or Froome, who was asked if he would be ready to sacrifice his own chances to help Thomas win his maiden Tour title. "You want to recover as much as possible", said Thomas.

Geraint Thomas in the yellow jersey, second-placed Chris Froom and the rest of the overall contenders were in a pack more than 10 minutes behind and had not finished yet.

The Astana rider claimed his first career win at the Tour after staying ahead of Ion Izagirre and Bauke Mollema in a sprint over the final 200 metres.

The only sustained attack against Thomas came from Daniel Martin, who is 10th at nearly seven minutes behind.

The stage included around 3,000m of ascent, with climbs throughout its length, the main one being the category 1 Pic de Nore in the latter part of the race, which lead from its summit into a 41km descent to the finish line.

There was also a half-hearted and short-lived attempt by Bardet to slip away on a downhill.

The irony is that Thomas had just been saying how nice it was to have a day in which he did not have to "fight", with Team Sky controlling the bunch behind the day's breakaway.