Team Ineos will change approach as Geraint Thomas loses time on stage 14 of Tour de France

The team say 'it's not a big blow' as Thomas loses more time to Julian Alaphilippe

(Image credit: Yuzuru SUNADA)

The first high-mountain test of the Tour de France caused plenty of casualties, most notably Geraint Thomas who lost more time to Julian Alaphilippe.

Reigning champion Thomas made it into the final selection of overall favourites on the Tourmalet summit finish, but eventually lost contact with around a kilometre to the line.

Alaphilippe (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) continued his run of miraculous results to finish second on the stage behind winner Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) and take more time out of Thomas.

Team Ineos now need to rethink their tactics, according to sports director Nicolas Portal, as Thomas trails the French maillot jaune by two minutes.

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Speaking after the stage, Portal said: “We’re going think a little bit differently but first we have to talk to the guys and debrief.

“A lot of teams and GC leaders are in the same situation.

“Some [rivals] we’ll have to attack, but first we have to see what the guys are saying.

“If you want to attack, you have to have the legs.’

“G didn’t have a great day in the last couple of kilometres, but he kept riding and he lost around 36 seconds, so it’s not a big blow.

“Sometimes you can have a bad day and today was a bad day for him."

The first jaunt into the high mountain in the Pyrenees put a lot of GC riders in trouble, with Romain Bardet (Ag2r La Mondiale) being dropped on the penultimate climb, the Col du Soulor, losing 20 minutes by the line.

Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) also struggled on the Soulor and was dropped again on the Tourmalet, finishing 6-24 behind the stage winner, while Dan Martin (UAE Team Emirates) lost 5-35.

Alaphilippe was the biggest shock of the day, as he outlasted his GC leader team-mate Enric Mas, riding to the line in second ahead of Steven Kruijswijk (Jumbo-Visma) and Egan Bernal (Team Ineos).

Portal added: “Egan was there so that’s good. Yesterday he wasn’t too happy with his time trial so today I think he’s going to be pretty happy with his performance.”

"Chapeau to Julian Alaphilippe. He’s clearly the man of this Tour de France.

“At the end of the day you want to see the best rider winning the Tour, and if that’s Julian then it will be Julian.”

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Ineos found themselves in an unusual position during the short 117km stage, as they followed the wheels of Movistar who set the pace for a majority of the day.

The British outfit also found themselves short of firepower, as Michał Kwiatkowski and Gianni Moscon suffered bad days and weren’t able to contribute with their usual commitment.

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Alex Ballinger

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.