Nielsen was simply unbeatable after launching his sprint just under 300 meters from the finish. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe
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Welshman Geraint Thomas, of Sky, maintained his 1 minute, 39 second race lead over teammate and compatriot Chris Froome after a 181.5-kilometer ride from Millau in which the yellow jersey holder's rivals tried, but failed to launch a challenge.Thomas and the main peloton soaked up futile attacks from Irishman Dan Martin (UAE) and Rafa Majka (Bora) before crossing the finish line just over 13 minutes in arrears on what, for them, was a comparatively easy stage ahead of Monday's rest day.Nielsen was one two Astana riders who fought hard to get in a breakaway group of 29 riders, along with compatriot Michael Valgren.Nielsen first underlined his ambitions 8 kilometers from the finish when he quickly countered Italian Domenico Pozzovivo's effort to break clear. But Nielsen, 25, was simply unbeatable after launching his sprint just under 300 meters from the finish, where Izagirre finished second and Mollema third.
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