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Thomas would normally expect to be a domestique for four-time champion Froome at the Tour but victory at the Criterium against potential Tour contenders, coupled with the uncertainty surrounding Froome's adverse analytical finding from a drug test a year ago, means the Welshman could yet be riding for his own glory next month.

Team Sky rider Geraint Thomas won the Criterium du Dauphine on Sunday after Adam Yates claimed the final stage of the warmup race for the Tour de France.

After catching up with the main leaders with 30km remaining, he crossed the line a handful of seconds off the pace without ever being in danger of losing possession of the yellow jersey. "They're super hard climbing stages and even harder over the weekend".

"There's a lot of climbing (on Saturday), it might be short but there are three big climbs and a little one as well so it will certainly be a big test".

In the final steep climb Martin, trailing the overall leaders by nearly three minutes, was allowed to escape as the overall contenders eyed each-other.

Thomas now leads by 1min 29sec in the overall standings as he seeks to continue British and Team Sky success at the week-long race.

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As for Thomas, his final day was blighted by two punctures. It's a massive race and it's an incredible feeling.

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

"I'm in better condition than I expected", he added, before playing down the significance of his 16-month win drought.

The race is a good indicator of form heading into the Tour de France, which takes place from 7-29 July.

"It's been a learning process starting in a new team so getting this win for UAE is great", he said.


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