Geraint Thomas' Tour de France hopes dented

GERARD JULIEN / AFP

Geraint Thomas' hopes of defending his Tour de France title have suffered a major blow after his road captain Luke Rowe was thrown out of the race.

Rowe was disqualified along with Jumbo-Visma's Tony Martin after the pair clashed during stage 17.

Video appears to show Martin almost riding Rowe off the road and the Welshman retaliating by grabbing the German.

A fierce battle now awaits Thomas as the race heads into the Alps for three mountain stages before the Paris finish on Sunday.

He currently sits 1:35 minutes behind race leader Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick Step).

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