"He was feeling really good yesterday and he was looking for the stage victory", Slongo said. "I think we can be satisfied with our run".
The first of those career-defining performances from the Welshman put him into the yellow jersey that everyone usually expects to see on the shoulders of Froome.
The trio snuck off the front of the remnants of a 29-man breakaway on the descent off the Pic de Nore as crosswinds splintered the group, and neither Izagirre nor Mollema could compete with Nielsen's sprinting skills as the Dane took a stage win on his debut Tour.
It gave Thomas the win after he was second on an nearly identical stage of the Criterium du Dauphine in June, en route to overall victory in the race.
But he claimed the organisers' inability to step in and take effective measures against the haters had compromised the race's billing as the "the world's greatest annual sporting event".
On Saturday's 14 you picked Trek-Segafredo's Jasper Stuyven as your Zwift Rider of the Day.
Froome has often had to fend off doping allegations since he won his first Tour in 2013.
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He held a 1min 40sec lead on a group of chasers with 10km to race, with the main peloton and Thomas at over 20 minutes in arrears.
Although Sky will be hoping to keep powder dry for the crucial third week, Froome said their rivals could try to steal time on the steep, 3km-long climb to the finish in Mende. "Sagan was too strong", he said. "I'm looking forward to the rest day and then we've got a big block in the Pyrenees". "In the end, it went well".
At 57km to go, just over the top of the category two Berthal climb, Slagter countered an attack by Gorka Izaguirre (Bahrain-Merida) and bridged over to the Spanish national champion along with Stuyven.
When he overtook the Belgian with two kilometres to race, Fraile did not look back.
"It's not a nice situation obviously for me", said Thomas, like Wiggins a former track specialist turned into a grand tour rider.
He added: "I'm not sure they would like to have seen their (France) football players being spat at (the World Cup) in Russian Federation".
Tomorrow the riders will face a stage of 181.5 kilometers, from Millau to Carcassonne.