This is the scenario 2012 Tour victor Sir Bradley Wiggins claimed would be a nightmare for his old team, but as questions about a leadership battle returned, the Welshman played the role of loyal lieutenant.
"I've been feeling pretty good". Some guys might sit here and give some PR bull**** but I just say how it is with me and that's how it is.
"We made the decision to target stage wins in these past two days, but trying to keep Jakob up as high as possible in the general classification is our priority", said Nielsen.
The three came to the final kilometre together, but Nielsen proved to be too strong for his rivals and won the sprint easily to make it two wins in a row for the Kazakhstani squad. "It's the ideal scenario at the moment and long may it continue".
"We can really just ride off each other", Froome said.
"It's certainly not going to calm things down", he said, smiling ruefully, before again appearing to criticise race organisers and spectators.
Following a series of attacks and counter-attacks, Michael Valgren helped team-mate Cort Nielsen put himself in a position to burst away for what was ultimately a comfortable victory after an impressive climb.
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"We will address this incident with Gianni once the Tour is complete and decide then if any further action should be taken", Brailsford said in a written statement. "It's the last mountain top finish that will prove most decisive", said Thomas. It's not up to us to be attacking.
But while Team Sky could celebrate, Team Dimension Data did not get the Mandela Day gift they were hoping for as Mark Cavendish was eliminated from the Tour for missing the time cut.
They ended over 13 minutes down on the stage victor but it had no impact on the overall standings.
Cavendish was in trouble long before the explosive end to this short mountainous stage, which was created to promote attacks.
Team Sunweb's Dumoulin bridged over to the Spaniard on the descent off the Cormet de Roseland before leaving him behind on the climb to the finish, while Sky kept their powder dry until the finale.
Sky may be dominating with Thomas and Froome 1-2 in the overall standings, but Thomas has been booed off the podium, Froome has been spat at and, on the climb to Alpe d'Huez last week, the Kenyan-born Briton was slapped heavily on the back by one fan.
The two British riders took advantage of their powers in the hilly 14th stage in the Massif Central, allowing a large group of breakaway riders to build a lead of almost 20 minutes then fending off the few attacks thrown their way on the short but steep finishing climb.