Tour de France 2015

July 4-26, 2015, Utrecht (ITT), France, Road - WorldTour

Complete Live Report

Live commentary by:
Daniel Benson

 Hello and welcome to live coverage from stage 20 of this year's Tour de France, the final test in this year's race.

Tour de France stage 19 report
The Cyclingnews Tour de France Podcast episode 22
Tour de France 2015 stage 20 forum
Tour de France 2015 race home
Tour de France 2015 preview

  1. 12:48:07 CEST

    Hello. I didn't see you come in there.


    Welcome to stage 20 of this year's race and the final major test before the final soirée down to Paris tomorrow. Today's stage is packed with climbing before the final assault up Alpe d'Heuz and the yellow jersey is still - just about - up for grabs. Can Nairo Quintana pull off the seemingly impossible and nudge Chris Froome off the top step of the podium or will Team Sky's leader hold firm? All will be revealed over the next few hours

  2. 12:49:24 CEST

    • Yellow Jersey

    Here's where we stand on GC coming into the stage with Froome holding a relatively comfortable buffer over all of his rivals. 

     

    1 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 78:37:34
    2 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 0:02:38
    3 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 0:05:25
    4 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:06:44
    5 Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:07:56
    6 Robert Gesink (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo 0:08:55
    7 Mathias Frank (Swi) IAM Cycling 0:12:39
    8 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek Factory Racing 0:13:22
    9 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:14:08
    10 Pierre Rolland (Fra) Team Europcar 0:17:27

     

  3. 12:50:37 CEST

    Nairo Quintana, the man who pulled 30 seconds out of Froome yesterday, has promised to attack though and given Movistar's might and Team Sky's tiring legs, we could see the siege on the yellow jersey come early today. 

     

  4. 12:52:55 CEST

    We're about 25 minutes until the official start but riders are already signing on. Froome in yellow knows that he can ride defensively and even lose time today but he'll want to close out this year's Tour de France with a stage win if he can. The priority though will be keeping 'the little Colombian' as he referred to him yesterday, in check. Easier said than done.

     

  5. 12:57:16 CEST

    • Team Sky 2015 team jersey

    Go back to 2011 and the stage to Alpe d'Heuz and Alberto Contador turned the race on its head with a searing attack early on. It was one of the most dramatic stages of the Tour in recent years and today could be just as exciting given that the profile of the route is packed with climbing and is just 110.5km in length. If Movistar and Astana put the hammer down early, Froome could be isolated. 

     

    Yesterday we saw Poels put in a hugely impressive ride in defence of his leader - that's not really been picked up by us hacks - but the Dutchman will need to pull out a similar ride today one suspects. 

  6. 12:58:22 CEST

    A changed route of course as well today. The Galibier is off so we climb the Col de la Croix de Fer once more before tackling Alpe d'Heuz.

     

  7. 13:00:22 CEST

    The last two winners on the climb, Riblon and Rolland are both in the race today and there will be a number of riders hunting the stage win and attempting to go in the early move. It will be interesting to see if Bardet tries that, in order to snaffle up some valuable KOM points, given that he probably can't match Froome on the final climb. 

     

  8. 13:02:54 CEST

    • Red Polka Dot Jersey

    And here's where we stand in the KOM competition:

     

    1 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 90 pts
    2 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 87
    3 Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Team Katusha 78
    4 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team 64
    5 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 56
    6 Serge Pauwels (Bel) MTN - Qhubeka 55
    7 Pierre Rolland (Fra) Team Europcar 54
    8 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team 47
    9 Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff-Saxo 40
    10 Richie Porte (Aus) Team Sky 40

     

  9. 13:05:05 CEST

    • Movistar Team 2015 team jersey

    Any hope in Quintana taking yellow? He's 2'38 down on Froome. Back in 2008 Carlos Sastre took 2'15 out of Cadel Evans on the ascent, so it's possible. However it's a huge ask at this point in time, especially given how Froome is climbing. At least Alpe d'Huez suits the Movistar man more than yesterday's final climb. 

     

  10. 13:10:58 CEST

    The riders are rolling out now through the neutralized zone. Froome at the front as we head towards the official start.

     

  11. 13:12:00 CEST

    Bardet and Froome are in discussion on the front, possibly talking about the jersey and if the Frenchman will try and early move in order to try and hold onto the KOM.

     

  12. 13:18:41 CEST

    Still running through the neutralized zone and then we'll start a long descent. And already we have attacks from the front of the race, as soon as the flag is dropped.

     

  13. 13:19:44 CEST

    FDJ, Cannondale and Movistar have thrown men up the road with Geniez the first rider to roll the dice. Almost half the peloton are trying to follow him with the peloton lined out. 

     

  14. 13:21:02 CEST

    Ramunas Navardauskas has linked up with Geniez at the front of the race and the pair immediately get to work on creating a meaningful gap. We've covered 4km in no time at all. There are two chasers, from Lotto and Cofidis. 

     

  15. 13:22:18 CEST

    A few more riders are trying to bridge over as Team Sky try and chase down the latest move.

     

  16. 13:23:12 CEST

    Ramunas Navardauskas, Geniez, have linked up with their two chasers so we now have four men at the front of the race with a 15 second lead over the peloton. The downhill section has helped us cover 5km already. 

     

  17. 13:24:49 CEST

    Filippo Pozzato hasn't done much since... this race began but he's also on the attack as he tries to bridge over to the four leaders. The Lampre man has been joined by two riders, Geschke being one of them. 

     

  18. 13:26:31 CEST

    It looks like that counter attack has been brought back and now we see Mark Cavendish looking to get into a move. At the very back of the bunch Pinot is stretching his legs, possibly saving himself for the final climb. 

     

  19. 13:28:54 CEST

    The four leaders, are Edet, Bak, Geniez and Navardauskas. They have 24 seconds over the peloton but the bunch aren't sitting up, far from it, as we see another flurry of attacks. 

     

  20. 13:34:02 CEST

    The four leaders have 1'39 over the peloton now, their gap established after a very fast start. 

     

  21. 13:36:52 CEST

    The pace in the main field as dropped off as we head towards the Col de la Croix de Fer. Team Sky will soon move to the front but the threat from Movistar is very much there. 

     

  22. 13:39:13 CEST

    Froome has been back with the team car but is now riding back towards the peloton. We saw the race leader under pressure yesterday for the first time in the race and he conceded 30 seconds to Quintana. He still has 2'38 over Quintana though. The consensus is that Movistar will need to attack Team Sky on the first climb today if they're to have a real chance of beating Froome. 

  23. 89km remaining from 110.5km

    13:43:12 CEST

    The break now have 4'43 over the peloton with 89km to go. The lead could push out towards 8 or 9 minutes before we start the first climb. 

     

  24. 13:46:08 CEST

    There's certainly some firepower in the break and they're working well together. Geniez is probably the best climber, on paper, but Bak and Navardauskas are strong men for the flat roads. Edet, is perhaps more of an all rounder but he can certainly climb too. They now have 5'44 over the peloton, who are rolling along at a steady but almost relaxed tempo. 

     

  25. 13:47:39 CEST

    Team Sky have predictably moved to the front of the peloton and started to set the pace for Froome. No alarms, no surprises so far in the stage but the real tests are still further up the road. 

     

  26. 13:50:00 CEST

    • Climb

     And the leaders are now on the lower slopes of the Col de la Croix de Fer, it's 29km in length, while the break have 6'33 as they start to move out of the saddle as the gradient rises. 

  27. 13:51:02 CEST

    A quick plug for yesterday's podcast, which included reactions from Nibali, Froome and Bardet. You can download it for free, just here and it's brought to you by British Eurosport.

     

  28. 13:54:02 CEST

     The four leaders have Geniez on the front and setting the pace, their lead now over seven minutes. Even if they have that at the bottom of the final climb they'll struggle to hold on so they need to keep pushing on. 

  29. 81km remaining from 110.5km

    13:55:07 CEST

    There are some difficult sections on the Col de la Croix de Fer, and they could act as possible launchpads for the GC riders to attack. 81km to go and the gap is at 7'19.

     

  30. 13:56:30 CEST

    The leaders are on a 7 per cent section and they're sharing the workload evenly as they extend their advantage to 7'39.

     

  31. 13:57:07 CEST

    Team Sky about about to lead the peloton onto the climb as well. Quintana is where he needs to be, at the front and with his team around him.

     

  32. 14:00:33 CEST

    It's Ian Stannard on the front for Team Sky at the moment, setting the pace for his team leader and the yellow jersey. The break though take a few more seconds, and they now have 7'54 over the main field. 

     

  33. 14:02:19 CEST

    • Astana 2015 team jersey

    Nibali is also near the front. What does the Italian have left after yesterday's exploits and stage win? At very least is morale will be sky high. 

     

  34. 14:05:23 CEST

    Well Astana have shown their intent by throwing a rider up the road. Lampre send a man too and Barguil is also on the move. 

     

  35. 14:06:26 CEST

    And that's sparked a volley of attacks from the peloton with Team Sky just tapping out their steady tempo. And now Rolland has attacked.

     

  36. 14:08:53 CEST

    Rollland appears to be caught but the counter attack from Grivko and Plaza has remained clear. There are five more riders a little further back, and then the Team Sky led peloton.

     

  37. 14:09:41 CEST

    That five man move contains Majka, Anacona,  and Barguil. So Froome's GC rivals are laying the groundwork for major attacks later on.

     

  38. 14:12:07 CEST

    The Grivko and Majka groups have merged so we have around six men in the counter attack. The peloton are around 40 seconds behind them with Team Sky still on the front.

     

  39. 14:14:22 CEST

    The counter attack is growing in numbers with Jungles and Sicard both moving across. There are nearly ten men in the second group. 

     

  40. 14:15:04 CEST

    So far, so good for Froome and Team Sky but there's still a long way to go on this climb, with 74km left in today's stage.

     

  41. 14:16:24 CEST

    AG2R are now setting the pace because they sense that Bardet needs to make a move if he's to take some of the KOM points at the summit.

     

  42. 14:17:52 CEST

    A number of riders have been dropped by the main field, Farrar and Boasson Hagen two of the latest to lose contact. 

     

  43. 14:18:54 CEST

    Bak is just holding on at  the moment on the climb as Geniez tries to keep the tempo steady  but the break have lost time, their lead down to 6'46 as AG2r lead the chase at the head of the peloton.

     

  44. 14:20:25 CEST

    Here are the riders in the main second group:

     

    Andrei Grivko (Astana), Ruben Plaza (Lampre-Merida), Warren Baguil (Giant-Alpecin), Rafal Majka (Tikoff-Saxo), Winner Anaconda (Movistar), Bartosz Huzarski (Bora-Agron18), Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo), Bob Jungels (Trek), Romain Sicard (Europcar), and Dylan van Baarle (Cannondale-Garmin)

     

  45. 14:21:27 CEST

    The work from AG2R has brought most of that second group back though, but Majka is trying to force the issue with Anacona and Plaza. 

     

  46. 14:22:21 CEST

    Geniez has a flat so he's going to have to chase alone. 

     

  47. 67km remaining from 110.5km

    14:29:57 CEST

    Plaza is also in the chase group and he's taken off while it looks like Anacona and Majka are going to sit up and wait for AG2R. Geniez, meanwhile, has made contact with the break. The gap though is down to 5'30.

     

  48. 14:30:50 CEST

    AG2R and the peloton are only around 8 seconds down on Plaza but the Lampre man isn't willing to sit up just yet. 

     

  49. 14:31:16 CEST

    It's all over for that move now though, so we just have the four leaders up the road.

     

  50. 14:32:09 CEST

    It's Peraud on the front setting the pace for his team. Bardet is surely going to make a move at some point, so the GC rivals of Froome may take that as an opportunity to go clear.

     

  51. 14:33:48 CEST

    At the moment the pace from AG2R is too high, no one can attack as Peraud, second in last year's race, continues at the front of the bunch.

     

  52. 62km remaining from 110.5km

    14:40:16 CEST

    Around 10km to go for the leaders on this climb, their lead down to 4'30 with 62km remaining. 

     

  53. 14:44:52 CEST

    Now Barguil is starting to suffer at the back of the peloton - not a good sign for the young Frenchman who has started to struggle in the final week of the race.

     

  54. 14:47:09 CEST

    AG2R still setting the pace for Bardet, but this also helps Froome and Team Sky keep his main rivals in check. The further we get to the finish the more pressure that falls onto Quintana's shoulders. 

     

  55. 14:48:01 CEST

    But now Movistar take over on the front of the peloton as Geniez takes off and drops his breakaway companions. 

     

  56. 14:52:49 CEST

    Movistar have certainly upped the pace and Pinot and Frank have been dropped. And Dan Martin and Geraint Thomas. 

     

    And now Valverde has attacked. 

     

  57. 14:53:25 CEST

    Scarponi is setting the pace but already Froome is down to just one teammate. Valverde has around five seconds, as we see Porte leading Froome.

     

  58. 14:54:44 CEST

    Scarponi is looking to keep Valverde in check as Nibali wants that third step on the podium. Roche is there with Porte and Froome too. And it's the Irishman who now leads what's left of the peloton as Valverde pushes on. The Spaniard has nearly 20 seconds on the yellow jersey. 

     

  59. 14:55:40 CEST

    Up the road the break is starting to split as we now see Valverde out of the saddle and riding clear. Quintana is just sitting on Froome's wheel. 

     

  60. 14:56:59 CEST

    Pinot and Thomas are slowing coming back to the main field though as Geniez presses on with a lead of 3;39 over Froome and co.

     

  61. 14:59:22 CEST

    Valverde has 30 seconds and now Quintana has taken off and Team Sky are forced on the back foot.

     

  62. 15:00:05 CEST

    Froome has not reacted and is just letting his team do the work. Quintana get some help  from Lampre's Serpa who was a few seconds ahead and now Poels has been dropped.

     

  63. 15:00:43 CEST

    Quintana leaves Serpa and is chasing down Valverde. If they link up then Sky do have serious problems with 55km to go.

     

  64. 15:01:52 CEST

    And Valverde and Quintana have linked up at the head of affairs. Valverde now has to set the pace and sacrifice everything. Porte is leading he chase for Froome, Contador, Nibali and one other rider. 

     

  65. 15:02:43 CEST

    Now Quintana takes a turn but Porte is keeping the pair at around 8 seconds. 

     

  66. 15:03:05 CEST

    And now Porte and Froome have dropped Nibali and Contador.

     

  67. 15:03:39 CEST

    No Contador and Nibali are still there with Porte and Froome but Bardet has been dropped, along with Mollema and Gesink.

     

  68. 15:04:00 CEST

    Geniez is about to go over the top, his lead at 2'44.

     

  69. 15:05:48 CEST

    But Contador has been dropped now but up the road Quintana and Valverde can't create the needed gap. And now Nibali has attacked and Froome chases and Porte blows. 

     

  70. 15:06:27 CEST

    No look from Froome as he goes by Nibali but the Italian looks to hold the race leader. Quintana just has 10 seconds on Froome near the top of the climb. 

     

  71. 15:07:15 CEST

    Contador keeps going backwards though, he's going to lose even more time today as on the descent Nibali, Froome, Quintana and Valverde link up together.

     

  72. 49km remaining from 110.5km

    15:09:08 CEST

    Just under 50km to go and Geniez is on the descent and leading the race. Behind him we have the rest of the break, then the four leaders on GC and then the rest, including Contador and Hesjedal. 

     

  73. 15:09:24 CEST

    Well said Allan.

     

  74. 15:10:14 CEST

    Contador is in a group containing Porte, Hesjedal, Pinot and Rodriguez but there's no time gap for them at this point. They should be able to catch the yellow jersey group before the start of the final climb. 

     

  75. 15:15:29 CEST

    Froome took 8pts on the climb so he's got that competition pretty much in the bag. On the descent there's a general regrouping. Hesjedal has pushed on and is setting up a counter attack that includes Anacona and Pinot. Geniez has 3'13 on the Froome group that once again contains Contador who had lost contact earlier.

     

  76. 15:16:01 CEST

    And Froome has a few more teammates around him now, which is a good sign for Team Sky given that Movistar threw everything at them on the first climb. 

     

  77. 15:18:55 CEST

    Plaza is also in the group with Pinot, Hesjedal and Anacona.

     

  78. 15:21:07 CEST

    Thomas leads the peloton on the  long descent with 38.6km to go and just one final climb in this year's race.

     

  79. 15:22:24 CEST

    Geniez is on a little rise but still over 20km from the foot of Alpe d'Huez. With his lead less than three minutes he'll struggle to hold on out there for much longer. 

     

  80. 15:26:02 CEST

    Team Sky have now reached the same uphill section we just saw Geniez on. The gap has moved out to 3'50.

     

  81. 33km remaining from 110.5km

    15:30:29 CEST

    The rest of the early break have around 40 seconds on the Hesjedal group, that now includes Rolland and Pinot.

     

  82. 15:33:15 CEST

    Geniez is doing a fine job and has 1'36 on the Bak group and 3'55 over the main field. We know Quintana will try again on Alpe d'Huez but the task o taking yellow could well be beyond him now. 

     

  83. 15:34:19 CEST

    The headwind will not help Geniez though as he runs through the valley towards the final climb.

     

  84. 15:38:06 CEST

     

  85. 15:38:57 CEST

     

  86. 15:44:53 CEST

    Four Team Sky men are pulling for Froome as the Bak group and the Hesjedal group merge before the climb. The yellow jersey should have the race back together, apart from Geniez, by the lower slopes of Alpe d'Huez. 

     

  87. 16km remaining from 110.5km

    15:49:53 CEST

    16km to go for Geniez who is almost on the climb. It's a splendid ride from the young Frenchman who still has around four minutes on the yellow jersey group. 

  88. 15:52:13 CEST

    The chase group around 1'50 down on the lone leader. Hesjedal, Plaza, and Rolland can all climb but do they have enough of a gap over the main field with the final climb approaching. Geniez is about to start. 

     

  89. 15:54:45 CEST

    Alpe d'Huez, the most iconic climb in professional cycling will decide the winner of this years Tour de France with Froome now is pole position. He has 2'38 over Quintana in GC.

     

  90. 15:55:17 CEST

    Geniez is about to start climbing and the peloton are at 3'48 with 13.8km to go.

     

  91. 15:56:46 CEST

    Problem for Nibali just before the start of the climb and he has a rear wheel flat. Awful timing for the Italian but he's quickly chasing back on. 

     

  92. 15:57:57 CEST

    And Movistar have hit the front as they dont' want Nibali to make contact without a huge effort. Remember he can take third spot today if he puts around 90 seconds into Valverde. 

    Here's where we stand on GC:

    1 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 78:37:34
    2 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 0:02:38
    3 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 0:05:25
    4 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:06:44
    5 Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:07:56
    6 Robert Gesink (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo 0:08:55
    7 Mathias Frank (Swi) IAM Cycling 0:12:39
    8 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek Factory Racing 0:13:22
    9 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:14:08
    10 Pierre Rolland (Fra) Team Europcar 0:17:27

     

  93. 15:58:54 CEST

    Froome has both Valverde and Quintana on his wheel  and Quintana attacks with 12km to go.

     

  94. 15:59:26 CEST

    Porte brings him back though as Quintana has the riders strung out. Nibali is still struggling to make contact.

     

  95. 15:59:50 CEST

    Geniez has 3'05 on yellow but the chasers are just a minute down. 

     

  96. 16:00:12 CEST

    NIbali is a minute down on Froome as we see Hesjedal attack. 

     

  97. 16:00:40 CEST

    The Canadian has split the second group on the road as Quintana goes for a second time.

     

  98. 16:00:54 CEST

    This time Poels pulls him back.

     

  99. 16:01:35 CEST

    Quintana stays on the front though and keeps the pace high but so far, so good for Froome and Team Sky.

     

  100. 16:02:46 CEST

    Froome, Valverde, Contador, Majka, Poels, Valverde and Porte all together at the moment as Hesjedal attacks once more as Geniez continues to struggle up ahead. 

     

  101. 16:03:54 CEST

    Team Syk have settled the pace as we see Nibali really struggle to get back on. He's clawing his way back but he's without any teammates. 

     

  102. 16:05:09 CEST

    Hesjedal is 30 seconds down on Geniez with 10.8km to go. Poels now leads the GC men with Porte on his wheel. Bardet, Mollema and Gesink dropped as we see Pinot link up with Hesjedal. This is a good ride from FDJ today. 

     

  103. 16:07:07 CEST

    Quintana, Valverde and Contador all hog Froome's wheel but the attacks have been absorbed  but now Valverde attacks and Poels doesn't chase this one down.

     

  104. 16:08:28 CEST

    Nibali is about to come back to the Bardet group but he's got to press on if he wants to save fourth place overall. Hesjedal and Pinot are 25 seconds down on Geniez. 

     

  105. 16:08:59 CEST

    And Quintana goes again but Poels has enough to hold him and then bring him back. 

     

  106. 16:09:51 CEST

    Majka has been dropped and now Contador too. Only Poels, Froome, And Porte because Quintana has attacked.

     

  107. 16:10:14 CEST

    So Quintana has his gap as we then see Pinot attack and drop Hesjedal.. 

     

  108. 9km remaining from 110.5km

    16:10:54 CEST

    Just under 9km to go and Valverde and Quintana are together with Poels, Porte and Froome chasing them down. 

     

  109. 16:11:43 CEST

    The Movistar pair just have a few seconds on the yellow jersey group as Geniez has been caught by Hesjedal and Pinot, so we now have three leaders on the stage. 

     

  110. 16:12:35 CEST

    Quintana is doing all of the work though as Froome just sits on and lets Porte and Poels do all the work for him. Their gap is around 9 seconds. 

     

  111. 16:13:43 CEST

    Froome is struggling though it seems. All over the road we have little pockets of riders, so Mollema is with Nibali, Contador with a Yates and Majka. 

     


    As Geniez is dropped by Pinot and Hesjedal. 

     

  112. 16:14:15 CEST

    Valverde now gives Quintana a break and the gap is getting bigger with 7.7km to go.

     

  113. 16:15:00 CEST

    Froome is suffering, there's no doubt about that, otherwise he would have matched Quintana. The Team Sky rider had 2'38 over the Columbian at the start of the stage.

     

  114. 16:15:37 CEST

    Valverde leads Quintana but there's no time check as Hesjedal attacks and he's dropping Pinot.

     

  115. 16:16:38 CEST

    Quintana has around 20 seconds on Froome as the crowds roar on the riders. Further down the climb Nibali is about to catch Contador and Majka. It's Adam Yates and Mollema who are also in that group. 

     

  116. 16:17:29 CEST

    Pinot has caught Hesjedal while the gap between Quintana and Froome moves out to 30 seconds. 

     

  117. 16:19:45 CEST

    And Pinot now has a gap on Hesjedal, while Quintana holds his 30 second lead on Froome. Valverde has been caught by Froome and co but Quintana now has Anacona to help him.

     

  118. 6km remaining from 110.5km

    16:20:50 CEST

    A huge task for Pinot given than Quintana is hunting him down. The Movistar rider has 35 seconds over Froome at this point.

     

  119. 16:23:24 CEST

    Just over 5km to go now for Pinot as he races on up the climb. Anacona is still setting the pace for Quintana as Poels looks back to check on his team leader. The race is evenly balanced but still Sky hold enough time to keep yellow.

     

  120. 16:24:10 CEST

    And now Quintana jumps once more. He's electric on these climbs and surely this will extend his gap towards a minute. 

     

  121. 16:25:06 CEST

    It's now Porte who sets the pace, Poels has blown and the pressure mounts on the race leader with 4km to go on the climb. 

     

  122. 16:25:43 CEST

    Quintana has around 50 seconds on Froome now. Pinot has 45 seconds on the Colombian. 

     

  123. 16:26:43 CEST

    Pinot takes out his earpiece but he's starting to pedal squares as Quintana dances up the climb, the gap between him and Froome is now a minute. Froome has to withstand this pressure if he want to win the Tour de France.

     

  124. 16:27:38 CEST

    It's 1'02 now between Quitana and Froome with 3.3km to go. 

     

  125. 16:28:24 CEST

    Quintana still needs another 90 seconds or so but right now Team Sky have held at 1'03. 

     

  126. 16:28:54 CEST

    Pinot though only has 34 seconds on Quintana who wants the stage and the bonus seconds. Can the French climber hold on? 

     

  127. 16:29:42 CEST

    Meanwhile Valverde and Rolland sit behind Porte and Froome. Up ahead and Quintana is about to catch Hesjedal. 

     

  128. 16:31:02 CEST

    A shade over 2km to for Pinot. He has 38 seconds on Quintana. This is going to be so close.

     

  129. 16:31:58 CEST

    That latest acceleration from Quintana has taken another ten seconds out of Froome and Pinot. Quintana has around 1'15 on the race leader. 

     

  130. 16:33:11 CEST

    Quintana now has around 1'20 on Froome but there's just 1.4km to go and Pinot looks like he can hold on for the stage win.

     

  131. 16:34:05 CEST

    1km to go for Pinot and Quintana is at 22 seconds. This could be so, so close.

     

  132. 16:34:31 CEST

    Quintana has 1'30 over Froome but it's not going to be enough for the Movistar man.

     

  133. 16:35:19 CEST

    Porte has pulled off so Froome has to hold it together but here comes Pinot. What a way to save your Tour de France.

     

  134. 16:35:38 CEST

    Pinot takes a simply wonderful stage win for him, FDJ and France.

     

  135. 16:35:58 CEST

    And here comes Quintana, second on the day and probably second overall. 

     

  136. 16:36:26 CEST

    Hesjedal take third on the stage. A strong ride from the Cannondale climber.

     

  137. 16:37:40 CEST

    Froome comes over the line. Out on the road he's been a worthy winner of this year's Tour de France. 

     

  138. 16:43:09 CEST

    1'12. That's the gap between Froome and Quintana in the overall before tomorrow's final stage into Paris.

     

  139. 16:45:56 CEST

    1 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ.fr 03:17:21
    2 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 00:00:18
    3 Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team 00:00:41
    4 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 00:01:38
    5 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky
    6 Pierre Rolland (Fra) Team Europcar 00:01:41
    7 Richie Porte (Aus) Team Sky 00:02:11
    8 Winner Anacona (Col) Movistar Team 00:02:32
    9 Wouter Poels (Ned) Team Sky 00:02:50
    10 Ruben Plaza Molina (Spa) Lampre-Merida

     

  140. 16:57:22 CEST

     General classification after stage 20
    1 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 81:58:33
    2 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 00:01:12
    3 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 00:05:25
    4 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team 00:08:36
    5 Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo 00:09:48
    6 Robert Gesink (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo 00:10:47
    7 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek Factory Racing 00:15:14
    8 Mathias Frank (Swi) IAM Cycling 00:15:39
    9 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 00:16:00
    10 Pierre Rolland (Fra) Team Europcar 00:17:30

  141. 16:57:44 CEST

    That's the GC that will ride into Paris with Froome taking his second Tour de France win in three years. 

     

  142. 16:59:14 CEST

    Froome is now on the podium and picking the yellow jersey. The Team Sky rider hung on despite Movistar throwing everything at him in the Alps.

     

  143. 17:02:18 CEST

    Froome back on the podium to pick up the KOM jersey too. He's the first rider since Merckx to win both yellow and polka-dots in the same year.

     

  144. 17:04:52 CEST

    Finally Quintana moves onto the podium to pick up his second white jersey in this race. A valiant effort from the Movistar leader but he came up short by 1'12 in the end. The closest Tour de France since 2008.

     

  145. 17:05:04 CEST

    Jakob Fuglsang (Astana), talks about teammate Vincenzo Nibali's mechanical at the base of Alpe d'Huez

    "The goal today was to try and get Vincenzo on the podium and we knew that it wouldn't be easy, especially after the stage he did yesterday, where he spent a lot of energy. We wanted to try, but the plan didn't really succeed. It was the worst moment of the day to have a mechanical, but it happened and that's racing.

    "The luck hasn't really been on our side at this Tour, last year, everything went so well, this year nothing worked out the way that we wanted it to. We kept fighting all the way to the end and I think the victory from Vincenzo showed that we kept our morale high and the whole team has been fighting all the way. At least we come away with a stage victory and a fourth place overall. We gave it everything, it's difficult to be happy with the outcome but I think we can be proud of the way we raced."

     

  146. 17:13:42 CEST

    Thibaut Pinot:

    “For the French, Alpe d’Huez is one of the pinnacles for a French rider, it was definitely a beautiful stage to win.

    “I think it’s different, winning the white jersey [last year] was huge, it was my second stage win on the Tour as well, but it’s Alpe d’Huez, it’s a very special victory. It’s a beautiful victory for French riders and for FDJ.

    “We had a lot of trouble in the first wee but we knew that we were going to fight until the end and I feel that we deserve this victory, and it’s great for the team.”
    [25/07/2015 16:12:43] Kirsten Robbins: The quotes news item is all set up and I’ve put Fuglsang and Pinot quotes in there.I’m going to start on the results

     

  147. 17:19:33 CEST

    Geraint Thomas: 

    He did it, huh? Yeah? I didn’t know. Perfect. That’s great news. We worked hard for this. It’s been a real long three weeks. Hard fought for sure, and to finish it off is incredible.

    [Froome] was controlled yesterday, but today I think he just rode it. We knew he had that advantage and it was just a matter of not blowing up and not getting too carried away. We knew Quintana would attack because he’s strong. But, yeah, it worked out perfect.

    Just not go into the red, not panic. Ride the power that you know you can. The main thing was not blowing up if he does gain time slowly. We could hear on the radio, you now, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, but the kilometres were ticking down pretty quickly as well, so perfect.

    [Froome] is super confident and he has that belief. He knows his body really well and he knows how fast to push himself. Everyone knew we had to get over that first climb, and everyone dug deep to have four of us, yeah, it was four wasn’t it, including Chris. It was perfect. We just rode to the bottom of the climb and then it was over to Wout [Poels] and Richie [Porte]. Richie really came up well today. He’s had a few ups and downs this tour, but when it really mattered he was there. I think we can all be proud. We all stuck in and really gave each other everything.

     

     

  148. 17:21:34 CEST

    • Team Sky 2015 team jersey

    And finally, here's the man himself, Chris Froome:

     

    I can’t quite come to terms with it just yet. There were so many emotions going through my mind going up that last climb. There were moments when I felt that I could be danger but always having my teammates with me, Richie until the end, I thought of all the sacrifices, all the team camps, time away from my wife and my family and everything went through my head.

    I was on my limit going up that last climb but I just had to find something else just to keep pushing. That was only 110km but it felt like 300. It was such a hard stage.

    It’s unreal, absolutely unreal. I’m sure that I haven’t quite taken it all on board yet but it’s an unbelievable feeling to be still here wearing this jersey.
     

     

  149. 17:23:14 CEST

    Thanks for joining us today. You can find our complete race report, right here and we'll be back tomorrow for the final stage to Paris.

     

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