Tour de France 2018

July 7-29, Noirmoutier-En-L'Ïle, France, Road - GT

Complete Live Report

Live commentary by:
Patrick Fletcher

For the latest updates, please refresh this page

 

2018 Tour de France hub page
2018 Tour de France start list

Stage 16: Alaphilippe takes win number two in Luchon

Stage 17 preview: The long and the short of the Tour de France's toughest day

Podcast: Thomas' predictions, Brailsford's astonishing press conference

Philippa York analysis: Bubbling under – a look at what may happen next at the Tour de France

 

 

  1. 14:20:56 CEST

    This is not a drill

     

    3 brutal climbs, 65 kilometres. 65... six-five... single figures...

     

    Yes, the most highly anticipated stage of the 2018 Tour de France is upon us. Strap yourselves in. 

  2. 14:23:27 CEST

    Such is the excitement in the Pyrenean air today, we're firing up the CN live blimp early. There's just under an hour to go until the race gets underway, but once it does there'll barely be time to catch our breath, and we've got plenty of build-up to get through...

  3. 14:26:28 CEST

    There's only really one place to start, and that's with Barry Ryan's stage preview. 

     

    "Like a ship in a bottle, route designer Thierry Gouvenou has slotted three mountain passes into the space of just 65 kilometres and then pulled the string to set up the most eagerly-anticipated Tour stage in recent memory. The Montée de Peyragudes, Col de Val Louron-Azet and Col du Portet combine for a total of 38.3km of climbing and 3,126 metres of altitude gained."

     

    For more on the parcours, the history of shorter mountain stages, and the tactical possibilities, here's the link to the full piece. 

     

    The long and the short of the Tour de France's toughest day - Stage 17 Preview

     

  4. 14:33:40 CEST

    We need to talk about the starting grid...

     

    Ripping up the textbook and putting on such a short mountain stage clearly wasn't enough for the race organisers, who have also introduced a gridded start for today's stage. Riders will line up on the start line in order of their position on general classification, and there's no neutralised section, so once it goes, it goes... 

     

     

     

  5. 14:38:34 CEST

    But will it make any difference?

     

    That's the question on a lot of people's lips. Will anyone dare take it on that early? Or will GC leaders wait for their teammates and slot back into a familiar pattern? We put the question to team directeurs sportifs, and you can read their thoughts at the following link. 

     

    Tour de France grid start: Gimmick or game-changer?

     

  6. 14:42:12 CEST

    This is the second of three mountain stages in the Pyrenees. Yesterday saw Julian Alaphilippe take his second stage win of this Tour, and indeed of his career. Meanwhile the GC contenders were all content to mark each other, perhaps keeping their powder dry with today's stage in mind. 

     

    Stage 16: Alaphilippe takes win number two in Bagnères-de-Luchon

     

     

  7. 14:43:07 CEST

    And here's how things stand overall

     

    1 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky 68:12:01
    2 Chris Froome (GBr) Team Sky 0:01:39
    3 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Sunweb 0:01:50
    4 Primoz Roglic (Slo) LottoNL-Jumbo 0:02:38
    5 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:03:21
    6 Mikel Landa (Spa) Movistar Team 0:03:42
    7 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo 0:03:57
    8 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 0:04:23
    9 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team 0:06:14
    10 Daniel Martin (Irl) UAE Team Emirates 0:06:54
    11 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 0:09:36
    12 Bob Jungels (Lux) Quick-Step Floors 0:09:53
    13 Pierre Latour (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:09:54
    14 Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin 0:10:13
    15 Guillaume Martin (Fra) Wanty-Groupe Gobert 0:12:23

     

  8. 14:49:28 CEST

    Peyresourde/Peyragudes and Val Louron-Azet are both serious climbs, but today's final climb of the Col du Portet is causing almost all of the trepidation. "It’s probably one of the most brutal climbs we’ve ever done," says Dan Martin. 

     

    You might be familiar with Pla d'Adet, and much of this is the same climb, but the upper section of the col was only paved earlier this year, so this is something of a novelty, and of course significantly more challenging. 

     

     

  9. 14:54:03 CEST

     — Baden Cooke (@badencooke)

  10. 14:58:58 CEST

    Just about enough time to click play on our latest podcast. Daniel Benson and Ed Pickering discuss today's stage, along with what happened yesterday - including that astonishing farmer's protest - and what happened the day before that - including Dave Brailsford's even more astonishing comments at Team Sky's rest-day press conference. 

     


    Tour de France: Thomas' predictions, Brailsford's astonishing press conference - Podcast

     

  11. 15:02:17 CEST

    As I mentioned, there's no neutralised section today. Most riders would warm up anyway for a stage like this, but today the organisers have ended sign-on a full 30 minutes before the start, and created a paddock area where the riders can warm up. Here's Tom Dumoulin and Sunweb.

     

     

  12. 15:06:41 CEST

    The riders are milling around, slowly making their way to the grid. The maillot jaune will be in the pole position and is weaving his way through to the head of the line.

  13. 15:09:52 CEST

    There's not too much stress apparent in the peloton - mountains classification leader Julian Alaphilippe is all smiles.

  14. 15:11:28 CEST

    Geraint Thomas and Chris Froome are in position, and Tom Dumoulin has just threaded his way to third position.

  15. 15:14:38 CEST

    The top riders are all in position and the tension is beginning to show a little. Mikel Landa has a stretch and a sigh.

  16. 15:15:23 CEST

    Here we go then. We're moments away. This is weird...

  17. 15:15:43 CEST

    They're off!

     

  18. 15:16:09 CEST

    Bardet comes through but no attacks from the gun from the GC guys...

     

  19. 15:16:27 CEST

    Sky's riders quickly make their way to Thomas and Froome. 

     

  20. 15:16:54 CEST

    We have attacks, but from the Pro Conti teams and breakaway hopefuls.

     

  21. 15:17:34 CEST

    Well that wasn't too different to a normal stage...

     

  22. 15:19:08 CEST

    Julien Bernard is among the attackers at the head of the race. Pierre Rolland too. 

     

    Meanwhile sprinters like Arnaud Demare are already getting dropped. 

  23. 15:19:30 CEST

    Tanel Kangert off the front now for Astana. Thomas De Gendt and Pierre Rolland are following. 

     

  24. 15:22:32 CEST

    Pellizotti has set off in pursuit of Kangert.

     

    Behind him a large breakaway group is pulling away. 

  25. 15:23:12 CEST

    Sky have four riders ahead of Thomas and Froome. So much for the leaders being isolated early...

     

  26. 15:24:09 CEST

    Valverde is in this breakaway group. The Spaniard is 11th overall.

     

  27. 15:24:34 CEST

    Alaphilippe has sprung out of the peloton and is making his way up towards the break. 

     

  28. 15:25:03 CEST

    Adam Yates is also in this break. The Briton came so close to victory yesterday, only to crash half-way down the final descent. 

     

  29. 15:25:15 CEST

    Luke Rowe is leading the peloton. 

     

  30. 15:25:16 CEST

    Luke Rowe is leading the peloton. 

     

  31. 15:27:16 CEST

    More riders spring from the peloton. Mikel Nieve goes now, teammates of Yates. Darwin Atapuma, Mathias Frank, and Romain Sicard have just made it over. 

     

  32. 15:29:13 CEST

    Valverde is the headline name in that break. He has Marc Soler in there for company. Movistar have Mikel Landa and Nairo Quintana back in the peloton, both outside the top five and needing to produce something spectacular today. 

     

  33. 15:29:52 CEST

    Kangert has 25 seconds over this breakaway of more than 20 riders. 

     

  34. 15:31:03 CEST

    The breakaway has split slightly on the early section of the climb. The gradient eases now for a kilometre or so. 

  35. 15:32:02 CEST

    This was the scene earlier

     

     

  36. 15:32:33 CEST

    Cofidis' Nicolas Edet has caught Kangert at the head of affairs. 

     

  37. 15:34:55 CEST

    Luke Rowe is still on the front for Sky. Peter Sagan is still in there. Sky's rivals aren't using this climb so far to try and shake things up. 

     

  38. 15:35:20 CEST

    Wout Poels drops back through the bunch. Not sure if he's struggling or heading back for supplies.

  39. 15:37:09 CEST

    Alaphilippe leads the chase of Kangert and Edet. The Frenchman is in a trio with Jesus Herrada (Cofidis) and Kristijan Durasek (UAE).

     

  40. 15:37:49 CEST

    Kangert accelerates and drops Edet. 

     

  41. 57km remaining from 65km

    15:38:35 CEST

    We're 8km into the this opening climb. 7km to go to the top. 

     

     

  42. 15:40:58 CEST

    Some more names in the break

     

    Martinez, Rolland, Geschke, G. Izagirre, Pellizotti, Yates, Soler, Valverde, Majka, Mühlberger, Fraile, Vichot, De Gendt, Calmejane, Mollema, Navarro.

     

  43. 15:42:16 CEST

    Edet is caught and passed by the Alaphilippe/Herrada/Durasek trio.

     

     

  44. 15:43:21 CEST

    Kangert leads the race

     

    Alaphilippe, Herrada, Durasek are 25 seconds back

     

    Valverde, Yates, and others are 1:05 back. 

     

    The peloton is 2:25 back. 

     

  45. 15:44:16 CEST

    Kangert is 4km from the summit of Peyragudes. Steady gradients of 7% here. 

     

  46. 15:45:45 CEST

    Alaphilippe briefly drops Herrada and Durasek. The Frenchman is known more as a puncheur, but with two high-mountain stage wins and the polka-dot jersey on his shoulders....

     

  47. 15:49:02 CEST

    Luke Rowe continues to set the tempo in the yellow jersey group.

     

  48. 15:50:43 CEST

    Yates is making his way back to to Valverde and Soler at the head of the third group on the road. The Briton lost contact for a kilometre or so. 

     

  49. 15:51:49 CEST

    Kangert comes over the top of the Col de Peyresourde. This isn't where the climb ends, however, as the riders continue on up the Montée de Peyragudes, which you may remember from last year. 

     

  50. 15:52:22 CEST

    Mechanical for Quintana!

     

     

     

  51. 15:52:42 CEST

    The Colombian gets a wheel change - and a slow one - from Andrey Amador.

     

  52. 15:53:09 CEST

    Quintana should be able to get back in relatively comfortably before the top of the climb. 

     

  53. 50.8km remaining from 65km

    15:53:39 CEST

    Kangert comes over the summit alone. 

     

  54. 15:54:19 CEST

    Alaphilippe is next over, some 20 seconds down, to add a further 8 points to his lead in the mountains classification. He has Herrada and Durasek on his wheel. 

     

  55. 15:55:13 CEST

    Next over is the third breakaway group, containing Valverde, Soler, Yates, Pellizotti, Fraile, and a few others. 

     

  56. 15:55:23 CEST

    Quintana stops again to get a new bike. 

     

  57. 15:55:58 CEST

    Quintana rips past teammate Daniele Bennati, who'd paced him back the first time. He has Imanol Erviti to drag him to the summit. 

     

  58. 15:57:29 CEST

    The peloton cross the top of Peyragudes 3:30 down on Kangert.

     

    Quintana is just off the back, but no panic. 

     

  59. 16:01:10 CEST

    The third group on the road thinned to eight by the top. It contains:

     

    Alejandro Valverde, Marc Soler (Movistar)

    Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott)

    Rafal Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe)

    Dani Navarro, Jesus Herrada (Cofidis)

    Dani Martinez (EF-Drapac)

    Omar Fraile (Astana)

     

  60. 16:02:41 CEST

    We saw Alaphilippe's descending skills yesterday. Matt White said he'd never seen some of the angles the Frenchman produced. Herrada can't match him, and now Durasek is drifting back too. Meanwhile Kangert is in sight up ahead. 

     

  61. 16:04:11 CEST

    I missed Pellizotti off that list of riders in the third group. Bauke Mollema has just made it over, too, on the descent. 

     

  62. 40km remaining from 65km

    16:04:53 CEST

    Alaphilippe catches Kangert. Durasek gets back in, too. That's the trio that leads the race. 

     

  63. 16:05:08 CEST

    40 kilometres to go! 40!

     

  64. 16:06:36 CEST

    The leaders come off the descent. There's a brief section in the valley -and a somewhat incongruous intermediate sprint - before the road kicks up again for the Col de Val Louron-Azet.

     

  65. 16:07:08 CEST

    Kangert leads Alaphilippe and Durasek through the sprint, but in truth it's the last thing on anyone's mind. 

     

  66. 16:10:24 CEST

    The leading trio hit the Col de Val Louron-Azet. It's 7.4km at 8.3%. Shorter than Peyresourde/Peyragudes but much more vicious. 

     

     

  67. 16:12:25 CEST

    Luke Rowe leads Sky and the peloton onto the climb, 3:30 in arrears. How long can the Classics specialist keep this up? Surely Sky's rivals can't settle for this pace up another first-category climb? If they want to win the Tour surely they have to start thinking about attacking here, and weakening Sky ahead of the Portet. 

     

  68. 16:14:30 CEST

    And, as if on cue, AG2R take it up in the peloton. Silvan Dillier, Oliver Naesen, and Pierre Latour are in front of Romain Bardet...

     

  69. 16:15:46 CEST

    AG2R spoke a lot ahead of this Tour about taking the race to Sky and being the ones to 'destabilise' them. We haven't seen it so far, but now they're playing their cards, and Rowe is gone. 

     

  70. 16:16:53 CEST

    The AG2R collective has been weakened by the abandons of Tony Gallopin and Alexis Vuillermoz. Climber Mathias Frank is somewhere up the road. Naesen pulls away now. Latour will be key here. He's in the white jersey as best young rider but may have to lay that on the line here. 

  71. 16:17:06 CEST

    The change of pace has thinned the peloton dramatically. 

     

  72. 16:17:54 CEST

    Dillier is gone now, too, and Latour puts in a big acceleration for Bardet. 

     

  73. 16:18:03 CEST

    No more than 30 left in the peloton

     

  74. 16:18:34 CEST

    Dan Martin is right behind Bardet. They have a small gap back to Sky, who are trying not to panic. Castroviejo is leading them. 

     

  75. 16:19:06 CEST

    Yates can't hold the pace of the Valverde group. 

  76. 16:19:36 CEST

    Bardet looks focused as he sits in Latour's wheel and bides his time. When will he make his move?

     

  77. 16:19:58 CEST

    Quintana and Landa are towards the back of this GC group. 

     

  78. 33km remaining from 65km

    16:21:10 CEST

    Alaphilippe, Kangert, and Durasek continue to lead the race. Their lead is being shaved now, though. 2:50. They're 4km from the top. 

     

  79. 16:21:56 CEST

    Latour begins to bob his head from side to side as has become his trademark. He looks comfortable, though. 

     

  80. 16:22:08 CEST

    Poels is still present but he's at the back of the group. 

     

  81. 16:22:48 CEST

    Dumoulin has latched onto the back of the Sky train. He has no teammates with him. 

     

  82. 16:23:51 CEST

    Majka is forcing the issue in the chase group. Valverde, Fraile, and Martinez are the only ones with him. 

     

  83. 32km remaining from 65km

    16:24:34 CEST

    Here's the composition of the yellow jersey group

     

    Latour, Bardet, Dan Martin, Atapuma, Castroviejo, Kwiatkowski, Froome, Thomas, Bernal, Landa, Quintana, Bernal, Dumoulin, Roglic, Kruijswijk, Tolhoek, Fuglsang, Barguil, Jungels, Caruso, Zakarin, Poels, Hansen, Ion Izaguirre, Molard. 

     

  84. 16:26:15 CEST

    Soler is caught by the yellow jersey group, having dropped from the Valverde group. The Spaniard looks for Quintana and Landa. 

  85. 16:26:42 CEST

    Pellizotti and Mulhberger have dragged their way back to the Valverde group.

     

  86. 16:27:34 CEST

    Soler gets straight to work on the front of the yellow jersey group. He plonks himself in front of Latour. 

     

  87. 16:28:35 CEST

    Alaphilippe, Kangert, and Durasek are 50 seconds clear of the Valverde group, and 2:30 clear of the peloton. 

     

  88. 16:28:43 CEST

    Latour is done

     

  89. 30km remaining from 65km

    16:29:18 CEST

    Soler continues to drive the pace. He looks really strong and it seems clear he was called back from the break, rather than dropped. 

     

  90. 16:29:39 CEST

    Latour is clinging to the back of the group but he's losing the wheel now. just over 1km to the summit. 

     

  91. 16:30:24 CEST

    Mollema, Rolland, Izaguirre, and Geschke are caught by the GC group, having been in the break. 

     

    Geschke's presence gives Dumoulin a much-needed teammate. 

     

  92. 16:31:03 CEST

    Muhlberger, after another big turn, drops from the Valverde group. With Soler riding hard behind, Valverde is sitting in and letting Bora work in this group - the second on the road. 

     

  93. 16:32:08 CEST

    Alaphilippe leads the race over the Col de Val Louron-Azet, adding to his lead in the KOM standings. Kangert is on the wheel, Durasek a few lengths back. 

     

  94. 16:32:38 CEST

    Valverde, Majka, Fraile, and Martinez come over the top 25 seconds down. 

     

  95. 16:33:09 CEST

    Soler still leads the peloton. Kwiatkowski is on the wheel. 

     

  96. 16:33:29 CEST

    Poels moves up now. 

     

  97. 27km remaining from 65km

    16:33:56 CEST

    Soler leads the GV group over the top, 2:05 down on the leading trio. 

     

  98. 16:34:20 CEST

    A really tricky descent to come now, 11km long. 

     

  99. 16:36:45 CEST

    Soler leads the GC group down the descent. 

     

  100. 16:38:13 CEST

    Alaphilippe leads the way, Kangert just about keeping pace. Durasek is losing more ground and is now 23 seconds down. He may soon be caught by the next group - Valverde, Majka, Fraile, Pellizotti, and Martinez.

     

  101. 16:38:35 CEST

    Peter Sagan has crashed, according to race radio. 

     

  102. 20km remaining from 65km

    16:41:35 CEST

    20km to go in this stage. Alaphilippe and Kangert continue to lead down the descent with 40 seconds on the chase group and 2:25 on the peloton. 

  103. 16:42:01 CEST

    Soler is leading the GC group down, a few wheels clear of Sky. No one's taking any risks or making any moves here. 

     

  104. 18km remaining from 65km

    16:42:57 CEST

    The final climb is 16km long, so the leading duo will be there in a couple of kilometres' time. 

     

  105. 16:44:06 CEST

    Col du Portet

     

    Hors-Categorie

    16km

    8.7%

     

  106. 16:44:41 CEST

    Alaphilippe and Kangert hit the valley with a lead of less than a minute over Valverde, Majka, Fraile, Pellizotti, and Martinez. 

     

  107. 16:45:06 CEST

    We're hearing Sagan is back up and going. 

     

  108. 16:45:48 CEST

    And now the climb begins.

     

  109. 16:46:40 CEST

    Alaphilippe is immediately dropped. The Frenchman waves goodbye to Kangert and waves his hand to his throat. His day is done, and he's made that polka-dot jersey even more secure on his shoulders. 

     

  110. 16:47:25 CEST

    So, we have a lone leader, Tanel Kangert. How far can he go? Valverde is pushing on in the chase, while the peloton is 2:46 back. 

     

  111. 16:47:44 CEST

    The GC group hit the climb, and it's Soler leading the way. 

     

  112. 16:48:29 CEST

    Big acceleration from Soler. Castroviejo marks him but the rest of the Sky train stays where it is. 

  113. 16:49:09 CEST

    Soler continues his effort, Castroviejo on his wheel. Sky have called the bluff, but Soler could provide a bridge for an attack from Quintana or Landa. 

     

  114. 15km remaining from 65km

    16:49:35 CEST

    15km to the summit for Kangert. Here come the double-digit gradients

     

  115. 16:49:43 CEST

    Dan Martin attacks!

     

  116. 16:49:56 CEST

    Quintana follows Martin. They have a gap

     

  117. 16:50:18 CEST

    Quintana accelerates now. 

     

  118. 16:50:31 CEST

    Here we go, it's finally kicking off

     

  119. 16:50:43 CEST

    Sky aren't panicking but the gap is growing. 

     

  120. 16:50:55 CEST

    Martin can't hold Quintana's wheel. 

     

  121. 16:51:17 CEST

    Castroviejo leads the Sky train, Poels behind, then Kwiatkowski, Thomas and Froome. 

     

  122. 16:51:45 CEST

    Soler is dropped. His work is done. 

     

  123. 16:52:01 CEST

    Quintana has 20 seconds on his rivals. 

     

  124. 16:52:14 CEST

    Sky are riding tempo here, refusing to panic. 

     

  125. 16:53:04 CEST

    A reminder of the overall standings

     

    1 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky 68:12:01
    2 Chris Froome (GBr) Team Sky 0:01:39
    3 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Sunweb 0:01:50
    4 Primoz Roglic (Slo) LottoNL-Jumbo 0:02:38
    5 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:03:21
    6 Mikel Landa (Spa) Movistar Team 0:03:42
    7 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo 0:03:57
    8 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 0:04:23
    9 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team 0:06:14
    10 Daniel Martin (Irl) UAE Team Emirates 0:06:54
    11 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 0:09:36
    12 Bob Jungels (Lux) Quick-Step Floors 0:09:53
    13 Pierre Latour (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:09:54
    14 Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin 0:10:13
    15 Guillaume Martin (Fra) Wanty-Groupe Gobert 0:12:23

     

  126. 16:53:56 CEST

    Quintana catches Yates and other remnants of the original break. He's now 30 seconds ahead. 

     

  127. 16:54:23 CEST

    Dan Martin is still in between Quintana and the GC group. 

     

  128. 16:54:42 CEST

    Quintana springs away from Yates and now Alaphilippe. 

     

  129. 16:54:56 CEST

    Attack from Roglic!

     

  130. 16:55:05 CEST

    Froome goes with him!

     

  131. 16:55:20 CEST

    Dream scenario for Froome...

     

  132. 16:55:52 CEST

    Sky disappear from the front and Dumoulin is forced to come to the front. 

     

  133. 16:56:02 CEST

    Thomas tucks in behind Dumoulin

     

  134. 16:57:04 CEST

    This is a really interesting tactical situation. Rolgic is fourth overall and around a minute back on Dumoulin. Froome can follow, arguing he needs to gain time on Dumoulin, while Thomas will have to sit in and wait, hoping Dumoulin busts a gut and Roglic and Froome don't gain too much ground. 

     

  135. 16:57:45 CEST

    Dumoulin is digging in here and the GC group is thinning big time 

     

  136. 16:58:06 CEST

    Kwiatkowski, Poels, and Castroviejo are all gone now, out the back. 

     

  137. 16:58:15 CEST

    Froome is taking turns now with Roglic. 

     

  138. 16:58:35 CEST

    Quintana has 20 seconds on Roglic and Froome. 

     

  139. 16:59:11 CEST

    Dumoulin is dragging this back. 

     

  140. 12km remaining from 65km

    16:59:30 CEST

    Quintana reaches Valverde. 

     

  141. 16:59:42 CEST

    Froome and Roglic are caught. 

     

  142. 17:00:07 CEST

    Bernal comes to the front now for Sky. Kruijswijk is in there as well for LottoNL. Bardet is present and correct too. 

     

  143. 17:00:31 CEST

    Dan Martin is still out in front of the yellow jersey group but he's slipping back from Quintana. 

     

  144. 17:01:18 CEST

    The only riders left in the yellow jersey group are:

     

    Bernal, Thomas, Froome, Dumoulin, Roglic, Kruijswijk, Bardet, Landa. 

     

  145. 17:01:53 CEST

    Kangert continues to lead, 1:50 ahead of the GC riders. 

     

  146. 17:02:18 CEST

    Quintana has 35 seconds on the GC group. Dan Martin is in between. 

     

  147. 17:02:28 CEST

    Poels comes back to the GC group. 

     

  148. 17:02:46 CEST

    The Sky train is back on track. 

     

  149. 17:03:17 CEST

    Valverde is leading Quintana, with Majka hanging on. 

     

  150. 17:05:07 CEST

    Kangert takes a gel. He has just over 10km to the finish now, but his lead is falling all the time. 1:35 back to the GC group now. and just a minute to Quintana. 

     

  151. 17:06:25 CEST

    Quintana realises he needs to leave Valverde and raise the pace. 10km to go now and he needs to find some serious ground. 

     

  152. 17:07:12 CEST

    Poels looks steady for Sky in front of Bernal, Thomas, and Froome. 

     

  153. 17:07:56 CEST

    Pellizotti has tagged onto the back of the GC group. It's gone quiet again. 

     

  154. 17:08:39 CEST

    Dan Martin goes past Valverde. 

     

  155. 17:09:43 CEST

    Kangert is holding on admirably here. He's 1:20 clear of the GC group. 

     

  156. 17:10:41 CEST

    But the slowing of the pace in that group under Poels has seen Quintana extend his lead, and the Colombian is in fact closing in on Kangert....

     

  157. 8.5km remaining from 65km

    17:11:09 CEST

    Quintana has Majka on his wheel and now they make the bridge to Kangert. 

     

  158. 17:11:34 CEST

    Quintana rips past Kangert, who tries to cling to the wheel of Majka. 

     

  159. 17:11:51 CEST

    Kangert is dropped. 

     

  160. 17:12:15 CEST

    Quintana and Majka lead the race. They have 15 seconds over Dan Martin and 1:05 over the yellow jersey group. 

     

  161. 17:13:18 CEST

    As it stands, Quintana would jump above Kruijswijk, Landa, and Bardet into 5th overall.

     

  162. 17:13:56 CEST

    This is some ride from Martin. He lost Quintana early but has held his own ever since. In the past kilometre or so he has made up ground and is now just 15 second back. He's just gone past Kangert. 

     

  163. 17:14:08 CEST

    Bardet is right at the back of the yellow jersey group. 

     

  164. 17:14:20 CEST

    Still Poels leads

     

  165. 17:15:03 CEST

    Froome is slipping down the group. 

     

  166. 17:16:06 CEST

    Poels, Bernal, Thomas, Kruijswijk, Roglic, Dumoulin, Froome, Landa, Bardet. 

     

    That's the order of the yellow jersey group. 

     

  167. 17:17:41 CEST

    Bardet doesn't look in any position to attack. Landa won't, with Quintana up the road. What have Roglic and Dumoulin got?

     

  168. 17:18:02 CEST

    Quintana drops Majka!

     

    The Colombian is the lone leader with 6.4km to go

     

  169. 17:18:28 CEST

    Quintana leads the way, with Martin at 20 seconds, and the yellow jersey group at 1:10

     

  170. 17:19:39 CEST

    Bardet loses the wheel...

     

  171. 17:19:51 CEST

    Dear oh dear. Bardet is in real trouble here. 

     

  172. 17:20:52 CEST

    Bardet is gone. This is about damage limitation now but he's going to fall down the standings and hopes of the podium are fading fast. 

     

  173. 17:21:07 CEST

    Quintana now has 30 seconds over Martin.

     

  174. 17:21:27 CEST

    Bardet is digging in, 10 seconds down. 

     

  175. 17:21:55 CEST

    Chris Froome comes up with a mini acceleration to keep the others on their toes. 

     

  176. 5km remaining from 65km

    17:22:23 CEST

    Quintana passes under the 5km-to-go banner. The GC group is 1:15 back. 

     

  177. 17:22:31 CEST

    Kruijswijk attacks. 

     

  178. 17:22:52 CEST

    Poels is dropped but Bernal is able to set about dragging Kruijswijk back. 

     

  179. 17:23:03 CEST

    Thomas and Froome both look comfortable. 

     

  180. 17:23:39 CEST

    Bardet is now 25 seconds down. 

     

  181. 17:24:09 CEST

    Martin claws his way back to 20 seconds of Quintana. 

  182. 17:24:20 CEST

    Bernal neutralises Kruijswijk's attack. 

     

  183. 17:24:54 CEST

    Quintana still has 1:10 over the yellow jersey group. 

     

  184. 17:25:41 CEST

    Bernal leads that group with Froome and Thomas there. Roglic and Kruisjwijk are there for LottoNL, while Dumoulin and Landa are the other members. 

     

  185. 4km remaining from 65km

    17:26:26 CEST

    Bardet is now 40 seconds back and is about to be caught by Zakarin. 

  186. 17:26:56 CEST

    The fans thicken towards the top of the Col du Portet.

     

  187. 17:27:53 CEST

    Froome drops to the back of the group again. 

     

  188. 17:28:11 CEST

    What a ride by Bernal, again. 

     

  189. 3km remaining from 65km

    17:28:44 CEST

    3km-to-go banner for Quintana. He has 1:10, still, on the yellow jersey group. Martin is still at 23 seconds. 

     

  190. 17:29:43 CEST

    Dumoulin looks comfortable but is at the back of the group. Will he attack? Surely Roglic will roll the dice again.

     

  191. 17:29:52 CEST

    And again on cue, Roglic goes!

     

  192. 17:29:59 CEST

    Thomas follows it

     

  193. 17:30:07 CEST

    Froome distanced...

     

  194. 17:30:41 CEST

    Wow. Bernal zips through and comes back to the front, neutralising the Roglic attack. Kruijswijk is also in touch, as is Dumoulin. 

     

  195. 17:31:10 CEST

    Landa is a few wheels back but getting back in. Froome a few further back and now shouting on the radio. He should get back in now. 

     

  196. 17:31:26 CEST

    Froome is back on.

     

  197. 17:31:59 CEST

    Bernal is riding this mountain no-handed, as he fiddles with his earpiece. He's back in control.

     

  198. 17:32:07 CEST

    But here goes Dumoulin!

     

  199. 17:32:14 CEST

    Thomas follows. Froome dropped!

     

  200. 17:32:36 CEST

    Roglic and Kruijswijk go with Thomas and Dumoulin.

     

  201. 17:32:46 CEST

    Bernal drops back to pace Froome. Landa tags on. 

     

  202. 17:32:58 CEST

    Dumoulin is riding himself onto the podium here. 

     

  203. 17:33:14 CEST

    And the Sky leadership conundrum is being definitively settled right here. 

     

  204. 17:33:39 CEST

    Roglic accelerates now. Dumoulin on the wheel, then Thomas, then Kruijswijk. 

     

  205. 1km remaining from 65km

    17:34:06 CEST

    Meanwhile Quintana enters the final kilometre. He's 30 seconds clear of Martin and 1minute clear of Thomas

     

  206. 17:34:24 CEST

    Roglic attacks again. Thomas goes past Dumoulin as he follows the move. 

     

  207. 17:34:35 CEST

    Dumoulin is a few wheels back. 

     

  208. 17:34:51 CEST

    Kruijswijk a few wheels behind Dumoulin.

     

  209. 17:35:00 CEST

    Meanwhile Froome is losing ground. 

     

  210. 17:35:18 CEST

    Quintana is on his way to the stage win here. 

     

  211. 17:35:37 CEST

    Dumoulin has clawed his way back to Thomas and Roglic with 800 metres to go. 

     

  212. 17:36:01 CEST

    Last 400m for Quintana, who's out of the saddle. This would be his first win on the Tour since 2013. 

     

  213. 17:36:43 CEST

    Froome is panting

     

  214. 17:37:04 CEST

    Quintana comes towards the line, his face as inscrutable as ever. 

     

  215. 17:37:21 CEST

    Quintana crosses the line and raises his arms in the air.

     

  216. 17:37:30 CEST

    Nairo Quintana (Movistar) wins stage 17 of the Tour de France

     

  217. 17:37:41 CEST

    Here comes Martin. He crosses 28 seconds down. 

     

  218. 17:37:50 CEST

    Thomas attacks Dumoulin and Roglic!

     

  219. 17:38:00 CEST

    Thomas takes third, 48 seconds down.

     

  220. 17:38:14 CEST

    Roglic fourth, Dumoulin fifth, a few seconds down on Thomas.

     

  221. 17:38:31 CEST

    Kruijswijk is next home, 10 seconds or so down on Dumoulin/Roglic.

     

  222. 17:38:42 CEST

    Here comes Froome, with Bernal and Landa. 

     

  223. 17:39:32 CEST

    Froome loses 1:35 to Quintana. He loses more than 30 seconds to Dumoulin and is off the podium. 

     

  224. 17:39:55 CEST

    And now Bardet is across the line. A miserable day for the Frenchman, who ships 2:35 to Quintana. 

     

  225. 17:42:10 CEST

    Stage 17 top 10

     

    1 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 2:21:27
    2 Daniel Martin (Irl) UAE Team Emirates 0:00:28
    3 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky 0:00:47
    4 Primoz Roglic (Slo) LottoNL-Jumbo 0:00:52
    5 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Sunweb 0:00:52
    6 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo 0:01:05
    7 Egan Bernal (Col) Team Sky 0:01:33
    8 Chris Froome (GBr) Team Sky 0:01:35
    9 Mikel Landa (Spa) Movistar Team 0:01:35
    10 Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin 0:02:01

     

  226. 17:43:39 CEST

    Here's Thomas, who has just taken a huge step towards winning the Tour de France. 

     

     

  227. 17:44:15 CEST

    General Classification after stage 17

     

    1 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky 70:34:11
    2 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Sunweb 0:01:59
    3 Chris Froome (GBr) Team Sky 0:02:31
    4 Primoz Roglic (Slo) LottoNL-Jumbo 0:02:47
    5 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 0:03:30
    6 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo 0:04:19
    7 Mikel Landa (Spa) Movistar Team 0:04:34
    8 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:05:13
    9 Daniel Martin (Irl) UAE Team Emirates 0:06:33
    10 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team 0:09:31

  228. 17:46:12 CEST

    Stick with us and we'll bring you all the instant post-race quotes and reactions, along with the best photos from the mountain. 

     

  229. 17:48:47 CEST

    Winner's shot

     

     

  230. 18:00:01 CEST

    Tom Dumoulin has moved up to second overall, but Thomas has only pulled away at the top of the standings. 

     

    "I always keep a little bit of faith and hope, but so far, over the last two-and-a-half weeks, Thomas has been the strongest, and that's the situation now," Dumoulin says. "For me, so far it has not been possible to gain time on him. That's it."

  231. 18:06:20 CEST

    Peter Sagan crosses the line with jersey ripped. 

     

  232. 18:07:36 CEST

    And now we can hear from Quintana

     


    "It was a hard day but we’d prepared well for it. It went as exactly as we’d planned. We had Valverde and Soler up front and their riding helped shake out the peloton. We knew it was a stage for pure climbers and we showed our strength.

     

    "I went through some difficult moment in the first part of this Tour and lost some time. But I still felt strong and had the energy to finish the race on a high. I usually improve in the third week of the Tour and it’s going that way.

     

    "I wanted to win for my people in Colombia, after months of hard work. All the support I’ve had from everyone, as well as my family and friends, really helped me today. We were a bit down in the last days, so we needed this win. It’s a wonderful day today."

  233. 18:10:57 CEST

    Dan Martin was exhausted at the line

     

     

  234. 18:14:58 CEST

    Quintana on the move

     

     

  235. 18:18:18 CEST

    And now we can hear from the yellow jersey, Geraint Thomas

     

    "It was a really hard start to that last climb - Quintana went, Roglic chased and Froome was with him. We managed to force Dumoulin to ride for a bit, then it was really on, then it settled down a bit. I was feeling pretty good, I’d just react as soon as Roglic or Dumoulin moved, so I had a good day.

     

    'Froome wanted to try something so he went early with Roglic, and I just assumed he’d be good. But he wasn’t feeling too good toward the top. I think he’s still third - he’s still up there anyhow."

  236. 18:22:24 CEST

    Interesting that Thomas says it was in the plan for Froome to "try something". The road, however, proved who had the strongest legs and it seems clear now that Thomas is the main man for Sky, and Froome won't be winning a fifth Tour de France, though stranger things have happened... and not that long ago...

     

  237. 18:24:38 CEST

    More from Thomas, who tries to keep the giddy realisation that he could well win this Tour de France at bay. 

     

    "I don’t let myself think about it, it’s honestly just day by day. It’s a sprint day tomorrow, so we just rest up now and get ready for that.

     

    "Obviously Dumoulin and Roglic were strong today and they were active. They’re the closest to me along with Froome, but I don’t classify him as a rival, we’re teammates. He’s a fighter, for sure he’ll keep fighting all the way. It’s good to keep the advantage for myself and the team is in a good position now."

  238. 18:26:11 CEST

  239. 18:32:57 CEST

    Remember the grid start? Has anything been so over-hyped, only to prove such a let-down? Expect everyone secretly knew it would be a massive let-down all along. Fair play to ASO for trying something new, but I don't think that'll be catching on...

     

  240. 18:39:44 CEST

    So, where does this leave the race?

     

    Thomas has a commanding lead with four stages to go, and he's showing not signs of weakness, once again riding away from his direct rivals in the high mountains. It really is extraordinary stuff. A flat stage follows tomorrow, and then the final mountain stage - a big day over the Aspin, Tourmalet and Aubisque. This is uncharted territory for Thomas but given his performances so far, and the strength of the team has has to fall back on, it's hard to see him being divested of the maillot jaune. There's a hilly time trial on the penultimate day but Thomas, though unlikely to beat Dumoulin, is a quality time triallist and would be expected to finish the job. 

     

    In fact, all the riders in the top four are strong time triallists. After today, Roglic will now smell blood and will be hunting Froome's podium position, 16 seconds away. LottoNL could get creative on that final mountain stage, with Kruijwsijk also 6th overall, while Quintana can't be written out of the podium picture completely after today signalled a turnaround in his form and fortunes. 

     

  241. 18:42:27 CEST

     

  242. 18:43:24 CEST

     

  243. 18:44:36 CEST

    You can find plenty more photos in our stage gallery

     

  244. 18:46:20 CEST

    Here's what Dan Martin had to say

     

    "The last two or three days I've felt really good, it's a good sign. I planned to go early, that's why we had guys in the break. It's ok to say you're going to attack early but you get a lot of wind on these climbs. I had good legs and confidence in the legs that I could do a good climb. Team Sky set a tempo early on on the climb and I'm seven minutes down, so I thought they'd let me go. Quintana came with me and I thought we'd ride together but he was strong and attacked me straight away. I wanted to go on my own tempo and turn it into a time trial but the altitude got me in the end, it's pretty high up here!

     

    "Quintana lives pretty high, so that'll help him. I wanted to keep him at 10-15 seconds because I can usually close that gap in the final 400 metres but at this altitude I had nothing left. It was really tough and he was the better guy on the day. I'm proud of how the team rode and how I rode, it's pretty special to be on a mountain top finish at the Tour de France."

  245. 18:50:57 CEST

     

  246. 18:54:59 CEST

    "A terrible day," says Romain Bardet, who sees his hopes of a third straight podium evaporate. "My legs just didn't respond on that final climb. It's difficult to accept, but that's sport."

     

    We'll have a story on the Frenchman soon, along with Thomas, Quintana, Roglic, Dumoulin, and Martin. 

     

  247. 19:04:21 CEST

    Arnaud Demare finished 29 minutes behind Quintana and thanks to an extended time cut - given the brevity of today's stage - stays in the race. However, get a load of this tweet from Andre Greipel....

     

    "Maybe somebody should tell @GroupamaFDJ and @ArnaudDemare that there is GPS tracking in @LeTour. Chapeau to lose just 9min on a 17 km climb on @NairoQuinCo #notthefirsttime."

     

    Pretty clear what the insinuation is - that he held onto a team car on the final climb. It's not the first time that accusation has been levelled at the Frenchman, who was accused of doing the same en route to winning Milan-San Remo in 2016. In any case, Demare is pretty much the only pure sprinter left in the race, Greipel having missed the time cut in the Alps along with Cavendish, Gaviria, Kittel, and Groenewegen. 

     

  248. 19:11:22 CEST

    Here's all the snap post-stage reaction in one handy place

     

    Tour de France: Stage 17 finish line quotes

     

  249. 19:11:54 CEST

    The full results are also available to browse here

     

  250. 19:36:43 CEST

    While we're waiting for today's news to come in from the team on the ground in France, you can listen to our most recent podcast that discusses the stage 17 farmers' protest and Dave Brailsford's extraordinary rest-day Team Sky press conference. We also hear from Adam Yates, Heinrich Haussler and Steven Kruijswijk. Listen to the podcast HERE

  251. 19:55:54 CEST

    Peter Sagan has confirmed that he will go on despite crashing on a descent in stage 17. We'll have a report soon.

     

  252. 20:16:36 CEST

    Video highlights of today's exciting stage are in. You can watch them HERE

  253. 20:32:32 CEST

    We're hearing that a gendarme saw Chris Froome descending off the final climb back toward the buses, thought he was a spectator on course without authorisation and knocked him off his bike. We'll have a report soon.

     

  254. 20:34:03 CEST

    In the meantime, you can read what Sagan had to say about his crash HERE

  255. 20:36:13 CEST

    Tom Dumoulin told reporters after today's stage the Geraint Thomas is the strongest rider in the race. Read Barry Ryan's story HERE

  256. 20:54:41 CEST

    After his performance on stage 17, Geraint Thomas says Team Sky are working for him now. Read our report HERE

  257. 21:02:21 CEST

    Sky are now saying Chris Froome fell on his way to the team bus. The intrigue at this year's Tour de France continues.

     

     

  258. 21:05:37 CEST

    You can read our updated report on Chris Froome's very bad day HERE

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