Tour de France 2019

July 6-28, Brussels, France, Road - WorldTour

Complete Live Report

Live commentary by:
Daniel Ostanek

Hello and welcome to our live coverage of stage 18 of the Tour de France. Today's stage runs 197.5km from Embrun to Valloire taking in three major climbs along the way.

 

 

 

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  1. 09:19:52 BST

    We're just under an hour away from the start of today's stage, the first Alpine test of the race.

  2. 09:24:34 BST

    Of course, Tony Martin (Jumbo-Visma) and Luke Rowe (Team Ineos) won't be starting today's stage. 

     

    "The UCI made a decision and we have to live with it," said Ineos DS Servais Knaven after yesterday's stage 17. Read the full story here.

     

  3. 09:31:14 BST

    Here are the day's three major climbs – the Vars (82.5km), Izoard (133km) and Galibier (189km).

     

     

  4. 09:32:33 BST

    The early Côte de Demoiselles Coiffées (3.9km at 5.2 per cent) should be a good launchpad for the day's break. It comes 13km into the stage.

     

  5. 09:39:27 BST

    The last time the Tour de France tackled the Col du Galibier was back in 2017, when Primož Roglič won the stage, attacking the early break and holding off the peloton on the descent from the summit to Serre-Chevalier. Though two years ago, the Galibier was climbed from the north rather than from the south.

     

     

  6. 09:42:30 BST

    From our reporters on the ground, Luke Rowe and Tony Martin are at the race on their team's respective buses. There's no indication that they'll try to start though. Their bikes aren't parked up outside the buses, for a start.

     

  7. 09:45:32 BST

    We understand that Jumbo-Visma and Team Ineos are looking to appeal Martin's disqualification to CAS. An appeal to the UCI isn't possible. The deadline is 11am local time, so 16 minutes away, and just ten before the stage starts.

     

  8. 09:52:26 BST

    An hour before the start of the stage, Steven Kruijswijk, George Bennett and Laurens De Plus had an unexpected doping control on the team bus.

     

    "The element that they can come [at any time] is enough, I hope, to deter people that they're never safe,"  said Bennett before the start,

     

  9. 09:57:12 BST

    Here's Ineos leader outside the team bus this morning. The stage starts in 13 minutes.

     

     

  10. 09:58:15 BST

    Race leader Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-QuickStep) and Ineos duo Thomas and Egan Bernal were visited by testers early this morning.

  11. 10:01:44 BST

    Here's what George Bennett had to say about the doping tests and hour before the start today.

     

    "It’s a new one for me, a real new one. I’m still carrying the bandages. It feel a bit like: what the hell are they doing one hour before the start? But I’d rather do this and know that cycling is the cleanest sport in the world, which sounds contradictory with all the scandals we’ve had but I really believe we’re tested more than anybody else, we can be tested at any time, at any hour. I’d rather have this and a little inconvenience and ride in a largely a very clean, competitive sport.

    "It’s a pain in the arse but if we all knew they’re never going to come, who knows what people would do? So the element that they can come, I hope is enough to deter people and so they can never cheat. Its good that people know they can come an hour before. It’s a little hectic and little stress before one of the major stages but I’m not going to complain too much about it."

     

  12. 10:06:28 BST

    The start is just five minutes away now.

     

  13. 10:08:59 BST

    The stage will kick off with a 15-minute neutralised section ahead of the real start.

     

  14. 10:11:06 BST

    The riders are off. The neutralised section of the race is underway.

     

  15. 10:14:42 BST

    Martin and Rowe didn't take the start today. Their race is definitively over.

     

  16. 10:16:04 BST

    Here's more from Bennett on today's stage and his teammate Martin's disqualification.

     

    "It’s going to be a big day, a really big day, three big days.

    "I’m not sure [what to expect]. Maybe we’ll see control from one team. Maybe there’ll be a breakaway, I’m almost sure. It’ll be a long hard day, that the only thing I’m sure off.

    "I think the next two days are important for Kruijswijk but today is about wearing everyone else down. If we do it smart, we can maybe break down one favourite but it’s not that you’r going to make the big difference today; there’s a long way down from the Galibier to Valloire.
    You? I’ still feel good and hope to show it, not too early in the race, hopefully at the sharp end.

    "No [it wasn't fair to disqualify Martin], not for that. That stuff happens all the time. If they saw everything that happened in a race, and acted on every skirmish, none of us would make it Paris.

    "The problem is that they only saw the last 30 seconds when Tony swerved over the road but that skirmish started a long time before then. I don’t think they should judge Tony on if he over-reacted. It wasn’t great, not a smart thing to do but there’s a lot more to the story than what we saw on TV."

  17. 10:18:42 BST

    Søren Kragh Andersen (Team Sunweb) is the other rider to miss the start today. He leaves the race after suffering from saddle sore problems.

     

  18. 10:21:35 BST

    4.5km of the neutralised zone remains before the start proper.

     

  19. 10:26:42 BST

    2km from the start now.

     

  20. 208km remaining from 208km

    10:30:07 BST

    And now they're underway. The flag is waved and the racing begins.

     

  21. 10:31:11 BST

    Riders are attacking right away, of course.

     

  22. 10:32:32 BST

    It might be a long fight for the break today.

     

  23. 10:34:16 BST

    Green jersey Peter Sagan is among the riders active at the front.

     

  24. 201km remaining from 208km

    10:38:23 BST

    Riders are still attempting to get away.

     

  25. 198km remaining from 208km

    10:41:27 BST

    CCC are very keen to get a rider or two out front. They have two men leading the way right now. The first climbo of the day is coming up.

     

  26. 10:43:09 BST

    Astana's Alexey Lutsenko is off the front.

     

  27. 10:46:24 BST

    Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) is up front now.

     

  28. 10:47:33 BST

    They're 1km from the top of the Côte de Demoiselles Coiffées now.

     

  29. 10:48:31 BST

    Lutsenko and Pierre-Luc Périchon (Cofidis) are off the front.

     

  30. 192km remaining from 208km

    10:50:41 BST

    The duo crest the summit of the climb.

     

  31. 10:56:30 BST

    Just ten seconds between the break and peloton at the moment.

     

  32. 185km remaining from 208km

    10:59:47 BST

    It's still just Périchon and Lutsenko up front with a small gap.

     

  33. 11:02:00 BST

    Plenty of riders are pushing the pace behind.

     

  34. 11:04:58 BST

    Trentin, Sagan, Oss are among the riders attacking the peloton. The two leaders are just 10 seconds up.

     

  35. 11:10:03 BST

    Lutsenko pushed on alone but has been brought back.

     

  36. 11:10:32 BST

    It's all back together now.

     

  37. 175km remaining from 208km

    11:11:52 BST

    Lutsenko is still pushing on, however. Simon Yates is on his wheel. Lennard Kämna and Daryl Impey are there too.

     

  38. 11:14:30 BST

    Those four have a 15-second lead.

     

  39. 11:17:37 BST

    Several more riders are trying to get across the small gap. Trentin and Sagan are in there.

     

  40. 11:18:59 BST

    Ten seconds between the leading quartet and the rest.

     

  41. 11:19:31 BST

    Thomas De Gendt is also attempting to make it across to Lutsenko's group.

     

  42. 168km remaining from 208km

    11:22:29 BST

    Tiesj Benoot has joined Impey, Lutsenko, Kämna and Yates up front. More riders are coming across now.

     

  43. 11:24:02 BST

    Caleb Ewan has hit the deck. He just ran off the road onto the grass. He looks ok. Wout Poels stopped behind the sprinter.

     

  44. 11:25:24 BST

    Here's the latest from Team Ineos, with team boss Dave Brailsford dismissing the suggestion that Team Ineos have a disciplinary issue

     

    Manager calls on UCI to show consistency after Rowe-Martin altercation

     

     

     

  45. 11:25:53 BST

    There's a large group up front now. Maybe 20-25 riders.

     

  46. 162km remaining from 208km

    11:28:40 BST

    The group rolls through the intermediate sprint. Sagan isn't in there.

     

  47. 11:30:46 BST

    Quintana, Woods, Bardet, Van Avermaet are all in there. More names to come shortly.

     

  48. 156km remaining from 208km

    11:35:11 BST

    • Attack

    There are 33 men up front. They lead the Dimension Data-led peloton by 15 seconds. The South African team missed the move.

     

    Romain Bardet, Mickaêl Cherel, Mathias Frank (AG2R La Mondiale)

    Nairo Quintana, Andrey Amador, Carlos Verona (Movistar)

    Adam Yates, Daryl Impey, Chris Juul-Jensen (Mitchelton-Scott)

    Tim Wellens, Tiesj Benoot, Jasper De Buyst (Lotto Soudal)

    Greg Van Avermaet, Serge Pauwels, Simon Geschke (CCC Team)

    Alexey Lutsenko, Gorka Izagirre (Astana)

    Michael Woods, Alberto Bettiol (EF Education First)

    Lennard Kämna, Nikias Arndt (Team Sunweb)

    Mike Teunissen, Amund Jansen (Jumbo-Visma)

    Julien Bernard (Trek-Segafredo)

    Sergio Henao (UAE Team Emirates)

    Pierre-Luc Périchon (Cofidis)

    Dylan Van Baarle (Team Ineos)

    Nils Politt (Katusha-Alpecin)

    Damiano Caruso (Bahrain-Merida)

    Amaël Moinard (Arkéa-Samsic)

    Paul Ourselin (Total Direct Energie)

    Mathieu Ladagnous (Groupama-FDJ)

    Maximilano Richeze (Deceuninck-QuickStep)

     

  49. 11:36:14 BST

    23 seconds for the break now.

     

  50. 11:37:21 BST

    19 teams are in the move. Dimension Data, Bora-Hansgrohe and Wanty-Groupe Gobert are the only teams that have missed the move.

     

  51. 11:38:04 BST

    QuickStep, Movistar and Direct Energie are at the front of the peloton now. It looks like the chase is over.

     

  52. 11:39:39 BST

    Quintana is the best-placed GC rider in the move. He's 9:30 down on race leader Alaphilippe.

     

  53. 11:42:34 BST

    Two minutes now for the break.

     

  54. 149km remaining from 208km

    11:45:49 BST

    The gap is quickly growing. 3:20 now.

     

  55. 11:49:03 BST

    The break just passed through the town of Jausiers at around 1200 metres of elevation. They're 20km from the top of the Col de Vars.

     

  56. 11:54:03 BST

    Philippa York analysis: A Tour de France like this has been a long time coming

     

    "The great thing about these three upcoming stages in the Alps is that nothing is decided and no one is certain of what the final outcome will be. And it's been a long time since we've been able to say that about the Tour de France."

     

     

     

  57. 143km remaining from 208km

    11:54:26 BST

    4:40 for the break now.

     

  58. 11:55:36 BST

    QuickStep and Ineos are on the front the peloton. Three QuickStep men lead the way.

  59. 12:00:43 BST

    Périchon is receiving medical assistance for a bee sting.

     

  60. 134km remaining from 208km

    12:09:36 BST

    The break start the Col de Vars, six minutes ahead of the peloton.

     

  61. 12:13:02 BST

    Here's the profile of the climb.

     

     

  62. 12:18:05 BST

    Mountain classification leader Tim Wellens is in the break today. He had 64 points.

     

    The next best-placed men are Romain Bardet and Simon Geschke on 18 points. Tiesj Benoot has 16 points, and Daryl Impey has 10 points.

     

    The Col de Vars has 10 points on offer for the first man over the top, followed by 8, 6, 4, 2 and 1 for the next five riders.

     

  63. 12:20:53 BST

    5km from the top and Cherel attacks the break. Not sure why...

     

  64. 12:24:44 BST

    Cherel is back with the break now.

     

  65. 12:29:03 BST

    The break are 2km from the top of Vars now.

     

  66. 12:36:23 BST

    6:40 for the break as they approach the top.

     

  67. 12:39:34 BST

    Ten points for Wellens over the top. He beats Bardet and now has 74 points in the KOM competition.

     

  68. 12:40:26 BST

    Tour de France: Rowe and Tony Martin head home after failed pleas to CAS

     

    George Bennett: There’s a lot more to the story than we saw on TV

     

     

  69. 12:41:06 BST

    Lutsenko, Quintana, De Buyst and Rossetto swept up the rest of the points on the Col de Vars.

     

  70. 12:43:43 BST

    The break now heads down into the valley, over seven minutes up on the peloton.

     

  71. 117km remaining from 208km

    12:45:53 BST

    The peloton crest the summit.

     

  72. 12:50:57 BST

    Carlos Verona runs off the road on the descent. Only onto the grass verge though. He's ok.

  73. 12:51:45 BST

    Around 35km to the top of the izoard for the break. The climb itself will take up 14km of that.

     

  74. 105km remaining from 208km

    12:57:11 BST

    The break have reached the bottom of the descent now. They're just over 15km from the base of the Izoard.

     

  75. 13:00:54 BST

    There's a crash in the peloton on the descent. George Bennett is among the men to hit the deck. He's up and running again though.

     

    Meanwhile, Arndt has attacked the break.

     

  76. 13:01:52 BST

    Nicolas Roche was also involved in the break but he looks ok too.

     

  77. 103km remaining from 208km

    13:02:52 BST

    Arndt has 25 seconds on the break.

     

  78. 100km remaining from 208km

    13:14:03 BST

    Arndt is brought back to the break.

  79. 13:15:55 BST

    The gap between break and peloton is still 7:30.

     

  80. 13:21:37 BST

    Into thin air: How altitude will shape the Tour de France finale

     

    Cyclingnews talks to altitude specialist and Wanty-Groupe Gobert coach Samuel Bellenoue

     

     

  81. 13:22:12 BST

    In they valley, Van Avermaet and Bernard have gone off the front of the break.

     

  82. 13:24:15 BST

    There's a minute between the two attackers and the break.

     

  83. 13:26:54 BST

    Bernard and Van Avermaet reach the base of the Izoard. Here's the climb.

     

     

  84. 13:28:05 BST

    1:15 between the leaders and the break, and 8:15 back to the peloton.

     

  85. 13:29:17 BST

    Périchon is dropped from the break.

     

  86. 13:31:04 BST

    It's the 36th time that the Izoard has featured on the Tour route. It was first used in 1922, last used in 2017 when Warren Barguil won at the summit.

     

  87. 13:32:16 BST

    Arndt and De Buyst are next to drop.

     

  88. 13:33:15 BST

    Izagirre, Ladagnous, Jansen and Richeze are struggling too.

     

  89. 13:37:06 BST

    On the Eurosport moto, Brad Wiggins passes a "muppet" on a motorbike, pointing out the bus forming off the rear of the peloton. Vincenzo Nibali is dropping off the back.

     

  90. 13:37:28 BST

    39.8kph is the average after three hours of racing.

     

  91. 13:39:54 BST

    Alaphilippe still have four teammates, including sprinter Elia Viviani, at the front of the peloton.

     

  92. 83km remaining from 208km

    13:40:46 BST

    Yves Lampaert and Thomas De Gendt slip out the rear of the peloton.

     

  93. 13:41:18 BST

    The two leaders are 9km from the top of the Izoard.

     

  94. 13:44:30 BST

    The two leaders reach the toughest part of the climb now.

     

  95. 13:47:27 BST

    Van Avermaet and Bernard are taking on 9-10 per cent gradients.

     

  96. 13:48:01 BST

    Movistar take it up on the front of the peloton now. Bora are there too. Immediately, a number of riders fall away from the peloton.

     

  97. 13:48:35 BST

    Marc Soler is on the front with Landa on his wheel. Landa attack incoming on the steep section?

     

  98. 13:51:23 BST

    More riders drop from the break: Ourselin, Impey, Rossetto, Bettiol, Verona.

     

  99. 13:52:18 BST

    Kwiatkowski, Nibali, Asgreen, Devenyns are off the back of the peloton.

     

  100. 13:53:21 BST

    David Gaudu is off the back too. Moscon, Castroviejo and Konrad as well.

     

  101. 13:54:06 BST

    Woods, Quintana, Lutsenko, Bardet, Yates the strongest of the chasers from the break.

     

  102. 13:54:48 BST

    Just 19 men left in the peloton now... Wow.

     

    Kangert and Aru drop. Dan Martin is already gone.

     

  103. 13:55:00 BST

    Wout Poels was at the rear of the peloton too.

     

  104. 13:55:43 BST

    The two leaders are 45 seconds on the chase group, while the rest of the break is scattered down the mountain.

     

  105. 80km remaining from 208km

    13:56:17 BST

    Bernard has dropped Van Avermaet. He's 5km from the top.

     

  106. 13:56:42 BST

    The peloton are within 6:15 of the leaders now. 

     

  107. 79km remaining from 208km

    14:00:56 BST

    Barguil, Porte, Urán are in the GC group on their own. Meanwhile Landa, Valverde and Soler are there for Movistar. Buchmann has a man with him. Bernal and Thomas have Poels there. Kruijswijk has De Plus and Bennett. Pinot has Reichenbach plus Ladagnous from the break. Alaphilippe has Mas.

     

  108. 14:01:38 BST

    The chase group catches Van Avermaet. Geschke and Caruso are with them now.

     

  109. 77km remaining from 208km

    14:04:25 BST

    5:30 between the peloton and Bernard now. He's 40 seconds up on the chasers.

     

  110. 14:05:26 BST

    Cherel, Amador and Van Baarle get back to the chase group.

     

  111. 76km remaining from 208km

    14:08:45 BST

    Van Avermaet drops from the chase group.

     

  112. 14:09:46 BST

    Tour de France: Jumbo-Visma undergo anti-doping blood tests on team bus 45 minutes before stage 18

     

    'I'd rather have a little inconvenience and ride in a largely very clean sport' says Bennett

     

     

  113. 14:11:40 BST

    Pauwels (not Geschke) joins Van Avermaet in being dropped from the chase group.

     

  114. 75km remaining from 208km

    14:12:33 BST

    Caruso and Bardet speed past Bernard at the top of the Izoard.

     

  115. 14:13:14 BST

    40, 30 and 24 points for Caruso, Bardet and Bernard.

     

  116. 14:14:21 BST

    Kämna is slightly off the back of that lead group on the descent.

     

  117. 14:15:04 BST

    Gregor Mühlberger struggles at the back of the peloton.

     

  118. 14:19:01 BST

    Here are the current KOM standings after the first three climbs of the day:

     

    Tim Wellens: 74pts

    Romain Bardet: 56pts

    Thibaut Pinot: 50pts

    Damiano Caruso: 40pts

    Thomas De Gendt: 38pts

     

  119. 65km remaining from 208km

    14:21:06 BST

    No action in the peloton on the Izoard.

     

  120. 14:23:01 BST

    More riders are chasing on the descent. Benoot, Van Avermaet, Van Baarle and Wellens close in on the leaders.

     

  121. 14:24:58 BST

    The leaders are 60km from the finish now, so 42km from the top of the Galibier and 33km from the hardest section of the climb.

     

  122. 14:26:24 BST

    Movistar have stopped working at the head of the GC group. They worked up the Izoard, didn't attack, and now have Quintana in the lead group provisionally moving up to 7th on GC.

     

  123. 55km remaining from 208km

    14:30:26 BST

    55km to go and the gap is six minutes.

     

  124. 14:32:04 BST

    The GC group swells as they slow down in the valley.

     

  125. 14:34:38 BST

    Guillaume Martin (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) chased back to the GC group on the descent and immediately attacked them.

     

  126. 14:38:10 BST

    Ineos take it up at the head of the GC group.

     

  127. 50km remaining from 208km

    14:39:18 BST

    5:45 between leaders and peloton.

     

  128. 14:41:21 BST

    The leaders are around 8km from the start of the Galibier now.

     

  129. 14:45:59 BST

    5km to the start of the Galibier for the break now.

     

  130. 43km remaining from 208km

    14:51:19 BST

    Riders attack the break at the base of the Galibier. Wellens, Caruso, Van Avermaet leading the charge.

     

  131. 14:51:50 BST

    Van Avermaet is dragging Pauwels along, with Woods close behind.

     

  132. 14:54:19 BST

    Five minutes between the peloton and the break now.

     

  133. 14:54:46 BST

    Here's the Galibier.

     

     

  134. 14:56:29 BST

    Lutsenko, Pauwels, Wellens, Woods, Benoot and Kämna are out front now, 30 seconds up on the chasers.

     

  135. 14:56:31 BST

    Lutsenko, Pauwels, Wellens, Woods, Benoot and Kämna are out front now, 30 seconds up on the chasers.

     

  136. 14:56:53 BST

    Cherel is there too.

     

  137. 39km remaining from 208km

    14:57:49 BST

    20km to the top of the climb for the leaders.

     

  138. 15:01:00 BST

    Tour de France podcast: The fallout from Rowe and Martin being expelled

     

    We debate race rules, ask if Ineos have a discipline problem and discuss the effects of losing key riders

     

  139. 15:02:23 BST

    Caruso, Quintana, Bardet, Yates bridge to the lead group.

     

  140. 36km remaining from 208km

    15:03:29 BST

    There's a tailwind on these lower slopes.

     

  141. 33km remaining from 208km

    15:10:03 BST

    Castroviejo and Poels lead the peloton.

     

  142. 15:10:49 BST

    Riders who caught back on to the peloton are starting to drop again. Rudy Molard (Groupama-FDJ) is one of them.

     

  143. 30km remaining from 208km

    15:16:25 BST

    Castroviejo drops off the front just as Van Baarle drops back from the break. The Dutchman takes over on the front.

     

  144. 15:18:12 BST

    10.5km to the top for the leaders.

     

  145. 15:19:53 BST

    Thomas and Bernal have two men, Kruijswijk has two men, Pinot has two men, Landa has two men. Pinot, Buchmann and Urán have one apiece.

     

  146. 15:21:09 BST

    Mühlberger and Kreuziger drop from the GC group.

     

    Yates, Kämna, Benoot and Pauwels drop from the lead group.

     

  147. 28km remaining from 208km

    15:22:12 BST

    Lutsenko is pushing it on at the front.

     

  148. 15:23:16 BST

    The leaders are on the Galibier proper now. They had been riding up the Lautaret to this point. 8.5km to the top.

     

  149. 15:24:25 BST

    Lutsenko was pushing the break early on today and he's really flying. He's attacking again at the front just as Benoot and Kämna made it back.

     

    The four men with him hang on to the Kazakh.

     

  150. 26km remaining from 208km

    15:25:56 BST

    Woods tries a move but Quintana shows why he's a GT winner and simply leaves his breakmates behind with a stinging attack.

     

  151. 15:27:05 BST

    Quintana has 20 seconds on them almost immediately.

     

  152. 15:28:44 BST

    Bardet and Lutsenko drop Caruso and Woods. They're over 30 seconds down on Quintana now.

     

  153. 25km remaining from 208km

    15:28:56 BST

    6km to the top for Quintana.

     

  154. 15:30:43 BST

    Still, Van Baarle leads the peloton.

     

  155. 15:31:34 BST

    Geschke and Van Avermaet drop back to the peloton.

     

  156. 24km remaining from 208km

    15:32:17 BST

    Quintana is 5km from the top now.

     

  157. 15:33:24 BST

    Poels drops from the peloton. Van Baarle is still there, however.

     

  158. 15:34:14 BST

    Poels, Kwiatkowski and Moscon haven't looked to be in the form they had during previous Tours...

     

  159. 22km remaining from 208km

    15:35:50 BST

    Marc Soler drops from the GC group too.

     

    Quintana has 50 seconds on the chasers. He's 3km from the summit.

     

  160. 15:37:32 BST

    Bardet pushes on with Lutsenko still on his wheel.

     

  161. 21km remaining from 208km

    15:40:03 BST

    1:15 between Quintana and Bardet now.

     

    De Plus drops from the GC group.

     

  162. 15:40:40 BST

    1.5km to the top for Quintana.

     

  163. 15:42:18 BST

    Wow, something actually happened! Bernal attacks.

     

  164. 15:42:48 BST

    Mas takes it up in the chase.

     

  165. 15:43:39 BST

    Mas looks like he's recovered from his illness a few days ago.

     

  166. 19km remaining from 208km

    15:44:39 BST

    Bardet drops Lutsenko. He'll take the KOM jersey today.

     

  167. 19km remaining from 208km

    15:45:33 BST

    Quintana crosses the summit alone. Just the descent to Valloire for him now.

     

  168. 15:45:47 BST

    20 seconds between Bernal and the GC group.

     

  169. 15:46:37 BST

    1:45 between Quintana and Bardet as the Frenchman crests the summit.

     

  170. 15:47:03 BST

    35 seconds for Bernal now.

     

  171. 15:47:57 BST

    Bardet is the new KOM leader.

     

  172. 16km remaining from 208km

    15:48:28 BST

    Thomas attacks!

     

  173. 15:48:46 BST

    Buchmann and Pinot chase.

     

  174. 15:49:06 BST

    Landa, Kruijswijk, Uran, Alaphilippe are chasing too.

     

  175. 15:49:53 BST

    Alaphilippe is struggling.

     

  176. 15:50:00 BST

    He's gone!

     

  177. 13.5km remaining from 208km

    15:50:23 BST

    Pinot attacks now!

     

  178. 15:51:13 BST

    Alaphilippe crests the summit around 10-15 seconds down on the GC group.

     

  179. 15:51:34 BST

    Pinot's attack brought Thomas back. Bernal is still out there.

     

  180. 15:52:32 BST

    Alaphilippe chases on the descent.

     

  181. 15:54:02 BST

    Uran, Thomas, Pinot, Buchmann, Kruijswijk chase Bernal, who is 25 seconds up the road. Alaphilippe is 20 seconds back.

     

  182. 10km remaining from 208km

    15:54:16 BST

    10km to go for Quintana.

     

  183. 15:56:43 BST

    Alaphilippe is back with the GC group now. Bernal, Thomas, Pinot and co waited too long to attack – he looked in real trouble after they did.

     

  184. 15:57:38 BST

    Alaphilippe goes straight to the front of the group on the descent.

     

  185. 6km remaining from 208km

    15:57:49 BST

    6km to go for Quintana.

     

  186. 15:58:15 BST

    Porte is back with the GC group.

     

  187. 15:59:06 BST

    35 seconds for Bernal now.

     

  188. 15:59:25 BST

    10km to go for Bernal.

     

  189. 3km remaining from 208km

    16:01:27 BST

    Final 3km for Quintana and it starts raining.

     

  190. 16:02:15 BST

    Quintana should be in 7th or 8th place after today, depending on how far back Landa and his group finishes.

     

  191. 16:02:48 BST

    Bernal looks to be riding into second or third if his 30-second gap holds.

     

  192. 1km remaining from 208km

    16:02:58 BST

    Final kilometre for Quintana.

     

  193. 16:03:40 BST

    Have to wonder how much time Quintana would have if Movistar didn't start working for no reason on the Izoard, but whatever.

     

  194. 16:04:16 BST

    Nairo Quintana wins the stage!

     

  195. 16:04:41 BST

    George Bennett has reportedly crashed on the descent.

     

  196. 16:05:43 BST

    Bardet finished in second place, 1:35 down.

     

  197. 16:05:53 BST

    3km to go for Bernal.

     

  198. 16:07:08 BST

    Lutsenko takes third, 2:28 down.

     

    A nice ride from the Kazakh, who attacked all morning and several times on the Galibier. Van Avermaet took the combativity prize today, but I would've given it to Lutsenko.

     

  199. 16:07:23 BST

    Kämna and Caruso cross the line in fourth and fifth.

     

  200. 16:07:56 BST

    Bernal is coming in to the finish now with Pauwels on his wheel.

     

  201. 16:09:01 BST

    4:47 down for Bernal, who catches Woods and Benoot on the line.

     

  202. 16:09:38 BST

    5:18 for the GC group. Bernal takes around 30-32 seconds.

     

  203. 16:10:09 BST

    Barguil trails the GC guys by around 30 seconds, and Valverde comes in shortly afterwards.

     

  204. 16:11:19 BST

    A stage win for Quintana and Bernal should move up into second place on GC.

     

  205. 16:12:02 BST

    Stage result

     

    1 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 5:34:15
    2 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:01:35
    3 Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana Pro Team 0:02:28
    4 Lennard Kämna (Ger) Team Sunweb 0:02:58
    5 Damiano Caruso (Ita) Bahrain-Merida 0:03:00
    6 Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:04:46
    7 Michael Woods (Can) EF Education First
    8 Egan Bernal (Col) Team Ineos
    9 Serge Pauwels (Bel) CCC Team
    10 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma 0:05:18

     

    General classification after stage 18

     

    1 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck-QuickStep 75:18:49
    2 Egan Bernal (Col) Team Ineos 0:01:30
    3 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Ineos 0:01:35
    4 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma 0:01:47
    5 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 0:01:50

     

  206. 16:22:20 BST

    Geraint Thomas reacts after the finish.

     

    "We wanted it to be hard but the pace wasn't there. The call was made for Egan to go and hopefully that would kick if off a bit, but it didn't. That's when I went as well, just to test. But at least Egan gained some time on everyone else."

  207. 16:25:40 BST

    Here's today's winner, Nairo Quintana.

     

     

  208. 16:26:29 BST

    Quintana talking about his win.

     

    "It was a really grand day for me, and it was within the team strategy. I was ready for it. It's a beautiful win, and on a stage like this, with this type of profile, it makes me emotional."

  209. 16:31:10 BST

     
  210. 16:40:08 BST

    Lost in the major storylines of the stage – the two Colombians winning and gaining time, and Alaphilippe dropping and making it back – Romain Bardet is the new mountain classification leader.

     

    Bardet has 86 points to Tim Wellens' 74. Damiano Caruso and Nairo Quintana are on 60 and 58 points.

     

  211. 16:45:18 BST

    Here's our stage report as well as results and a gallery. A full report and results will follow later on.

     

  212. 16:56:59 BST

    Enric Mas, key domestique for race leader Alaphilippe, reacts to stage 18.

     

    "We did our very best, so we’re happy. We’ve still got about a lead of about 1:30 and now there’s only two hard days left in this Tour."

  213. 17:48:05 BST

    Tour de France podcast: The fallout from Rowe and Martin being expelled

     

    We debate race rules, ask if Ineos have a discipline problem and discuss the effects of losing key riders

     

  214. 17:52:15 BST

    Our full stage 18 report is up now. There's a 60-photo gallery as well as full stage results too.

     

     

  215. 18:27:04 BST

  216. 18:32:56 BST

    Alaphilippe: If I crack I want Pinot to win the Tour de France

     

    Race leader remains ahead of the chasing pack but loses time to Bernal

     

     

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