Not even the high mountain passes of the Col d'Izoard and Col du Galibier could pry the maillot jaune from the shoulders of Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quickstep) during stage 18 at the Tour de France.
Although Egan Bernal (Team Ineos) launched an attack on the Galibier and clawed back 32 seconds of his deficit to the Frenchman, Alaphilippe nullified an attack from defending champion Geraint Thomas by taking a daredevil descent from the hors categorie climb.
Nairo Quintana helped save Movistar's Tour de France with a stage win from the breakaway, chopping a solid five minutes from his gap to rest of the favourites to move into seventh place overall.
Quintana was chased by Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale) and Alexey Lutsenko (Astana) but did enough on the Galibier and the tricky descent and run into Valloire to handily claim victory, while Bardet unseated Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal) in the mountains classification.
Bernal caught the remnants of the breakaway to finish eighth on the stage, 32 seconds ahead of the yellow jersey group that also contained Thomas, Steven Kruijswijk (Jumbo-Visma), Emanuel Buchmann (Bora-Hansgrohe), Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ), Rigoberto Uran (EF Education First), Mikel Landa (Movistar) and Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo).
Thank you for signing up to Cycling News. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.