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Tour de France: Which GC riders lost time at Luz Ardiden

LUZ ARDIDEN FRANCE JULY 15 Jonas Vingegaard of Denmark and Team JumboVisma White Best Young Rider Jersey Richard Carapaz of Ecuador and Team INEOS Grenadiers Tadej Pogaar of Slovenia and UAETeam Emirates Yellow Leader Jersey Sepp Kuss of The United States and Team JumboVisma in the Breakaway during the 108th Tour de France 2021 Stage 18 a 1297km stage from Pau to Luz Ardiden 1715m LeTour TDF2021 on July 15 2021 in Luz Ardiden France Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images
The lead group on the final climb (Image credit: Getty Images)

For the second straight day in this year's Tour de France, Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) proved that he was on another level to his rivals with a stage win at Luz Ardiden to follow his victory on stage 17.

The Slovenian’s win not only gained him the king of the mountains competition but also saw him put even more time into his main rivals Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) and Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers), with the race leader finishing two seconds clear.

Enric Mas (Movistar) fought to take fourth on the stage at 13 seconds, while Ben O’Connor (AG2R Citroën) and Wilco Kelderman (Bora-Hansgrohe) limited their losses to 34 seconds. Pello Bilbao (Bahrain Victorious) and Guillaume Martin (Bora-Hansgrohe) did the same to finish 45 seconds down, while Alexey Lutsenko (Astana-PremierTech) cracked briefly and dropped just over a minute.

The only significant loser on the day, in terms of the battle for the overall standings, was Rigoberto Urán (EF Education-Nippo). The Colombian, who was second in the 2017 Tour, started the day in fourth overall at 7:17 after he had cracked on the Col du Portet and dropped from second to fourth. 

Worse was to follow for him on stage 18, with the veteran all-rounder distanced on the first major ascent of the Col du Tourmalet. He would limit his losses to under two minutes there but on the final climb the gap grew to a final 8:58, to leave Urán now 10th at 16:25. He is still over two minutes clear of David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ) in 11th and should remain inside the top-10 all the way to Paris. 

With a time trial to come on stage 20, Lutsenko in seventh is still in with a chance of leapfrogging Mas into sixth, while Kelderman in fifth could do the same to O'Connor in fourth. 

Pogačar leads Vingegaard by 5:45, with Carapaz a further six seconds back, meaning that the final two steps on the podium could still alter – although the Dane is arguably far stronger against the clock and should even extend his advantage over the Ineos rider on Saturday.

GC
Pos.Rider (Country) TeamGap to leaderTime lost stage 18
1Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates
2Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma0:05:45 -0:06
3Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Ineos Grenadiers0:05:51 -0:08
4Ben O'Connor (Aus) AG2R Citroën Team0:08:18 -0:44
5Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Bora-Hansgrohe0:08:50 -0:44
6Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar Team0:10:11 -0:23
7Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana-Premier Tech0:11:22 -1:18
8Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis0:12:46 -0:55
9Pello Bilbao Lopez De Armentia (Spa) Bahrain Victorious0:13:48 -0:55
10Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education-Nippo0:16:25 -9:08
11David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ0:18:42 -3:00
12Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Deceuninck-QuickStep0:23:36 -3:55
13Esteban Chaves Rubio (Col) Team BikeExchange0:32:07 -3:25
14Louis Meintjes (RSA) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux0:35:55 -1:53
15Aurélien Paret Peintre (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team0:37:21 -5:33
   
Daniel Benson

Editor in Chief - Cyclingnews.