Tour de France: Zakarin wins atop Finhaut-Emosson

Chris Froome (Team Sky) extended his overall lead at the Tour de France thanks to a late acceleration in tandem with former teammate Richie Porte (BMC) in the final kilometre of the steep climb to Finhaut-Emosson overlooking the breathtaking Lac d'Emosson dam and artificial lake high up in the Swiss-French Alps.

Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha) won the stage with a solo attack after being in the break of the day. The Russian managed to distanced stage 15 winner Jarlinson Pantano (IAM Cycling) and polka-dot jersey wearer Rafal Majka (Tinkoff) and then fought his way up the final part of the 9% gradient alone.

The hard work of Froome's teammates controlled and tired the Briton's rivals and he joined Porte with a kilometre of the climb remaining. Quintana and Mollema both struggled to respond to the change of pace and clearly could not go with Froome. They lost precious seconds, as Porte moved up the GC.

Adam Yates (Orica-BikeExchange) was the best at limiting his losses, giving up just eight seconds. Roman Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale) lost 11 but Quintana – who first tried to go after Porte but then cracked - lost 28 seconds. He no longer appears to be Froome's biggest threat in this year's Tour de France.

Mollema lost 40 seconds after being spat out of the back in the final to kilometres.

Froome now leads Mollema by 2:27 in the general classification, with Yates at 2:53 and Quintana at 3:27. Bardet is fifth at 4:15. Porte's late charge helped lift him from seventh to sixth. He is now 4:27 behind his former teammate and has become the BMC team leader after Tejay van Garderen cracked early on the climb. He is now 17th overall, 23:03 down on Froome.

"I'm pretty happy with my day," he said.

"It's always difficult to know what will happen after a day of rest but I felt pretty good. I was completely surrounded by teammates. I wanted to stay up with the best and watch everyone, it was not planned to attack but I saw the opportunity to take time on my rivals and it worked, so I'm in a good position.

"Richie is one of the very best riders in the world. Today he again proved that he is in his place when he is fighting for a place on the podium. He made an incredible race.

"Things can still happen and tomorrow the time trial will be a big deal.”

Zakarin fractured his collarbone in a nasty crash on the descent of the Col dell'Agnello at the Giro d'Italia but recovered quickly and trained hard to ride the Tour de France. He was strong and determined on the climb up to the Emosson dam, taking his first-ever Tour de France victory.

Pantano finished 55 seconds back but took the most aggressive rider award on Colombia Independence Day. Majka was 30 seconds further back but collected a further haul of climber's points.

Zakarin does not know if he will be able to compete in the Rio Olympics but took a proud victory. He found a few words in English to enjoy his moment.

"I did my best today. I'm very happy now. Thanks to my teammates for the support. This result for me is no surprise because I try and win. It's a dream," he said.

More on this story:

Tour de France stage 17 highlights video

The first big day in the Alps

The 184.5km stage through Switzerland to the edge of the Emosson dam was only the second mountaintop finish of this year's Tour de France and at the start everyone was aware of its importance, with riders tense and focused after enjoying the second rest day.

Berne said goodbye to the Tour de France and local hero Fabian Cancellara under blue skies, and temperatures into the thirties, with Spartacus lined up on the front next to Chris Froome and Peter Sagan.

The initial roll out was steady but the race soon ignited as riders tried to get away in the break of the day. Surprisingly nothing stuck for 50km, with the peloton flying down towards Thun. Nerves showed early with a crash that involved Warren Barguil (Giant-Alpecin) and Gorka Izagirre (Movistar). Sadly, the Spaniard was diagnosed with a fractured collarbone and was unable to continue.

The first hour was covered at a leg burning 51.8km/h.

After some curious attacks from Barguil and Pierre Rolland (Cannondale-Drapac) that were kept in check, a break of eight managed to get away with 108km left to race. In the move were Tanel Kangert (Astana), Stef Clement and Jarlinson Pantano (IAM), Kristjian Durasek (Lampre-Merida), Tony Gallopin (Lotto-Soudal), Rafal Majka and Peter Sagan (Tinkoff), Domenico Pozzovivo (AG2R), Steve Morabito (FDJ), Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha) and Brice Feillu (Fortuneo-Vital Concept). A second group soon took off in pursuit, with Alexey Lutsenko (Astana), Greg Van Avermaet (BMC), and Thomas Voeckler (Direct Energie) eventually closing the gap and joining the move with 67km to race.

Behind, Team Sky led the peloton, with Classics riders Luke Rowe and Ian Stannard doing the work on the front over the early climbs and rolling roads of Switzerland. However, Team Sky was happy to ride tempo, with the gap touching 12 minutes. A crash involving Shane Archbold (Bora-Argon 18) caused a scare in the peloton but he and other riders involved got back into the peloton.

The day's only intermediate sprint came after 150km, with Sagan taking maximum points to virtually wrap up his fifth green jersey.

The finale of the stage was a double whammy of climbing spread across 31km. The Col de la Forclaz came first and served to split the break and shake out the peloton. Sagan sat up and drifted back to the peloton, while Lutsenko and Gallopin accelerated away. The Frenchman was soon distanced but the Kazakh rider pushed on. However, others came after him and Majka made sure he took maximum points at the summit of the Forclaz.

The climb left just 40 riders in the Froome-group, as Astana set a painful but steady pace. Rolland was amongst those to be dropped, as was Tejay van Garderen (BMC) with 19km to go. The American seemed in serious trouble and was quickly distanced.

The brief descent was a chance for the riders to catch their breath but the 10.4km climb loomed large ahead of them.

Up front, the break split as the gradient kicked in. So did the peloton, with Froome losing Thomas and other riders, leaving him with just Landa, Poels and Henao to protect his yellow jersey. Nibali did a huge chunk of work on the front, setting the pace ahead of Diego Rosa and leader Fabio Aru.

Pantano and Majka were the first to go clear on the climb to the finish but then Zakarin made a move to go after them and soon managed to catch and pass them, with Pantano the last to lose his wheel. The lanky Russian suffered like crazy but dragged himself to the top and won by some eight minutes ahead of the Froome-group, which was locked in to their own battle.

The final attacks

The Astana team had tried to set up an attack from Fabio but first Nibali eased up withy 7.5km to go and Diego Rosa could only push for another kilometre. Aru wisely got back on the Team Sky train after that and saved his best for the finale. He finished just 19 seconds down on Froome and so moved up to eighth at 5:35.

Valverde woke up the race when he moved to the front and upped the pace but he didn't last long and then sat up as Team Sky set a relentless pace with Mikel Landa and especially Wout Poels, who controlled Valverde and even a concerted kick off the font by Dan Martin (Etixx-QuickStep) with five kilometres to go.

Quintana's team seemed scared to move off Froome's wheel as everyone was just hanging on for dear life in the procession to the finish.

Porte –with his jersey blowing in the wind and with his usual out-of-the-saddle climbing style, was the first to break up the steady pace. He jumped and even Poels couldn't close the gap. He did led Froome close though and then the Briton kicked slightly to drop Quintana and the others and join forces with Porte.

The surges especially hurt Mollema, who had to fight for survival, as everyone else tried to limit their losses all the way to the line.

The mountain finish, and the first of three days in the Alps, did not inspire some great racing but did allow Froome to tighten his grip on the yellow jersey and strike a further blow to his rivals' moral.

He is expected to do it all over again on Thursday's 17km mountain time trial from Sallanches to Megeve.

Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Team Katusha4:36:33
2Jarlinson Pantano (Col) IAM Cycling0:00:55
3Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff Team0:01:26
4Kristijan Durasek (Cro) Lampre - Merida0:01:32
5Brice Feillu (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept0:02:33
6Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Direct Energie0:02:46
7Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale0:02:50
8Stef Clement (Ned) IAM Cycling0:02:57
9Steve Morabito (Swi) FDJ0:04:38
10Richie Porte (Aus) BMC Racing Team0:07:59
11Christopher Froome (GBr) Team SkyRow 10 - Cell 2
12Adam Yates (GBr) Orica-BikeExchange0:08:07
13Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:08:10
14Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team0:08:18
15Louis Meintjes (RSA) Lampre - MeridaRow 14 - Cell 2
16Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team0:08:27
17Wouter Poels (Ned) Team Sky0:08:39
18Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-SegafredoRow 17 - Cell 2
19Daniel Martin (Irl) Etixx - Quick-Step0:08:46
20Mikel Nieve (Spa) Team Sky0:08:57
21Tanel Kangert (Est) Astana Pro Team0:09:11
22Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Team KatushaRow 21 - Cell 2
23Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Tinkoff Team0:09:38
24Sébastien Reichenbach (Swi) FDJRow 23 - Cell 2
25Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team0:10:01
26Sergio Henao (Col) Team Sky0:10:15
27Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team0:10:52
28Daniel Moreno (Spa) Movistar Team0:11:16
29Serge Pauwels (Bel) Dimension Data0:12:15
30Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana Pro TeamRow 29 - Cell 2
31Haimar Zubeldia (Spa) Trek-Segafredo0:12:44
32Diego Rosa (Ita) Astana Pro Team0:13:54
33Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Soudal0:14:16
34Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Argon 180:15:20
35Pierre Rolland (Fra) Cannondale-DrapacRow 34 - Cell 2
36Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 35 - Cell 2
37Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky0:15:27
38Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Team Sky0:16:40
39Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro TeamRow 38 - Cell 2
40Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC Racing TeamRow 39 - Cell 2
41Peter Stetina (USA) Trek-Segafredo0:17:11
42Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:20:34
43Anthony Roux (Fra) FDJ0:20:51
44Frank Schleck (Lux) Trek-Segafredo0:20:56
45Jan Polanc (Slo) Lampre - MeridaRow 44 - Cell 2
46Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team0:21:47
47Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Giant-Alpecin0:21:49
48Alberto Losada (Spa) Team Katusha0:22:05
49Luis Angel Mate (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:23:41
50Jerome Coppel (Fra) IAM Cycling0:25:05
51Winner Anacona (Col) Movistar Team0:25:30
52Amaël Moinard (Fra) BMC Racing Team0:25:57
53Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Etixx - Quick-StepRow 52 - Cell 2
54Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo0:26:15
55Timo Roosen (Ned) Team LottoNl-JumboRow 54 - Cell 2
56Reto Hollenstein (Swi) IAM CyclingRow 55 - Cell 2
57Anthony Delaplace (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital ConceptRow 56 - Cell 2
58Ben Gastauer (Lux) AG2R La MondialeRow 57 - Cell 2
59Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica-BikeExchangeRow 58 - Cell 2
60Bartosz Huzarski (Pol) Bora-Argon 18Row 59 - Cell 2
61Paolo Tiralongo (Ita) Astana Pro TeamRow 60 - Cell 2
62Adam Hansen (Aus) Lotto SoudalRow 61 - Cell 2
63Michael Valgren (Den) Tinkoff TeamRow 62 - Cell 2
64Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing TeamRow 63 - Cell 2
65Jan Barta (Cze) Bora-Argon 18Row 64 - Cell 2
66Luis Leon Sanchez (Spa) Astana Pro TeamRow 65 - Cell 2
67Yukiya Arashiro (Jpn) Lampre - MeridaRow 66 - Cell 2
68Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo0:27:09
69Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin0:27:59
70Peter Sagan (Svk) Tinkoff Team0:29:03
71Oliver Naesen (Bel) IAM Cycling0:30:26
72Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Astana Pro TeamRow 71 - Cell 2
73Martin Elmiger (Swi) IAM CyclingRow 72 - Cell 2
74Dylan Van Baarle (Ned) Cannondale-DrapacRow 73 - Cell 2
75Daniel Teklehaimanot (Eri) Dimension DataRow 74 - Cell 2
76Mikael Cherel (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 75 - Cell 2
77Chris Anker Sörensen (Den) Fortuneo - Vital ConceptRow 76 - Cell 2
78Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Giant-AlpecinRow 77 - Cell 2
79Arthur Vichot (Fra) FDJRow 78 - Cell 2
80Markel Irizar (Spa) Trek-SegafredoRow 79 - Cell 2
81Jérémy Roy (Fra) FDJRow 80 - Cell 2
82Michael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing TeamRow 81 - Cell 2
83Luka Pibernik (Slo) Lampre - MeridaRow 82 - Cell 2
84Andreas Schillinger (Ger) Bora-Argon 18Row 83 - Cell 2
85Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC Racing TeamRow 84 - Cell 2
86Fabrice Jeandesboz (Fra) Direct EnergieRow 85 - Cell 2
87Daniel Navarro (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 86 - Cell 2
88Roy Curvers (Ned) Team Giant-AlpecinRow 87 - Cell 2
89Imanol Erviti Ollo (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 88 - Cell 2
90Grégory Rast (Swi) Trek-SegafredoRow 89 - Cell 2
91Nelson Oliveira (Por) Movistar TeamRow 90 - Cell 2
92Alex Howes (USA) Cannondale-DrapacRow 91 - Cell 2
93Cyril Gautier (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 92 - Cell 2
94Jon Izaguirre (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 93 - Cell 2
95Jan Bakelants (Bel) AG2R La MondialeRow 94 - Cell 2
96Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Direct EnergieRow 95 - Cell 2
97Michael Albasini (Swi) Orica-BikeExchangeRow 96 - Cell 2
98Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) Dimension DataRow 97 - Cell 2
99Georg Preidler (Aut) Team Giant-AlpecinRow 98 - Cell 2
100Cesare Benedetti (Ita) Bora-Argon 18Row 99 - Cell 2
101Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) Tinkoff TeamRow 100 - Cell 2
102Paul Martens (Ger) Team LottoNl-JumboRow 101 - Cell 2
103Christopher Juul Jensen (Den) Orica-BikeExchangeRow 102 - Cell 2
104Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Argon 18Row 103 - Cell 2
105William Bonnet (Fra) FDJ0:30:44
106Simon Geschke (Ger) Team Giant-Alpecin0:30:47
107Vasil Kiryienka (Blr) Team Sky0:30:58
108Matteo Tosatto (Ita) Tinkoff TeamRow 107 - Cell 2
109Tom Jelte Slagter (Ned) Cannondale-DrapacRow 108 - Cell 2
110Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Trek-Segafredo0:31:31
111Angel Vicioso (Spa) Team KatushaRow 110 - Cell 2
112Florian Vachon (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital ConceptRow 111 - Cell 2
113Albert Timmer (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin0:31:35
114Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned) Team Giant-AlpecinRow 113 - Cell 2
115Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension Data0:31:56
116Bertjan Lindeman (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo0:32:18
117George Bennett (NZl) Team LottoNl-Jumbo0:32:23
118Marcus Burghardt (Ger) BMC Racing Team0:32:47
119Petr Vakoc (Cze) Etixx - Quick-Step0:33:12
120Maarten Wynants (Bel) Team LottoNl-Jumbo0:33:26
121Antoine Duchesne (Can) Direct Energie0:34:19
122Mathew Hayman (Aus) Orica-BikeExchange0:36:56
123Michael Matthews (Aus) Orica-BikeExchangeRow 122 - Cell 2
124Luke Durbridge (Aus) Orica-BikeExchangeRow 123 - Cell 2
125Pierre-Luc Perichon (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept0:37:07
126Luke Rowe (GBr) Team Sky0:39:51
127Robert Wagner (Ger) Team LottoNl-JumboRow 126 - Cell 2
128Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Team LottoNl-JumboRow 127 - Cell 2
129Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) Team LottoNl-JumboRow 128 - Cell 2
130Iljo Keisse (Bel) Etixx - Quick-StepRow 129 - Cell 2
131Fabio Sabatini (Ita) Etixx - Quick-StepRow 130 - Cell 2
132Tsgabu Grmay (Eth) Lampre - MeridaRow 131 - Cell 2
133Rui Costa (Por) Lampre - MeridaRow 132 - Cell 2
134Matteo Bono (Ita) Lampre - MeridaRow 133 - Cell 2
135Marcel Sieberg (Ger) Lotto SoudalRow 134 - Cell 2
136Geoffrey Soupe (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 135 - Cell 2
137Christophe Laporte (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 136 - Cell 2
138Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 137 - Cell 2
139Natnael Berhane (Eri) Dimension DataRow 138 - Cell 2
140Marcel Kittel (Ger) Etixx - Quick-StepRow 139 - Cell 2
141Romain Sicard (Fra) Direct EnergieRow 140 - Cell 2
142Alexis Gougeard (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 141 - Cell 2
143Lawson Craddock (USA) Cannondale-DrapacRow 142 - Cell 2
144Julien Vermote (Bel) Etixx - Quick-StepRow 143 - Cell 2
145Oscar Gatto (Ita) Tinkoff TeamRow 144 - Cell 2
146Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Team KatushaRow 145 - Cell 2
147Ruben Plaza (Spa) Orica-BikeExchangeRow 146 - Cell 2
148Eduardo Sepulveda (Arg) Fortuneo - Vital ConceptRow 147 - Cell 2
149Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 148 - Cell 2
150Kristijan Koren (Slo) Cannondale-DrapacRow 149 - Cell 2
151André Greipel (Ger) Lotto SoudalRow 150 - Cell 2
152Tony Martin (Ger) Etixx - Quick-StepRow 151 - Cell 2
153Maximiliano Richeze (Arg) Etixx - Quick-StepRow 152 - Cell 2
154Lars Ytting Bak (Den) Lotto SoudalRow 153 - Cell 2
155Maciej Bodnar (Pol) Tinkoff TeamRow 154 - Cell 2
156Leigh Howard (Aus) IAM CyclingRow 155 - Cell 2
157Adrien Petit (Fra) Direct EnergieRow 156 - Cell 2
158Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 157 - Cell 2
159Bryan Coquard (Fra) Direct EnergieRow 158 - Cell 2
160Ramunas Navardauskas (Ltu) Cannondale-DrapacRow 159 - Cell 2
161Yohann Gene (Fra) Direct EnergieRow 160 - Cell 2
162Cyril Lemoine (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 161 - Cell 2
163Jacopo Guarnieri (Ita) Team KatushaRow 162 - Cell 2
164Ian Stannard (GBr) Team SkyRow 163 - Cell 2
165Paul Voss (Ger) Bora-Argon 18Row 164 - Cell 2
166Stephen Cummings (GBr) Dimension DataRow 165 - Cell 2
167John Degenkolb (Ger) Team Giant-AlpecinRow 166 - Cell 2