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Tour de France 2016: Stage 20

Hello and welcome to live coverage from stage 20 of the Tour de France. We head to Morzine today, and it's the final day in the Alps before Sunday's stage to Paris. It's the last chance for the GC men and the climbers in this year's race and arguably the toughest stage profile of the race - four major climbs in less than 150km of racing and most importantly, the last chance riders have to move up the GC. 

Here's how things stand in the overall ahead of the stage. Froome - dodgy knee or not - has over four minutes on Bardet with the rest of the GC men tightly packed within a three minute window. 

 

1 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 82:10:37
2 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:04:11
3 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 0:04:27
4 Adam Yates (GBr) Orica-BikeExchange 0:04:36
5 Richie Porte (Aus) BMC Racing Team 0:05:17
6 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:06:00
7 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 0:06:20
8 Louis Meintjes (RSA) Lampre - Merida 0:07:02
9 Daniel Martin (Irl) Etixx - Quick-Step 0:07:10
10 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo 0:07:42

 

Bardet, the winner on stage 19 brought the Tour de France to life with his daring attack. Today's profile suits him even more, although we'll have to see how much he has left in the tank after Friday's exploits. There are so many dynamic and sub plots to today's stage that it's almost impossible to predict what will happen out on the road. 


All we do know is that the riders are in for a incredibly tough stage and that once again we should have thunderstorms for part of the day. The official roll out takes place in an hour from now but riders and teams have already arrived and started to limber off their buses. 

 

Over on our Facebook page CN readers are predicting their top three for Paris. One reader doesn't want Quintana on the podium, saying he doesn't deserve to be there. What do you think of that? You can put your case for your top three, just here.

 

Robert Millar:

Four cols in 140 kilometres equals fireworks for the GC and complete misery if you are in the gruppetto. Aravis and the Colombière aren’t too bad if things stay sensible but the Ramaz is hard at any speed and it’s where the first serious attacks will come. The final climb of the Joux-Plane was one I never ever mastered. Training or racing it always hurt me and then there’s the dodgy descent into Morzine. Survival will be the word of the day.

 

 

Below... that's the stage profile for today. As you can see there are four major cols, starting with the Col des Aravis, the Col de la Colombiere, Col de la Ramaz and then the Col de Joux Plane. 

 

The final two ascents are certainly the most testing on paper but so much will depend on how the peloton race the stage. If we see any of the GC teams launch early attacks then it could be brutal out there. If there's a more conservative approach then it should come down to the last climb. The pattern in this race suggests the latter but yesterday Astana took things up early on. Their strategy will be key.

 

We have an app* and it's our Tour de France Tracker. It's full of Tour stats, news, live coverage and more. It will also contain race data for the Vuelta a Espana later in the year. 

 

You can download the app, right here.

 

* No Pokemon were harmed in the making of this app, unfortunately. 

 

Richie Porte (BMC) at the start:


"I had a bit of a problem with my bike in the final but it's just one of those things. We'll see how it goes. The podium is always possible and I feel in good form. If it's a hard race today then that suits me. I'm just looking forward to finishing the stage to be honest.
 

"There are some good climbs in there and I know the Joux Plane. It's the last climb of the Tour and it's a hard climb even at the best of times. Today, with three weeks of racing in the legs, it's going to be even harder again. I know the descent and someone is going to take risks on it but we'll see the situation at the top first. 

 

 

 One rider, and there were many, who fell on stage 19 was Pierre Rolland. The Cannondale rider was off the front when he fell.

 

"I was beginning to find new life on this Tour after my crash on the Tourmalet and then with the wet roads I slid in a curve and I didn't have the time to brake," Rolland said. "Both wheels went sliding. It took me a while to stand up because I was stunned. Afterwards, I got back to my senses."
 

He's one final stage to provide his team with a result. They've been in the breaks during the Tour, just lacked that little bit extra, and some luck.

Just over 20 minutes until the start of stage 20 of the Tour de France. 

 

Riders are busily signing on as the start moves ever closer. For now the sun is out and we've bright skies but the threat of thunderstorms later in the day remain. 

 

Joaquim Rodriguez at the start this morning:


It's going to be really tricky. Looking back on yesterday and Froome's crash it could be a problem for him. I'm going to try and be on the front and try and do something. This is my last mountain stage in the Tour de France before I retire. I hope to have enough energy to try and do something.

 

Less than five minutes until the start of the stage. Nearly every rider has signed on and most of them have gathered on the start line for the roll out. 

 

Team Sky's Portal has meanwhile told TV crews that Froome had a decent night's sleep. He's on the start line with a few bandages on his right side after his fall. Huge day for Froome but he has 4'11 on Bardet in GC so he can sit back and ride a conservative race, and he can even afford to lose time and still win the Tour. 

 

Before the start the entire peloton held a minute's silence, paying their respects to those who lost their lives in Munich last night. 

 

And were off. Froome is on the front as we ride through the neutralized zone, Luke Rowe to his side and Nairo Quintana just behind the race leader. A reminder how things stand on GC coming into the race:


1 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 82:10:37
2 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:04:11
3 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 0:04:27
4 Adam Yates (GBr) Orica-BikeExchange 0:04:36
5 Richie Porte (Aus) BMC Racing Team 0:05:17
6 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:06:00
7 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 0:06:20
8 Louis Meintjes (RSA) Lampre - Merida 0:07:02
9 Daniel Martin (Irl) Etixx - Quick-Step 0:07:10
10 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo 0:07:42

 

And Produmme, through his sun-roof, drops the flag and the first rider to attack in Pierre Rolland. Half man half mummy with all those bandages, he kicks things off. 

 

Chavanel is the next rider to try his luck.

 

Keldermann has a pop as well as a number of riders try and jump clear. Chavanel has another go, and goes over the top of the Dutch rider. 

 

Looks like we have a break and the peloton are going to let it go but now BMC have sent a rider up the road and that causes a reaction from the rest of the field as they line out to the left hand side. That little kick from BMC could bring the entire race back together again.

 

#TDF2016 C'est parti pour l'avant dernière étape du Tour ! @NicoEdet tente sa chance dès le km 0 ! https://t.co/jKKwsBfO3Q

@TeamCOFIDIS Sat, 23rd Jul 2016 11:08:08

137km remaining from 146km

Chavanel (Direct Energie), Edet (Cofidis), Vakoc (Etixx), Kelderman (Lotto-Jumbo) and Benedetti (Bora) were the first riders to break away but another batch of riders have joined them and the break has 26 seconds on the peloton with less than 10KM covered. 

 

They're on a unclassified climb and already riders are in trouble. The pace has been so high at the start of the stage as the break push on. The peloton are intent to chase this one down though as they line out. 

 

Gallopin is one of the riders in the break as more and more riders try and make the bridge. Zakarin is having a dig with De Gendt but the yellow jersey group are riding in hot pursuit. Matthews is also in the lead group as now Astana and Nibali line the peloton out. 

 

The entire race has exploded and we're not even on the first climb of the day. This is going to be brutal as we see Cummings sit at the back of the peloton. Is that Bardet in the break, just tucked in behind another AG2R rider?

 

No it's not. Le Tour told me. Here are the riders in the first group on the road:


Imanol Erviti (Movistar), Ben Gastauer and Alexis Gougeard (AG2R-La Mondiale), Wilco Kelderman (Lotto-Jumbo), Jasper Stuyven (Trek), Pierre Rolland (Cannondale), Roy Curvers (Giant), Cesare Benedetti (Bora), Rui Costa (Lampre-Merida), Tony Gallopin (Lotto-Soudal), Sylvain Chavanel and Fabrice Jeandesbosz (Direct Energie), Petr Vakoc (Etixx), Nicolas Edet (Cofidis) and Michael Matthews (Orica).

 

 

Nibali has made contact with the leaders but it's all coming back together at the front of the race. The peloton are closing in on the main break.

 

We'll we're onto the main climb and already Sky are under pressure because the peloton haven't made contact and instead two larger groups have combined to create a group of around 40 riders. Barguil has attacked the Froome group and is trying to make contact on his own. The race has been blown part. Cannondale are leading the break. 

 

It briefly looked like the bunch had this under control but with the two breaks forming there seems to be some uncertainty in the main field and that's allowed the gap to stay open. The Froome group is down to around 40-50 riders. 

 

131km remaining from 146km

So we're on the Aravis and 37 riders lead the yellow jersey by 40 seconds. Team Sky are leading the chase with Luke Rowe on the front. 

 

Kreuziger is in the move, so to is Nibali, Fuglsang, Sagan, Keldermann, Bennett, Schleck, Stuyven, Rolland, Pantano, Slagter, Zakarin, Heano, Rui Costa, De Gendt, Gallopin, Chavanel, Allaphillipe, Edet, Matthews, and Jensen are among the riders in the break. The gap is at 1'08. We'll bring you the full list of riders soon. Kreuziger in the main GC danger but Sky will get help in chasing him, perhaps from BMC. 

 

Break at the Tour currently counts 37 riders. Peloton itself might not be much bigger.

@EdwardPickering Sat, 23rd Jul 2016 11:26:27

The three Cannondale riders are the ones doing most of the work on the front of the break as De Gendt attacks from the break.128km to go and the peloton are holding the break at 1'10.

 

Team Sky have organised their chase with all nine riders on the front, and Froome tucked in just behind Poels. 

 

At the back of the bunch more and more riders are struggling. Kittel and a few other sprinters have been dispatched off the back as De Gendt continues to plough along on his own. The gap is up to 1'23.

 

De Gendt has 30 seconds and it's allowing Gallopin a free ride back in the main group. The gap to the main field continues to go out by a few seconds but Team Sky have the situation under control at the moment. Kreuziger isn't a threat to Froome, over nine minutes down as we continue to climb the first ascent of the stage. 

 

Yates’ 10 sec penalty fair according to the rules but unfair compared to lack of penalty for Aru on Ventoux stage holding car

@mcewenrobbie Sat, 23rd Jul 2016 11:38:22

The break go over the top of the climb, with De Gendt leading by 1'56 over the Froome group. Rowe is still on the front and setting the pace for the yelllow jersey group. From Le Tour, here's the full list of riders in the break:
 

Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal) climbs to the col des Aravais with 22 seconds of an advantage over Sergio Henao (Sky), Ion Izagirre and Nelson Oliveira (Movistar), Vincenzo Nibali and Jakob Fuglsang (Astana), Peter Sagan and Roman Kreuziger (Tinkoff), Ben Gastauer, Cyril Gautier and Alexis Gougeard (AG2R-La Mondiale), Wilco Kelderman and George Bennett (Lotto-Jumbo), Frank Schleck and Jasper Stuyven (Trek), Jarlinson Pantano (IAM), Pierre Rolland, Tom-Jelte Slagter and Dylan van Baarle (Cannondale), Patrick Konrad (Bora), Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha), Rui Costa (Lampre-Merida), Tony Gallopin (Lotto-Soudal), Sylvain Chavanel and Fabrice Jeandesbosz (Direct Energie), Julian Alaphilippe (Etixx), Nicolas Edet (Cofidis), Chris Juul-Jensen and Michael Matthews (Orica).
 

 

119km remaining from 146km

Here comes the rain and it's pouring just as the peloton start their descent. 119km to go and Sky are not taking any risks as they lead Froome. Ian Stannard has taken over from Rowe on this section. 

 

De Gendt is about to be caught by a number of riders from the break as he reached the end of the descent. The race now heads through a valley section but it's not long before the road will point upwards once more. The rain appears to have eased in the last few minutes, which will help the main field as they continue to descend. 

 

We're about to hit the intermediate sprint and Sagan will surely take the points. Matthews is on his wheel though so lets see. 

 

Matthews takes the point, De Gendt second and Sagan settles for third with the peloton drifting out to 2'54. 

 

We're climbing once more with Sagan leading the break. Heano is just policing the situation in third wheel as his team control the break at 2''41. The frantic start has calmed down somewhat with Stannard and Rowe sharing the pace-setting for the main field. 

 

Barguil has made it over to the leading break after a long chase as Sagan continues to do the work for Kreuziger. The gap is coming down though, it's at 2'29.

 

The rain is once more falling on the race but it's not as heavy as before. Thomas sits up and takes some food, before sharing it around with his teammates. The gap has gone back out to 3'21.

 

A reminder of the riders up the road in the break:

 

Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal), Sergio Henao (Sky), Ion Izagirre and Nelson Oliveira (Movistar), Vincenzo Nibali and Jakob Fuglsang (Astana), Peter Sagan and Roman Kreuziger (Tinkoff), Ben Gastauer, Cyril Gautier and Alexis Gougeard (AG2R-La Mondiale), Wilco Kelderman and George Bennett (Lotto-Jumbo), Frank Schleck and Jasper Stuyven (Trek), Jarlinson Pantano (IAM), Pierre Rolland, Tom-Jelte Slagter and Dylan van Baarle (Cannondale), Patrick Konrad (Bora), Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha), Rui Costa (Lampre-Merida), Tony Gallopin (Lotto-Soudal), Sylvain Chavanel and Fabrice Jeandesbosz (Direct Energie), Julian Alaphilippe (Etixx), Nicolas Edet (Cofidis), Warren Barguil (Giant Alpecin), Chris Juul-Jensen and Michael Matthews (Orica).

 

G Bennet rewarded for aggressive #TDF2016 with 2 year contract extension at Lottonl-jumbo #mercato

@zwoodpower Sat, 23rd Jul 2016 12:03:11

We were told that Barguil had made contact with the leaders but time gaps now say he's at 46 seconds behind the break. Confirmation coming soon.

 

With these time gaps Kreuziger has moved up to 6th overall, just one place off Porte's fifth in GC.

 

103km remaining from 146km

5km from the summit of the Colombiere and 103km to go in the stage. Sagan vs Stannard at the moment as we see Barguil out on the road. He's still chasing, 44 seconds off the break.

 

Barguil is close though. He's just at the back of the team cars now. He should make contact before the summit but this move will have taken a lot out of the French climber. Only time will tell if it was worth the energy.

 

Sagan pulls over and De Gendt takes over at the front but he's simply after the points. He takes the points ahead of Pantano. Barguil makes contact right at the summit. 

 

Henao has a flat and is off the back of the break as the peloton crest the climb  - in the rain - at five minutes.

 

Sagan to the fore once more, leading the break on the descent and it's caused splits behind. He's really been a fantastic teammate for Kreuziger today. The gap is at 5'24 with 89km to go.

 

86km remaining from 146km

Kreuziger has now moved up to third on GC as things stand out on the road. No panic from Movistar, Orica or BMC who just allow Sky to set the pace for the maillot jaune group. 86km remaining and the gap is at 5'30.

 

Kreuziger up to second on GC now, around 3'45 off Froome's lead. Still not a huge danger to the yellow jersey as they have eight men to chase and the Tinkoff team have three in the break but a number of other teams in the top ten with GC interests need to think about contributing to the chase. 

 

The rain has arrived in Morzine and it's heavy #TDF2016

@SadhbhOS Sat, 23rd Jul 2016 12:44:11

6'08 and Nibali is also in the move. He's taking turns on the front for the first time as a number of riders with stage winning hopes combine to work in the break. This is a key point in the race because if the riders in the break contribute at this point they could push the gap out further before we start the next climb. 


Astana, even though Nibali is working up front have started to set the pace with Team Sky. 

 

Eight riders pushed clear from the break on the last descent:

 

Izagirre, Nibali, Sagan and Kreuziger, Rui Costa, Pantano, Alaphilippe and Gougeard. That's really strong split and the gap has gone out to 6'20.

 

The collaboration in the front group though and they're trying to get rid of a few riders who aren't pulling their weight. Sagan isn't getting involved in the games as we hit the feedzone and just sets a steady tempo. Another Astana rider moves to the front so we now have two of Aru's teammates setting the pace, while Nibali is in the break up the road. They're going for the stage and also trying to improve Aru's GC position. Seems a strange time to work for the GC though.

 

68km remaining from 146km

The rain has started once more as Astana bring the break back to 5'55. Nibali probably won't work from now on as Sagan looks back to see if he'll get some support. He swings over and Pantano takes over and then Nibali does the shortest turn possible. The eight riders are working a little better now but Sagan is constantly coming back to the front to take over. 

 

Trialongo and Grivko are the two Astana riders doing the grunt work as the peloton start the 14km long Col de la Ramaz. Nibali, up the road, just sits at the back of the break as we once again see Sagan toiling on his own at the front. He's holding the break's advantage at 5'39.

 

Intent shown from Astana who flood the front of the peloton. Sky need to respond because they've let a small gap open up.

 

The experienced Luis Leon Sanchez takes over and it all comes back together as Astana ease up for just a moment. The gap to the break is at 5'20.

 

Up the road and Sagan is still setting the pace and it's too much for Rui Costa, who is paying for being in the break yesterday.

 

62km remaining from 146km

Aru is sitting well behind his teammates at the moment, even behind Sky. 

 

Sagan has sat up. Huge effort from the green jersey today in a bid to support Kreuziger. 

 

Boonen extends Etixx-QuickStep contract into 2017: https://t.co/MzaLChETXB https://t.co/oqB8LXn8R5

@Cyclingnewsfeed Sat, 23rd Jul 2016 13:15:17

Gougeard has a flat but Kreuziger isn't willing to wait and simply takes over from Sagan at the front of the break. He has five minuets to play with at the moment and is gambling it all on the final mountain stage. 

 

Rui Costa is back with the lead group as in the second group Barguil calls for the team car. Gougeard has made it back to the Kreuziger group too.

 

Sagan has been caught by the Rolland - Barguil group and spat out the back instantly as we continue to climb the col de la Ramaz. We're 7.7km from the summit. 

 

Kreuziger and Nibali on the front but the two former teammates aren't going to cooperate today. Sky have lost their first man further down the road as Stannard is dropped. 

 

And Nibali has attacked. There's no work in the group and the Rolland group is closing. The rest of the lead break are trying to catch Nibali but a few of them are on the rivet already. 6km to go until the summit of the climb. 

 

Landa is off the back - either getting bottles or getting dropped. Not sure yet. 

 

Gougeard has now gone clear on his own and Nibali and co just look at each other and shrug their shoulders. So far the stage is falling into Team Sky and Froome's hands. 

 

Morzine and the Col de Joux Plane - A fitting finale for the 2016 Tour de France: https://t.co/L2KLhXnEBl https://t.co/33S3wzM8Uo

@Cyclingnewsfeed Sat, 23rd Jul 2016 13:30:33

AG2R have put a man on the front of the peloton as the gap to the break - which as formed back with the second group - at 4'47. Gougeard has been caught and dropped.

 

Sky have lost Kiryenka but the big news is that Mollema is struggling at the back of the peloton.

 

And Rui Costa has attacked, Rolland is chasing him but the lone leader is De Gendt who attacked just as the two groups re-formed. 

 

De Gendt perhaps feels like he has a point to prove after missing out on Olympic Games selection for Belgium. 

 

Mollema, meanwhile is in huge trouble, he's over a minute down on the GC riders and will fall out of the top ten if this continues. 

 

De Gendt continues to push on at the front of the race and he'll soon be at the summit. I think he's taken the maximum points in the KOM today. Rolland and Rui Costa are 24 seconds back, Nibali and co at 46 and then the peloton at 4'42.

 

Froome has Poels, Thomas and Nieve with him but the rest of this team appear to have been dropped. They do have Henao up the road though. 

 

@PierroooRolland is just 67kilograms of pure iron! What a fighter and a spirit. @Ride_Argyle #goodgreenday #TDF2016

@sebaslangeveld Sat, 23rd Jul 2016 13:40:10

Mat Hayman's Tour de France Scott Foil Team Issue: https://t.co/E9TpKh5NAP #TdF https://t.co/wltisKhftV

@Cyclingnewsfeed Sat, 23rd Jul 2016 13:40:04

51km remaining from 146km

De Gendt goes over the top of the Ramaz with 31 seconds on the two men chasing him. It's now a 16km descent in the wet. 51km to go.

 

#TDF2016 @DeGendtThomas also wins the 3rd KOM! Costa & Rolland at 31", group Kreuziger at 40". Still 51km. Peloton at 4'48".

@Lotto_Soudal Sat, 23rd Jul 2016 13:43:37

43km remaining from 146km

No risks from Rolland who takes each corner at a very steady pace. He's caught and dropped by the rest of the break but Alaphillipe is on the move and he's caught De Gendt. 

The riders are in the descent of the Col de la Ramaz. @W1lcokelderman is part of the first chasing group. #TDF2016

@LottoJumbo_road Sat, 23rd Jul 2016 13:52:55

Sorry Alaphilippe has caught Pantano, not De Gendt, who is back with the Nibali, Rui Costa group.

 

Back with the yellow jersey group and Astana are still leading, with Froome and Sky sitting just behind him. The gap to the leaders is still in the five minute margin. 

 

35km remaining from 146km

So we have Alaphilippe, Pantano

Then - Nibali, Henao, Rui Costa, De Gendt, Kreuziger, Keldermann, and Izaguirre. 

The peloton at 5'46

 

The two leaders have 35 seconds of the chase group, while right at the back of the race Mollema is crawling back to the peloton on the descent of the Ramaz. 

 

The two leaders have close to a minute on the chase and over 7 minutes on the peloton. At this rate they have a chance at taking the stage. Astana and Orica are leading the race peloton through the valley and towards the Joux Plane.

 

Mollema has made it back to the yellow jersey group. That's a huge effort from the Trek leader. Just one more climb to go.

 

#WayToRide, @alafpolak! One minute on the former breakaway companions! #TDF2016

@Etixx_QuickStep Sat, 23rd Jul 2016 14:08:57

Kreuziger is still a huge threat for some of the GC men in the top ten and hence why Orica and AG2R have started to work at bringing back the break. Sky, again can just sit back and let the other work. 

 

Kreuziger knows it's all up to him and he moves to the front of the break and gets into TT mode, with his arms over the bars. The two leaders have 1'38 on the Kreuziger group, the peloton at 5'30. We're almost on the lower slopes of the Joux Plane.

 

Rolland has made it back to the Kreuziger group, and they're starting to collaborate because they can feel the stage win slipping away from. 

We're on the lower slopes and Kreuziger grinds out of the saddle as we see Movistar also help with the chase.

 

Here we go then, the final climb of the 2016 Tour de France. 

 

Impey, a leadout man, leads the peloton onto the climb with Team Sky just behind him. 

 

21km remaining from 146km

Froome has three men left at this point as we tackle the lower slopes. The two leaders, Pantano and Alaphilippe continue to share the workload. Barguil has been caught by the bunch. He rolled the dice and lost today. 

 

Quintana is there, Porte, Rodriguez, Van Garderen, and wow Aru is being dropped!

 

21km remaining from 146km

21km to go and Aru is cracking. He's off the back and in huge trouble as LL Sanchez drops back to help him. 

 

Aru is all over the place and his teammates are trying to feed him but it's all over for Aru if this continues. Barguil give the Astana man a little push but the Italian needs a lot more than that. Four Astana men have dropped back as Impey continues to lead the peloton.

 

Mollema attacks. He came from a long way back but here he goes. 

 

Impey pulls over and so Thomas takes over. The yellow jersey group down to less than 30 men. 

 

Another attack and it's Nibali from the break. Astana only have the stage win to go for with Aru crumbling on the lower slopes of the climb. 

 

Just under 7km to go for the leaders until they hit the summit. Mollema is grinding up the climb and giving it everything. This is one of the few times a rider has created a gap on Sky as he tries to bring himself back into top five reckoning. 

 

Nibali, meanwhile, has pegged the two leaders at 46 seconds. He needs to make contact with them before the descent. Should be possible if he carries on at this speed. 

 

Rui Costa attacks. and Alaphilippe attacks Pantano as he doesnt want Nibali to make contact. The IAM Cycling rider is dropped and has to force his way back.

 

News: Tour de France: The final fight for the podium: Not even ill fortune, it seems, can deny Chris Froome (... https://t.co/h3oD3jo7Ut

@Cyclingnewsfeed Sat, 23rd Jul 2016 14:36:31

Kreuziger can't follow the accelerations and he only has Rolland for company. 

 

Up ahead and Pantano makes his way back to Alaphilippe. Through the rain and the fog this race is being blown to pieces as further down the climb Thomas continues to set the pace. Mollema only have has about 15 seconds as Nibali continues to close on the two leaders. Alaphilippe again attacks.

 

17km remaining from 146km

17km to go but 5km of that is all uphill. 

 

News: Cobbles on Olympic road course in Rio partially paved over: One of the main features of the road cyclin... https://t.co/m2eSEIHKTF

@Cyclingnewsfeed Sat, 23rd Jul 2016 14:36:31

Rodriguez attacks and gets a small gap. He bridges up to Mollema and the Trek man sticks with him. 

 

Well for a short time anyway as Rodriguez goes again and Mollema is about to be caught by the yellow jersey group. 

 

Alaphilippe has a gap on Pantano but Nibali continues to close. 

 

Pantano catches the Etixx rider and then attacks. The Frenchman is caught off guard but then closes the gap. 4km to the summit and Nibali just plugs away at this own pace. 

Rodriguez has 30 seconds on the Froome group but Mollema has been dropped from the GC contenders. 

 

15km remaining from 146km

Nibali makes the catch and attacks right away. The pair can handle it but the Astana rider is really putting on the pressure.

 

And Nibali's second acceleration is enough to create a gap. Pantano tries to lead the chase but the Astana rider has the gap he needs and it's only getting bigger. Nibali is time trialing away and we've still got some of the steeper sections to come. 

 

Zakarin drops back and helps pace Rodriguez as Thomas continues to just tap out the pace on the front of the Froome group.

 

Izaguirre has come from no where and attacked Alaphilippe and Pantano. The Frenchman can't follow.

 

Nibali's gap isn't unbridgeable and the Movistar - IAM Cycling pair can make contact before the summit. Don't rule out Alaphilippe with his descending skill, either.

 

Henao has sat up and simply takes over at the front of the yellow jersey group.

 

Nibali only has about 5 seconds on the chase. 

 

13km remaining from 146km

13km to go and the leading three riders merge into one group. They're on their knees though as they head in to the final 1km of the climb.

 

No time gaps on Aru or Mollema but both are set to lose serious amounts of time today.

 

The leaders go over the top and Froome's group are near the summit too.

 

10km remaining from 146km

Zakarin and Rodrgiuez crest the top 2'40 down on Nibali's group. Froome's group are at 2'55.

 

The road kicks up again just before the descent proper as Nibali continues to lead. 

 

Izaguirre attacks. The roads are soaked as the rain continues to fall. Pantano runs onto the grass on the first corner.

 

The Movistar man is clear and swooping down the climb. He's flying.

 

7km remaining from 146km

7km to go. 

 

Nibali is sprinting after him. The gap is around 50m or so.

 

Now the Froome group are on the descent.

 

Izaguirre is giving a descending masterclass out there in the wet conditions. Less than 5km to go.

 

It's Pantano who is second on the road now, Nibali is back in third. 

 

And Froome has accelerated to the front of his group on the descent. 

 

Here comes Izaguirre. Just 1.4km to go for the Movistar man.

 

#TDF2016: Pantano está a 8-10” de Ion Izagirre; Nibali, a 30”. ¡Ya está en las calles de Morzine! ¡1500 metros! https://t.co/gbQuOA3QFe

@Movistar_Team Sat, 23rd Jul 2016 15:08:03

Stage win for Izaguirre. Stellar climbing and even better on the descent into Morzine. 

 

Pantano takes second place, and Nibali soon after in third. 

 

Alaphilippe takes fourth just a few seconds later.

 

Great ride of @alafpolak, who finished 4th on this gruelling mountain stage! #TDF2016 #Congrats

@Etixx_QuickStep Sat, 23rd Jul 2016 15:11:21

Rui Costa and Kreuziger come to the line. The Tinkoff man may well move up in the GC today after his long range efforts. 

 

The Froome group comes up and Martin attacks. Bardet and Quintana goes with him. Froome allows himself a smile. The Tour is almost his. 

 

Mollema is coming to the line just now. His top ten ambitions over. 

 

1 Jon Izaguirre (Spa) Movistar Team 04:06:45
2 Jarlinson Pantano (Col) IAM Cycling 00:00:19
3 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team 00:00:42
4 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Etixx - Quick-Step 00:00:49
5 Rui Costa (Por) Lampre - Merida 00:01:43
6 Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Tinkoff Team 00:01:44
7 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo 00:02:30
8 Joaquin Rodriguez (Spa) Team Katusha 00:03:24
9 Daniel Martin (Irl) Etixx - Quick-Step 00:04:12
10 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale

 

And here's the top ten:

General classification after stage 20
1 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 86:21:40
2 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 00:04:05
3 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 00:04:21
4 Adam Yates (GBr) Orica-BikeExchange 00:04:42
5 Richie Porte (Aus) BMC Racing Team 00:05:17
6 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 00:06:16
7 Joaquin Rodriguez (Spa) Team Katusha 00:06:58
8 Louis Meintjes (RSA) Lampre - Merida
9 Daniel Martin (Irl) Etixx - Quick-Step 00:07:04
10 Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Tinkoff Team 00:07:11

 

Nairo Quintana (Movistar):

“We can walk away from this Tour de France knowing that we tried our hardest. I think it’s been a positive Tour in the end. We were more ambitious when we arrived here, but a podium in the Tour de France is still a good achievement, so I’m happy for that. I had some allergies, the rain wasn’t great, but I’m feeling a bit better today. I wanted to say thank you to all the Colombian people, my father and mother, who have given their support for me.”

 

Ion Izaqirre (Movistar):

“I wanted to do the best descending that I could. I tried to go full gas and I managed to get it right. Today went really well. The victory is very good for Movistar today, and finally we have something to celebrate at this Tour de France. We came to the Tour with a dream to win the yellow jersey, but a stage victory and a podium in Paris - that’s still good.”

 

Fabio Arù chute à la 13e place à 19'20" de Froome. La claque pour Astana.

@GregIenco Sat, 23rd Jul 2016 15:45:30

Another great stage by @lampre_merida , @RuiCostaCyclist 5th of stage and @LouisMeintjes has saved 8th place of GC nice job guys !

Geraint Thomas (Team Sky)

It was OK. We stayed calm and didn’t push it too much. We had a good advantage this morning, so, yeah, it was OK.

I road the climb, and then we told Fromey to sit behind me. We had three guys behind him in case anything happened. I just went down nice and steady. It couldn’t have gone any better.

Was he still rattled from yesterday?

It maybe just made him a bit more cautious, but he’s a real strong guy and I don’t think it affected him too much.

 

General classification after stage 20
1 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 86:21:40
2 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 00:04:05
3 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 00:04:21
4 Adam Yates (GBr) Orica-BikeExchange 00:04:42
5 Richie Porte (Aus) BMC Racing Team 00:05:17
6 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 00:06:16
7 Joaquin Rodriguez (Spa) Team Katusha 00:06:58
8 Louis Meintjes (RSA) Lampre - Merida
9 Daniel Martin (Irl) Etixx - Quick-Step 00:07:04
10 Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Tinkoff Team 00:07:11

 

So Froome will ride into Paris and pick up his third Tour de France title. 

 

Bardet secured his podium place and Quintana rounds out the top three. The Frenchman will be made up with that result, his best performance in the Tour so far, and especially after his stage win on Friday. 

 

Quintana comes away with third, not a disaster, but the real disappointment lies in the fact that he's not been anywhere near his best. 

 

Adam Yates holds fourth, his only 'bad day' coming on stage 19 when he lost contact on the final climb. That's still a highly impressive result from the 23-year-old. The highest place for a none-Sky British rider since Bradley Wiggins in 2009.

 

Joaquim Rodriguez deserves credit for his ride today. Moving from 11th to 7th in his final Tour. Zakarin was key to that but the Spaniard created the gap on his own when he attacked from the Sky group on the Joux Plane. 

 

#TDF2016 Recap from a wet day in the Alps as @WarrenBarguil was on the offensive today: https://t.co/TCZ11jCxRt. https://t.co/qLq68XBLmT

@GiantAlpecin Sat, 23rd Jul 2016 16:26:37

Kreuziger had to put in a huge effort today but he's been rewarded with 10th place in the Tour as a result. Mollema and Aru both dropped out the top ten.

 

You can find our finish line quotes, right here.

 

Here's 11-12 in the GC:

 

 

11 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo 0:13:13
12 Sergio Henao (Col) Team Sky 0:18:51
13 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:19:20
14 Sébastien Reichenbach (Swi) FDJ 0:24:59
15 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky 0:28:31
16 Pierre Rolland (Fra) Cannondale-Drapac 0:30:42
17 Mikel Nieve (Spa) Team Sky 0:38:30
18 Stef Clement (Ned) IAM Cycling 0:38:57
19 Jarlinson Pantano (Col) IAM Cycling 0:38:59
20 Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:42:28

 

Were' about to close down our live coverage for today but you can find our our report, images, results and more, right here

 

We will be back tomorrow for one more stage as the race reaches Paris. Thanks for joining us.

 

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