Tour de France: Roglic soars to victory in Serre Chevalier

Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo) soloed to his first ever Tour de France stage victory with a long-range attack into Serre Chavalier. Roglic, who had been part of the early break, attacked on the final climb of the Col du Galibier and held of the combined might of the GC favourites to win stage 17 by over a minute.

Behind Roglic, the sprint for the minor places and bonus seconds was battled out between the general classification riders. Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale) tried to go long, moving ahead in the final few corners, but he didn’t have the legs to hold on. Rigoberto Uran (Cannondale-Drapac) surged past him on the line to take the six bonus seconds on offer and there was further frustration for the Frenchman as Chris Froome pipped him to the final bonus seconds in third place.

Those few inches on the line would prove crucial in the overall standings with Uran moving up to second overall, equal on time with Bardet. The pair now sits 27 seconds back on Froome with just one more major mountain stage ahead of Saturday’s time trial.

Uran’s ascension of the overall standings was helped by the minor collapse of Fabio Aru (Astana). Aru lost touch with the group of favourites under a barrage of attacks on the Galibier and never saw them again. He fought valiantly, but still lost 30 seconds in the overall fight and has dropped off the podium and into fourth place.

Roglic almost saw his chances for the stage win disappear as the overall contenders did their best to maximise the damage to Aru. It was only when the Italian champion looked almost certain of not returning that the rate of chase reduced and Roglic was able to push on for the win.

The LottoNl-Jumbo rider attacked with just under five kilometres to the top of the Galibier. He quickly distanced his companions, which had included Alberto Contador after the Spaniard launched his own long-range attack on the Col de la Croix de Fer. Roglic had more than a minute at the top of the Galibier and a very smooth descent helped him to near enough maintain that lead.

Outside of the fight for yellow and the stage win, the stage was marked by the battle for green and the eventual abandon of Marcel Kittel (Quick-Step Floors). Michael Matthews had gone on the attack and closed the gap to nine points, but the jersey would be handed to him after Kittel abandoned following a crash.

To subscribe to the Cyclingnews podcast, click here

How it happened

The penultimate mountain stage of the 2017 Tour de France was always going to be a tetchy affair, with so much still to play for and so it would turn out to be. Many tried and failed to get into the breakaway early on and the movement in the bunch on the approach to the first climb of the day the Col d'Ornon took out not one but two jersey wearers.

Mountains classification leader Warren Barguil (Team Sunweb) came through it with little damage, but green jersey Kittel was not so lucky. He looked in pain as he endured a lengthy wait for a replacement bike and a damaged cleat meant he had to change his shoe. Eventually, he was able to ride on, but an ice pack on his shoulder was evidence of a serious underlying issue.

While Kittel was being attended to by the medical car behind the pack, a break began to form at the front. Adding insult to injury, Kittel's biggest rival for the green jersey competition, Matthews was one of many riders to make it clear. The Sunweb rider was joined by 29 other riders, including Roglic, Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal), Laurens ten Dam (Sunweb), Mathias Frank and Cyril Gautier (AG2R La Mondiale), Bauke Mollema and Jarlinson Pantano (Trek-Segafredo) and Daniel Navarro (Cofidis).

The top of the Col d'Ornon in sight, Matthews and De Gendt pushed on. De Gendt was looking to mop up a few mountains points but Matthews, playing the team game, had other ideas and sprinted around him to crest the second category climb first. The peloton would follow them over already five minutes behind.

Alexander Kristoff (Katusha-Alpecin) was the next sprinter to fall afoul of the Tour de France curse as he came down hard on the descent of the Ornon. The Norwegian looked like he'd been in a bar brawl when he got back on the bike with a bloody cut under his eye and a jersey ripped to shreds.

Meanwhile, Matthews and De Gendt were still riding their two-up time trial, as the former looked to take the points at the intermediate sprint.

Contador goes long

The main GC battle was not going to take place until the riders hit the Galibier, but Contador decided to pull a move out of the history books by going on the early slopes of the Col de la Croix de Fer. Having struggled through much of the Tour de France, it was a window into Contador of years gone by. He initially took Nairo Quintana (Movistar) with him, but the Colombian did not have the legs to hold onto a determined Contador. Quintana had already tried to go away before Contador had launched his move. His day would get worse later on when he was well and truly dropped by the favourites.

Contador was forced to bridge much of the gap alone until he got close enough to the leaders for his teammate Michael Gogl to drop back and keep him company. By the time Contador had them in his sights, the breakaway was dropping in numbers.

Matthews and De Gendt were still ahead, but it wouldn't be for long with Contador on a mission. With 89 kilometres still to run, they were brought back and the real battle for the stage win would begin. Meanwhile, news came through that Kittel had called it a day, leaving the Tour de France with an injured shoulder and five stage victories.

Team Sky takes control

Contador was no threat to their race lead, but that didn't stop Team Sky's Vasil Kiryienka setting a blistering pace that would see the break's advantage diminish very quickly. By the Telegraphe, the lead was down to 3:20 and there were just 10 riders left out front. A bike change left Contador on the side of the road for some time, but he was quickly back with his companions. They were not going to leave him behind just yet.

The gap would go out again ahead of the Galibier, but as the leaders tried to shake each other off, the decreasing peloton meticulously worked their way ever closer. After several failed attempts, Roglic finally broke free with 35 kilometres remaining as Contador paid for his efforts earlier in the day.

Behind, Dan Martin was the first of the GC riders to attack, but his lead would not grow to much more than 10 seconds. As had been expected, Bardet launched a flurry of moves towards the top of the Galibier. While unable to break free of the yellow jersey, he did distance one of his main rivals, Aru. The Italian champion had been labouring and, after chasing back on a number of times, he finally cracked and was never to see the group of favourites again.

As Roglic glided his way down the long descent towards the finish, the yellow jersey group would continue to fracture. Simon Yates (Orica-Scott) suffered badly, while his white jersey rival Louis Meintjes (UAE Team Emirates) joined forces with Aru.

Bardet, Uran, Barguil and Landa stayed with the yellow jersey Froome right up to the line, with Uran winning the sprint for second place over a minute behind Roglic.

Full Results

Swipe to scroll horizontally
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Primoz Roglic (Slo) Team LottoNl-Jumbo5:07:41
2Rigoberto Uran (Col) Cannondale-Drapac0:01:13
3Christopher Froome (GBr) Team SkyRow 2 - Cell 2
4Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 3 - Cell 2
5Warren Barguil (Fra) Team SunwebRow 4 - Cell 2
6Mikel Landa (Spa) Team Sky0:01:16
7Daniel Martin (Irl) Quick-Step Floors0:01:43
8Alberto Contador (Spa) Trek-Segafredo0:01:44
9Louis Meintjes (RSA) UAE Team EmiratesRow 8 - Cell 2
10Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro TeamRow 9 - Cell 2
11Mathias Frank (Swi) AG2R La MondialeRow 10 - Cell 2
12Darwin Atapuma (Col) UAE Team Emirates0:01:59
13Serge Pauwels (Bel) Dimension Data0:03:10
14Simon Yates (GBr) Orica-Scott0:03:14
15Daniel Navarro (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:05:07
16Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC Racing TeamRow 15 - Cell 2
17Ondrej Cink (Cze) Bahrain-MeridaRow 16 - Cell 2
18Amael Moinard (Fra) BMC Racing Team0:06:00
19Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 18 - Cell 2
20Brice Feillu (Fra) Team Fortuneo - OscaroRow 19 - Cell 2
21Mikel Nieve (Spa) Team SkyRow 20 - Cell 2
22Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe0:07:47
23Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar TeamRow 22 - Cell 2
24Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:08:45
25Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto SoudalRow 24 - Cell 2
26Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo0:08:58
27Andrey Zeits (Kaz) Astana Pro Team0:12:42
28Carlos Betancur (Col) Movistar TeamRow 27 - Cell 2
29Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Orica-Scott0:12:48
30Pieter Vanspeybrouck (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert0:16:41
31Marco Minnaard (Ned) Wanty - Groupe GobertRow 30 - Cell 2
32Thomas Degand (Bel) Wanty - Groupe GobertRow 31 - Cell 2
33Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica-Scott0:16:43
34Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team EmiratesRow 33 - Cell 2
35Kristijan Durasek (Cro) UAE Team EmiratesRow 34 - Cell 2
36Rudy Molard (Fra) FDJRow 35 - Cell 2
37Luis Angel Mate (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 36 - Cell 2
38Guillaume Martin (Fra) Wanty - Groupe GobertRow 37 - Cell 2
39Ben Gastauer (Lux) AG2R La MondialeRow 38 - Cell 2
40Cyril Gautier (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 39 - Cell 2
41Jan Bakelants (Bel) AG2R La MondialeRow 40 - Cell 2
42Nathan Brown (USA) Cannondale-DrapacRow 41 - Cell 2
43Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Direct EnergieRow 42 - Cell 2
44Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Direct EnergieRow 43 - Cell 2
45Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) Katusha-AlpecinRow 44 - Cell 2
46Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:22:59
47Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team Sky0:23:04
48Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Team Sunweb0:23:48
49Andrew Talansky (USA) Cannondale-DrapacRow 48 - Cell 2
50Lilian Calmejane (Fra) Direct Energie0:24:51
51Romain Hardy (Fra) Team Fortuneo - OscaroRow 50 - Cell 2
52Jesus Herrada (Spa) Movistar Team0:24:53
53Nicolas Roche (Irl) BMC Racing TeamRow 52 - Cell 2
54Romain Sicard (Fra) Direct Energie0:26:47
55Pierre Luc Perichon (Fra) Team Fortuneo - Oscaro0:27:15
56Bakhtiyar Kozhatayev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team0:28:46
57Danilo Wyss (Swi) BMC Racing TeamRow 56 - Cell 2
58Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 57 - Cell 2
59Maxime Bouet (Fra) Team Fortuneo - OscaroRow 58 - Cell 2
60Pawel Poljanski (Pol) Bora-HansgroheRow 59 - Cell 2
61Jack Bauer (NZl) Quick-Step FloorsRow 60 - Cell 2
62Simon Geschke (Ger) Team SunwebRow 61 - Cell 2
63Alberto Bettiol (Ita) Cannondale-DrapacRow 62 - Cell 2
64Michael Matthews (Aus) Team SunwebRow 63 - Cell 2
65Michael Valgren Andersen (Den) Astana Pro TeamRow 64 - Cell 2
66Ben Swift (GBr) UAE Team EmiratesRow 65 - Cell 2
67Dylan Van Baarle (Ned) Cannondale-DrapacRow 66 - Cell 2
68Jasha Sütterlin (Ger) Movistar TeamRow 67 - Cell 2
69Jonathan Castroviejo (Spa) Movistar Team0:31:54
70Andrey Amador (CRc) Movistar TeamRow 69 - Cell 2
71Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert0:33:41
72Perrig Quemeneur (Fra) Direct EnergieRow 71 - Cell 2
73Marcus Burghardt (Ger) Bora-HansgroheRow 72 - Cell 2
74Adam James Hansen (Aus) Lotto SoudalRow 73 - Cell 2
75Mike Teunissen (Ned) Team SunwebRow 74 - Cell 2
76Yoann Offredo (Fra) Wanty - Groupe GobertRow 75 - Cell 2
77Nils Politt (Ger) Katusha-AlpecinRow 76 - Cell 2
78Frederik Backaert (Bel) Wanty - Groupe GobertRow 77 - Cell 2
79Patrick Bevin (NZl) Cannondale-DrapacRow 78 - Cell 2
80Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R La MondialeRow 79 - Cell 2
81Michael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing TeamRow 80 - Cell 2
82Nikias Arndt (Ger) Team SunwebRow 81 - Cell 2
83Pierre Latour (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 82 - Cell 2
84Axel Domont (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 83 - Cell 2
85Roy Curvers (Ned) Team SunwebRow 84 - Cell 2
86Angelo Tulik (Fra) Direct EnergieRow 85 - Cell 2
87John Degenkolb (Ger) Trek-SegafredoRow 86 - Cell 2
88Jay McCarthy (Aus) Bora-HansgroheRow 87 - Cell 2
89Koen De Kort (Ned) Trek-SegafredoRow 88 - Cell 2
90Scott Thwaites (GBr) Dimension DataRow 89 - Cell 2
91Tsgabu Grmay (Eth) Bahrain-MeridaRow 90 - Cell 2
92Stephen Cummings (GBr) Dimension DataRow 91 - Cell 2
93Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 92 - Cell 2
94André Greipel (Ger) Lotto SoudalRow 93 - Cell 2
95Rüdiger Selig (Ger) Bora-HansgroheRow 94 - Cell 2
96Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing TeamRow 95 - Cell 2
97Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Dimension DataRow 96 - Cell 2
98Haimar Zubeldia (Spa) Trek-SegafredoRow 97 - Cell 2
99Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension DataRow 98 - Cell 2
100Fabio Sabatini (Ita) Quick-Step FloorsRow 99 - Cell 2
101Luke Rowe (GBr) Team SkyRow 100 - Cell 2
102Imanol Erviti (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 101 - Cell 2
103Lars Ytting Bak (Den) Lotto SoudalRow 102 - Cell 2
104Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) Dimension DataRow 103 - Cell 2
105Elie Gesbert (Fra) Team Fortuneo - OscaroRow 104 - Cell 2
106Eduardo Sepulveda (Arg) Team Fortuneo - OscaroRow 105 - Cell 2
107Vasil Kiryienka (Blr) Team SkyRow 106 - Cell 2
108Stefan Küng (Swi) BMC Racing TeamRow 107 - Cell 2
109Andrea Pasqualon (Ita) Wanty - Groupe GobertRow 108 - Cell 2
110Reto Hollenstein (Swi) Katusha-AlpecinRow 109 - Cell 2
111Damien Howson (Aus) Orica-ScottRow 110 - Cell 2
112Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Astana Pro TeamRow 111 - Cell 2
113Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha-AlpecinRow 112 - Cell 2
114Julien Simon (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 113 - Cell 2
115Matteo Bono (Ita) UAE Team EmiratesRow 114 - Cell 2
116Marco Marcato (Ita) UAE Team EmiratesRow 115 - Cell 2
117Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Orica-ScottRow 116 - Cell 2
118Thomas Boudat (Fra) Direct EnergieRow 117 - Cell 2
119Markel Irizar (Spa) Trek-SegafredoRow 118 - Cell 2
120Vegard Stake Laengen (Nor) UAE Team EmiratesRow 119 - Cell 2
121Florian Senechal (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits