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.
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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.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Primoz Roglic (Slo) Team LottoNl-Jumbo||5:07:41|
|2||Rigoberto Uran (Col) Cannondale-Drapac||0:01:13|
|3||Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky||Row 2 - Cell 2|
|4||Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale||Row 3 - Cell 2|
|5||Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Sunweb||Row 4 - Cell 2|
|6||Mikel Landa (Spa) Team Sky||0:01:16|
|7||Daniel Martin (Irl) Quick-Step Floors||0:01:43|
|8||Alberto Contador (Spa) Trek-Segafredo||0:01:44|
|9||Louis Meintjes (RSA) UAE Team Emirates||Row 8 - Cell 2|
|10||Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team||Row 9 - Cell 2|
|11||Mathias Frank (Swi) AG2R La Mondiale||Row 10 - Cell 2|
|12||Darwin Atapuma (Col) UAE Team Emirates||0:01:59|
|13||Serge Pauwels (Bel) Dimension Data||0:03:10|
|14||Simon Yates (GBr) Orica-Scott||0:03:14|
|15||Daniel Navarro (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits||0:05:07|
|16||Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC Racing Team||Row 15 - Cell 2|
|17||Ondrej Cink (Cze) Bahrain-Merida||Row 16 - Cell 2|
|18||Amael Moinard (Fra) BMC Racing Team||0:06:00|
|19||Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale||Row 18 - Cell 2|
|20||Brice Feillu (Fra) Team Fortuneo - Oscaro||Row 19 - Cell 2|
|21||Mikel Nieve (Spa) Team Sky||Row 20 - Cell 2|
|22||Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe||0:07:47|
|23||Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team||Row 22 - Cell 2|
|24||Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal||0:08:45|
|25||Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Soudal||Row 24 - Cell 2|
|26||Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo||0:08:58|
|27||Andrey Zeits (Kaz) Astana Pro Team||0:12:42|
|28||Carlos Betancur (Col) Movistar Team||Row 27 - Cell 2|
|29||Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Orica-Scott||0:12:48|
|30||Pieter Vanspeybrouck (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert||0:16:41|
|31||Marco Minnaard (Ned) Wanty - Groupe Gobert||Row 30 - Cell 2|
|32||Thomas Degand (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert||Row 31 - Cell 2|
|33||Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica-Scott||0:16:43|
|34||Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates||Row 33 - Cell 2|
|35||Kristijan Durasek (Cro) UAE Team Emirates||Row 34 - Cell 2|
|36||Rudy Molard (Fra) FDJ||Row 35 - Cell 2|
|37||Luis Angel Mate (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits||Row 36 - Cell 2|
|38||Guillaume Martin (Fra) Wanty - Groupe Gobert||Row 37 - Cell 2|
|39||Ben Gastauer (Lux) AG2R La Mondiale||Row 38 - Cell 2|
|40||Cyril Gautier (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale||Row 39 - Cell 2|
|41||Jan Bakelants (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale||Row 40 - Cell 2|
|42||Nathan Brown (USA) Cannondale-Drapac||Row 41 - Cell 2|
|43||Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Direct Energie||Row 42 - Cell 2|
|44||Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Direct Energie||Row 43 - Cell 2|
|45||Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) Katusha-Alpecin||Row 44 - Cell 2|
|46||Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal||0:22:59|
|47||Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team Sky||0:23:04|
|48||Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Team Sunweb||0:23:48|
|49||Andrew Talansky (USA) Cannondale-Drapac||Row 48 - Cell 2|
|50||Lilian Calmejane (Fra) Direct Energie||0:24:51|
|51||Romain Hardy (Fra) Team Fortuneo - Oscaro||Row 50 - Cell 2|
|52||Jesus Herrada (Spa) Movistar Team||0:24:53|
|53||Nicolas Roche (Irl) BMC Racing Team||Row 52 - Cell 2|
|54||Romain Sicard (Fra) Direct Energie||0:26:47|
|55||Pierre Luc Perichon (Fra) Team Fortuneo - Oscaro||0:27:15|
|56||Bakhtiyar Kozhatayev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team||0:28:46|
|57||Danilo Wyss (Swi) BMC Racing Team||Row 56 - Cell 2|
|58||Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits||Row 57 - Cell 2|
|59||Maxime Bouet (Fra) Team Fortuneo - Oscaro||Row 58 - Cell 2|
|60||Pawel Poljanski (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe||Row 59 - Cell 2|
|61||Jack Bauer (NZl) Quick-Step Floors||Row 60 - Cell 2|
|62||Simon Geschke (Ger) Team Sunweb||Row 61 - Cell 2|
|63||Alberto Bettiol (Ita) Cannondale-Drapac||Row 62 - Cell 2|
|64||Michael Matthews (Aus) Team Sunweb||Row 63 - Cell 2|
|65||Michael Valgren Andersen (Den) Astana Pro Team||Row 64 - Cell 2|
|66||Ben Swift (GBr) UAE Team Emirates||Row 65 - Cell 2|
|67||Dylan Van Baarle (Ned) Cannondale-Drapac||Row 66 - Cell 2|
|68||Jasha Sütterlin (Ger) Movistar Team||Row 67 - Cell 2|
|69||Jonathan Castroviejo (Spa) Movistar Team||0:31:54|
|70||Andrey Amador (CRc) Movistar Team||Row 69 - Cell 2|
|71||Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert||0:33:41|
|72||Perrig Quemeneur (Fra) Direct Energie||Row 71 - Cell 2|
|73||Marcus Burghardt (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe||Row 72 - Cell 2|
|74||Adam James Hansen (Aus) Lotto Soudal||Row 73 - Cell 2|
|75||Mike Teunissen (Ned) Team Sunweb||Row 74 - Cell 2|
|76||Yoann Offredo (Fra) Wanty - Groupe Gobert||Row 75 - Cell 2|
|77||Nils Politt (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin||Row 76 - Cell 2|
|78||Frederik Backaert (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert||Row 77 - Cell 2|
|79||Patrick Bevin (NZl) Cannondale-Drapac||Row 78 - Cell 2|
|80||Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale||Row 79 - Cell 2|
|81||Michael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing Team||Row 80 - Cell 2|
|82||Nikias Arndt (Ger) Team Sunweb||Row 81 - Cell 2|
|83||Pierre Latour (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale||Row 82 - Cell 2|
|84||Axel Domont (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale||Row 83 - Cell 2|
|85||Roy Curvers (Ned) Team Sunweb||Row 84 - Cell 2|
|86||Angelo Tulik (Fra) Direct Energie||Row 85 - Cell 2|
|87||John Degenkolb (Ger) Trek-Segafredo||Row 86 - Cell 2|
|88||Jay McCarthy (Aus) Bora-Hansgrohe||Row 87 - Cell 2|
|89||Koen De Kort (Ned) Trek-Segafredo||Row 88 - Cell 2|
|90||Scott Thwaites (GBr) Dimension Data||Row 89 - Cell 2|
|91||Tsgabu Grmay (Eth) Bahrain-Merida||Row 90 - Cell 2|
|92||Stephen Cummings (GBr) Dimension Data||Row 91 - Cell 2|
|93||Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Lotto Soudal||Row 92 - Cell 2|
|94||André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Soudal||Row 93 - Cell 2|
|95||Rüdiger Selig (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe||Row 94 - Cell 2|
|96||Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team||Row 95 - Cell 2|
|97||Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Dimension Data||Row 96 - Cell 2|
|98||Haimar Zubeldia (Spa) Trek-Segafredo||Row 97 - Cell 2|
|99||Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension Data||Row 98 - Cell 2|
|100||Fabio Sabatini (Ita) Quick-Step Floors||Row 99 - Cell 2|
|101||Luke Rowe (GBr) Team Sky||Row 100 - Cell 2|
|102||Imanol Erviti (Spa) Movistar Team||Row 101 - Cell 2|
|103||Lars Ytting Bak (Den) Lotto Soudal||Row 102 - Cell 2|
|104||Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) Dimension Data||Row 103 - Cell 2|
|105||Elie Gesbert (Fra) Team Fortuneo - Oscaro||Row 104 - Cell 2|
|106||Eduardo Sepulveda (Arg) Team Fortuneo - Oscaro||Row 105 - Cell 2|
|107||Vasil Kiryienka (Blr) Team Sky||Row 106 - Cell 2|
|108||Stefan Küng (Swi) BMC Racing Team||Row 107 - Cell 2|
|109||Andrea Pasqualon (Ita) Wanty - Groupe Gobert||Row 108 - Cell 2|
|110||Reto Hollenstein (Swi) Katusha-Alpecin||Row 109 - Cell 2|
|111||Damien Howson (Aus) Orica-Scott||Row 110 - Cell 2|
|112||Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Astana Pro Team||Row 111 - Cell 2|
|113||Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha-Alpecin||Row 112 - Cell 2|
|114||Julien Simon (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits||Row 113 - Cell 2|
|115||Matteo Bono (Ita) UAE Team Emirates||Row 114 - Cell 2|
|116||Marco Marcato (Ita) UAE Team Emirates||Row 115 - Cell 2|
|117||Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Orica-Scott||Row 116 - Cell 2|
|118||Thomas Boudat (Fra) Direct Energie||Row 117 - Cell 2|
|119||Markel Irizar (Spa) Trek-Segafredo||Row 118 - Cell 2|
|120||Vegard Stake Laengen (Nor) UAE Team Emirates||Row 119 - Cell 2|
|121||Florian Senechal (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits|