Tour de France: Alaphilippe wins stage 16

Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors) won his second stage at the 2018 Tour de France in Bagnères-de-Luchon after another day in the breakaway scoring mountain points in defence of his polka-dot climber''s jersey.

Alaphilippe passed Adam Yates on the descent of the Col de Portillon after the Mitchelton-Scott rider slipped out at speed on a curve. Alaphilippe then dived down to the finish, celebrating alone before and after the line. Gorka Izagirre (Bahrain-Merida) won the sprint for second place 15 seconds behind Alaphilippe, beating Yates, Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) and Domenico Pozzovivo (Bahrain-Merida).

The 218km stage included the first climbs in the Pyrenees, but there were no major attacks amongst the overall contenders, and so Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) stays in the leader's yellow jersey before the intense 65km stage 17 and mountain finish on the Col du Portet above Saint-Lary Soulan.

Mikel Landa (Movistar) tried an attack on the descent of the Col du Portillon, splitting the overall contender group, but Team Sky's Michal Kwiatkowski and Egan Bernal led Thomas and Chris Froome to the finish, 8:51 after Alaphilippe.

Thomas still leads teammate Froome by 1:39, with Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) at 1:50. Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo) is fourth at 2:38, and Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale) is fifth at 3:21. Dan Martin (UAE Team Emirates) completes the top 10 at 6:54.

"Today it was a very crazy day," Alaphilippe said. "I had a lot of pain in my legs, I think everybody did. I cannot believe I won for the second time today. I knew the finale, especially the last climb and the downhill, because I'd done a recon. I'm just so happy.

"I will never forget this day. It was extraordinary and perfect. Another day in the polka-dot jersey, and now I'm going to fight hard to keep it. It will be difficult but I will fight every day."

How it happened

After the second rest day in Carcassonne, the Tour de France peloton left the ancient city to head deep into the Pyrenees for the first of three decisive mountain stages. At 218km it was the second longest stage of this year's Tour de France.

The rolling country roads were perfect for the breakaway to form early on, but yet again there was a huge fight to get away in the hope of winning the stage.

The first categorised climb came after just 25km, and so Alaphilippe and Warren Barguil (Fortuneo-Samsic) also joined the attacks. Barguil grabbed the point at the summit of the category 4 climb of Cote de Fanjeaux, but Alaphilippe was on his tail and already aggressive.

With 190km still to race, the stage came to a sudden halt after local farmers tried to interrupt the race. The peloton slowed as straw bales narrowed the road, and then they stopped when a number of riders needed medical treatment after inhaling the tear gas police used to control the farmers.

Race Director Christian Prudhomme was forced to stop the peloton for 15 minutes as order was restored, and riders, including Team Sky's Thomas and Froome, washed their eyes. UCI president David Lappartient was in Prudhomme's car, but the protest was about local farmer's rights rather than anything said by Team Sky manager David Brailsford or the dislike of Team Sky's dominance.

When the race started again, the attacks resumed, with the average speed for the first hour a painful 48kph. After a game of cat and mouse, a significant attack came on the Côte de Pamiers after 70km of racing, and a large group formed. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) had sneaked in there, and so Team Sky soon closed it down.

Edward Theuns (Team Sunweb) was the next to try his hand. He was joined by Damiano Caruso (BMC Racing) and then other groups came across. Suddenly the peloton eased and the break was clear, after a super fast 105km of racing, covered at 47.7kph.

The riders in the extra-large move were: Warren Barguil, Maxime Bouet, Romain Hardy, Amaël Moinard and Laurent Pichon (Fortuneo-Samsic), Bauke Mollema, Julien Bernand, Koek de Kort and Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo), Silvan Dillier, Matthias Fränk and Pierre Latour (AG2R-La Mondiale), Andrey Amador, Daniele Bennati and Marc Soler (Movistar Team), Simon Geschke, Soren Kragh and Edward Theuns (Team Sunweb), Gorka Izagirre, Ion Izagirre and Domenico Pozzovivo (Bahrain-Merida), Damiano Caruso, Greg van Avermaet and Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing Team), Edvald Boasson Hagen, Tom-Jelte Slagter and Julien Vermote (Team Dimension Data), Christophe Laporte, Nicolas Edet and Dani Navarro (Cofidis), Julian Alaphilippe and Philippe Gilbert (Quick-Step Floors), Adam Yates and Matthew Hayman (Mitchelton-Scott), Marcus Burghardt and Gregor Mühlberger (Bora-Hansgrohe), Magnus Cort and Michael Valgren (Astana), Marco Minaard and Guillaume Martin (Wanty-Groupe Gobert), Rudy Molard (Groupama-FDJ), Robert Gesink (LottoNL-Jumbo), Jelle Vanendert (Lotto-Soudal), Thomas Boudat (Direct Energie), Simon Clarke (EF Drapac), Kristijan Durasek (UAE Team Emirates) and Nils Politt (Katusha-Alpecin).

Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) was not up there, but with other riders taking the intermediate points, he mathematically secured his sixth green jersey. He now has to finish inside the time on each stage and reach Paris to win the points classification.

The late climbs

The stage was staked with the Pyrenean climbs late in the stage that were always going to shake up the breakaway.

Gilbert was again supporting Alaphilippe in the breakaway but attacked to perhaps target the stage victory. He opened a one-minute lead on the slopes of the Col de Portet-d'Aspet as the peloton rode tempo, some 10minutes behind, with the rest of the break spread in between and the best climbers emerging on the steep 5.4km climb.

Gilbert led down the descent but then lost control on a tight corner. He slowed before hitting a low wall but flipped over his bike and into the trees below. For a moment everyone held their breath, remembering that Fabio Casartelli had crashed and died on the same descent in 1995. Fortunately, Gilbert was not seriously hurt. He got up, recovered and even got back on his bike and finished the stage.

Luke Rowe (Team Sky) led the peloton over the top of the Portet-d'Aspet, 7:25 down on the attackers. There was no sign of a challenge from Movistar, despite the race about to head into Spain.

The 6.9km Col de Mente started straight after the descent of the Portet-d'Aspet, and Gesink and Caruso soon made the first move, keen to distance many of their breakaway rivals. Alaphilippe managed to join them before the summit and took maximum mountain points, with Yates and Mollema also getting across. Other riders slipped back to the peloton, including Gilbert, but the GC contenders were all together at over 11 minutes.

The break came back together on the valley road to the Col du Portillon as the race briefly entered into Spain. The 17 riders upfront included Gesink, Yates, Alaphilippe, Latour, Mollema, Pozzovivo, Soler, Amador and Caruso. Barguil was there too but cracked and was distanced.

Gesink and Pozzovivo were the first to move on the Portillon but Yates also put his cards on the table, searching for a stage victory after struggling to compete for the overall classification this year. There was a brief regrouping of the strongest climbers but then Yates attacked again and again. He got away and was the first to the summit, ahead of Alaphilippe, only to crash at speed on the descent. He got up despite some nasty road rash but Alaphilippe passed him and kept going on the testing descent to Bagnères-de-Luchon.

Izaguirre, Mollema and Pozzovivo managed to catch Yates but Alaphilippe's descending skills gave him enough time to celebrate his second win of the Tour.

Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Quick-Step Floors5:13:22
2Gorka Izagirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida0:00:15
3Adam Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott
4Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
5Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Bahrain-Merida0:00:18
6Robert Gesink (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo0:00:37
7Michael Valgren (Den) Astana Pro Team0:00:56
8Gregor Mühlberger (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe
9Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar Team0:01:10
10Pierre Latour (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:01:18
11Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC Racing Team
12Guillaume Martin (Fra) Wanty-Groupe Gobert0:01:20
13Jelle Vanendert (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:02:09
14Rudy Molard (Fra) Groupama-FDJ0:02:31
15Andrey Amador (CRc) Movistar Team
16Ion Izagirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida0:03:42
17Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team0:05:23
18Julien Bernard (Fra) Trek-Segafredo0:06:27
19Warren Barguil (Fra) Fortuneo-Samsic0:06:29
20Kristijan Durasek (Cro) UAE Team Emirates
21Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team Sky0:08:52
22Egan Bernal (Col) Team Sky
23Chris Froome (GBr) Team Sky
24Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky
25Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Sunweb
26Søren Kragh Andersen (Den) Team Sunweb
27Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
28Mikel Landa (Spa) Movistar Team
29Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo
30Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team
31Primoz Roglic (Slo) LottoNL-Jumbo
32Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team
33Daniel Martin (Irl) UAE Team Emirates
34Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team
35Bob Jungels (Lux) Quick-Step Floors
36Mathias Frank (Swi) AG2R La Mondiale0:09:01
37Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin0:09:04
38Simon Geschke (Ger) Team Sunweb
39Mikel Nieve (Spa) Mitchelton-Scott
40Amael Moinard (Fra) Fortuneo-Samsic
41Antwan Tolhoek (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo0:09:25
42Tanel Kangert (Est) Astana Pro Team0:09:56
43Daniel Navarro Garcia (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:10:13
44Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team0:11:26
45Wout Poels (Ned) Team Sky0:11:48
46Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:12:10
47Pierre Rolland (Fra) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale
48Jesus Herrada (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
49Ian Boswell (USA) Katusha-Alpecin0:13:27
50Julien Vermote (Bel) Dimension Data0:13:51
51Tom-Jelte Slagter (Ned) Dimension Data
52Tobias Ludvigsson (Swe) Groupama-FDJ0:14:05
53Lilian Calmejane (Fra) Direct Energie
54Thomas Degand (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
55Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
56Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Direct Energie
57Laurens ten Dam (Ned) Team Sunweb
58Jesper Hansen (Den) Astana Pro Team
59Darwin Atapuma (Col) UAE Team Emirates
60Marco Minnaard (Ned) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
61Omar Fraile (Spa) Astana Pro Team0:16:35
62Jonathan Castroviejo (Spa) Team Sky0:17:17
63Silvan Dillier (Swi) AG2R La Mondiale
64Pavel Kochetkov (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin0:18:47
65Edward Theuns (Bel) Team Sunweb0:19:05
66Romain Hardy (Fra) Fortuneo-Samsic
67Koen de Kort (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
68Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
69Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale
70Simon Clarke (Aus) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale
71Daniel Martinez (Col) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale
72Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
73Maxime Bouet (Fra) Fortuneo-Samsic
74Laurent Pichon (Fra) Fortuneo-Samsic
75Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe
76Simon Gerrans (Aus) BMC Racing Team
77Michael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing Team
78Chad Haga (USA) Team Sunweb
79Paul Martens (Ger) LottoNL-Jumbo
80Magnus Cort (Den) Astana Pro Team
81Kevin Ledanois (Fra) Fortuneo-Samsic
82Yves Lampaert (Bel) Quick-Step Floors
83Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension Data
84Rory Sutherland (Aus) UAE Team Emirates
85Elie Gesbert (Fra) Fortuneo-Samsic
86Nils Politt (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin0:20:39
87Daryl Impey (RSA) Mitchelton-Scott0:20:55
88Mathew Hayman (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott
89Marcus Burghardt (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe0:22:17
90Imanol Erviti (Spa) Movistar Team
91Daniele Bennati (Ita) Movistar Team
92Arthur Vichot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ0:23:29
93Thomas Boudat (Fra) Direct Energie
94David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
95Stefan Küng (Swi) BMC Racing Team
96Christophe Laporte (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:23:32
97Amund Grøndahl Jansen (Nor) LottoNL-Jumbo0:25:34
98Andrea Pasqualon (Ita) Wanty-Groupe Gobert0:30:47
99Michael Hepburn (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott
100Nikias Arndt (Ger) Team Sunweb
101Timothy Dupont (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
102Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
103Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned) Groupama-FDJ
104Niki Terpstra (Ned) Quick-Step Floors
105Yoann Offredo (Fra) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
106Jasper De Buyst (Bel) Lotto Soudal
107Marco Marcato (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
108Tomasz Marczynski (Pol) Lotto Soudal
109Anthony Turgis (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
110Fabien Grellier (Fra) Direct Energie
111Lukas Pöstlberger (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe
112Oliviero Troia (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
113Pawel Poljanski (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe
114Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) Dimension Data
115John Degenkolb (Ger) Trek-Segafredo
116Taylor Phinney (USA) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale
117Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
118Florian Vachon (Fra) Fortuneo-Samsic
119Toms Skujins (Lat) Trek-Segafredo
120Alexander Kristoff (Nor) UAE Team Emirates
121Timo Roosen (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo
122Jacopo Guarnieri (Ita) Groupama-FDJ
123Maximiliano Richeze (Arg) Quick-Step Floors
124Kristijan Koren (Slo) Bahrain-Merida
125Luke Durbridge (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott
126Jack Bauer (NZl) Mitchelton-Scott
127Daniel Oss (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe
128Dion Smith (NZl) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
129Jay Thomson (RSA) Dimension Data
130Tom Scully (NZl) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale
131Olivier Le Gac (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
132Romain Sicard (Fra) Direct Energie
133Dimitri Claeys (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
134Heinrich Haussler (Aus) Bahrain-Merida
135Luke Rowe (GBr) Team Sky
136Maciej Bodnar (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe
137Jerome Cousin (Fra) Direct Energie
138Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
139Michael Gogl (Aut) Trek-Segafredo
140Roberto Ferrari (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
141Damien Gaudin (Fra) Direct Energie
142Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Quick-Step Floors0:31:11
143Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale0:31:13
144Lawson Craddock (USA) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale
145Anthony Perez (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:31:26
146Julien Simon (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
147Arnaud Demare (Fra) Groupama-FDJ0:41:20
DNSDamien Howson (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott
DNFTim Declercq (Bel) Quick-Step Floors
DNSSerge Pauwels (Bel) Dimension Data
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Intermediate sprint - Saint-Girons, km. 124
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Christophe Laporte (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits20pts
2Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension Data17
3Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team15
4Laurent Pichon (Fra) Fortuneo-Samsic13
5Thomas Boudat (Fra) Direct Energie11
6Nils Politt (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin10
7Koen de Kort (Ned) Trek-Segafredo9
8Mathew Hayman (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott8
9Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Quick-Step Floors7
10Silvan Dillier (Swi) AG2R La Mondiale6
11Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team5
12Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits4
13Simon Geschke (Ger) Team Sunweb3
14Marcus Burghardt (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe2
15Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC Racing Team1
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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Quick-Step Floors30pts
2Gorka Izagirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida25
3Adam Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott22
4Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo19
5Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Bahrain-Merida17
6Robert Gesink (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo15
7Michael Valgren (Den) Astana Pro Team13
8Gregor Mühlberger (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe11
9Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar Team9
10Pierre Latour (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale7
11Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC Racing Team6
12Guillaume Martin (Fra) Wanty-Groupe Gobert5
13Jelle Vanendert (Bel) Lotto Soudal4
14Rudy Molard (Fra) Groupama-FDJ3
15Andrey Amador (CRc) Movistar Team2
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Mountain 1 (Cat. 4) Côte de Fanjeaux, km. 25
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult