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Tour de France Stage 18 to Warren Barguil as Chris Froome closes in on fourth overall win

French rider celebrates sealing polka-dot jersey in style, defending champion sees off rivals on the Izoard

Team Sky's Chris Froome is heading towards a fourth Tour de France victory in five years after crossing the line on the Col d'Izoard at the end of today's Stage 18 alongside his closest rivals in the general classification, Cannondale-Drapac's Rigoberto Uran and Romain Bardet of AG2R-La Mondiale. The stage win went to Team Sunweb's Warren Barguil, who earlier in the stage had claimed an unassailable lead in the mountains classification.

Barguil overhauled lone leader Jhon Darwin Atapuma of UAE Team Emirates with 1.5 kilometres remaining of the 179.5-kilometre stage from Briancon remaining, denying the legions of Colombian fans who thronged the slopes of the mountain the chance of a double celebration on the country's national day.

Atapuma and Barguil were the last survivors of what had been a 54-man escape group as a number of teams looking to rescue something from this year's race on the final mountain stage.

The Colombian crossed the line in second place, 20 seconds behind the Frenchman, just ahead of Bardet whose third place gave him the bonus seconds that put him back to second overall, the same position he finished last year.

However, Saturday's time trial in Marseille may well see Uran, now 6 seconds behind Bardet in the General Classification, overhaul him.

Froome's strength in the time trial means that today was the last realistic chance for rivals to gain time on him, and while Bardet did attack on the Izoard, which was hosting a summit finish for the first time, it was quickly shut down, the defending champion countering immediately before he, the AG2R-La Mondiale rider and Uran came back together.

As it is, he leads the General Classification by 23 seconds and will be confident of building that lead on Saturday ahead of the procession into Paris on the final stage.

Heading towards the upper slopes of the Izoard, Team Sky moved to the front of the group containing the overall contenders which had previously been controlled by AG2R-La Mondiale.

Michal Kwiatkowski set a tempo at the head of the group that prevented rivals from attacking then, when he pulled off with about 5 kilometres remaining, Mikel Landa, in the hunt for a podium place, launched himself off the front in a move that surprised Team Sky's rivals.

That move by Landa saw Astana's Fabio Aru distanced, and the Basque rider has leapfrogged the Italian into fourth place overall, 1 minute 36 seconds behind his team leader.

Orica-Scott's Simon Yates, meanwhile, finished ahead of Louis Meintjes of UAE Team Emirates and now has more than 2 minutes' advantage over the South African, and the rider from Lancashire looks in good shape to take to the podium in Paris on Sunday in the best young rider's white jersey his twin brother Adam won last year.

Reaction

Stage winner Warren Barguil

This is really fantastic, I can't believe it. It's really a dream to take another win. I wanted to take some extra time in the GC so I just rode my own climb and paced myself to the top. I managed to close to the leader and then when I still had the legs left, I continued to the line. It's brilliant for us to have four stage victories now, it's unbelievable.

Overall leader, Chris Froome

For sure it would have been amazing to have won on the most iconic climb of the race but my goal is the yellow jersey. If I reach Paris in yellow, I'll have no regret, even if I don't have a stage win.

The hardest part of the Tour is behind now. We passed the Pyrenees and now the Alps. Rigo is definitely my biggest threat. From the GC riders he's the next strongest time trialist and he's only 29 seconds down. I imagine he'll be the guy to look at for in Marseille.

Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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15 comments

Avatar
700c | 6 years ago
0 likes

Good advert for the TCR!  1 It's been used to win sprints & summit finishes this year, green jersey, polka dot jersey, Giro..

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drosco | 6 years ago
2 likes

Froome is riding the Vuelta too. He's really not a one day rider.

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3mkru73 replied to drosco | 6 years ago
0 likes
drosco wrote:

Froome is riding the Vuelta too. He's really not a one day rider.

But not the Giro, not since 2010....

 

 

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dreamlx10 | 6 years ago
3 likes

All very US Postal, don't you wish Froome would try and win some other races too ?

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reliablemeatloaf replied to dreamlx10 | 6 years ago
1 like
dreamlx10 wrote:

All very US Postal, don't you wish Froome would try and win some other races too ?

Agree. Very one-dimensional; at least Quintana tried the Giro, even if it was  a bit too much.

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MrB123 replied to dreamlx10 | 6 years ago
6 likes
dreamlx10 wrote:

All very US Postal, don't you wish Froome would try and win some other races too ?

Like the Vuelta?

Avatar
dreamlx10 replied to MrB123 | 6 years ago
1 like
MrB123 wrote:
dreamlx10 wrote:

All very US Postal, don't you wish Froome would try and win some other races too ?

Like the Vuelta?

 

I was thinking more like the Monuments or other big one day races.

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BehindTheBikesheds replied to dreamlx10 | 6 years ago
3 likes
dreamlx10 wrote:

All very US Postal, don't you wish Froome would try and win some other races too ?

is it,why do you say that? TActically SKy have being fantastic, they kidded the other teams that froome was on form early doors when he wasn't and they were too scared/too inept to do anything. He's fought to get back when he had that issue the other day, sure he had some help but he still had to regain the 40 second defficit.

If it weren't for his efforts in the TT first up, Porte making a massive balls up and sbsequently costing Dan Martin a shit load of time (not just on that day but recovering from it too), quintana being absolutely lousy and Aru being a muppet/no TT legs this would be the battle royale of GT tours with 5 or 6 in with a shout of the yellow in Paris.

I guess when EM, Hinault, Indurain won title after title you were whining then right? I mean Big mig never won an actual stage that wasn't a TT, the ONLY reason he won was because he could put 4 minutes into someone like Lemond on a 65km TT, THAT is very US postal do you not think?

What about EM and Hinault, one the biggest doper of his era and busted FOUR times in an era of little testing, a bully and wouldn't accept his guilt (sound familiar), the other a backstabbing lying bastard who was also a bully, again all very US postal like!

Avatar
dreamlx10 replied to BehindTheBikesheds | 6 years ago
0 likes
BehindTheBikesheds wrote:
dreamlx10 wrote:

All very US Postal, don't you wish Froome would try and win some other races too ?

What about EM and Hinault, one the biggest doper of his era and busted FOUR times in an era of little testing, a bully and wouldn't accept his guilt (sound familiar), the other a backstabbing lying bastard who was also a bully, again all very US postal like!

 

Ok calm down.

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Posh74 | 6 years ago
0 likes

Having just looked at the profile of tomorrow's stage, I'm wondering whether AG2R might launch a cheeky attack after the intermediate sprint with it being pretty much downhill from there.... Been a pretty good race up to now if a little predictable at times, would've been more interesting had Valverde, Dumoulin and Nibali been in the race and Quintana and Pinot were on top form

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BarryBianchi | 6 years ago
1 like

It's far from over.  I predict the Froomster has a few too many on Sat night and ends up in the baggage compartment of a train to Minsk, the rest of the podium get tugged by  l'fuzz for kidnapping, and Olicer Le Gag gets a surprise win after a sink hole opens up on the Champs Elysees.  I know it's not novel, but it is likely.

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CXR94Di2 | 6 years ago
1 like

Froome was able to cancel out his rivals attempts to gain time. Just the TT to seal victory

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Yorkshire wallet | 6 years ago
3 likes

A tense but somehow anticlimactic day. I was hoping Froome would lose more time to set up a thrilling time trial, a bit like the Giro.

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handlebarcam | 6 years ago
3 likes

I wonder if Dan Martin might move to Team Sky next year. The way he attacked today, and on other days, he could slot in as a replacement for Landa at the Tour, and get his choice of leading at the Ardennes Classics or getting a shot at the Giro. Probably a lot more money too.

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Jackson replied to handlebarcam | 6 years ago
2 likes
handlebarcam wrote:

I wonder if Dan Martin might move to Team Sky next year. The way he attacked today, and on other days, he could slot in as a replacement for Landa at the Tour, and get his choice of leading at the Ardennes Classics or getting a shot at the Giro. Probably a lot more money too.

Why would he leave a leader's position in the winningest team in the world tour to go be a gopher for Froome? That's not how he races at all.

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