104th Tour de France 2017 Stage 18 - Briancon › Izoard (178km)

Gallery: 2017 Tour de France, Stage 18

by Neal Rogers

Frenchman Warren Barguil (Sunweb) attacked the final selection of GC favorites on the steep slopes of the Col d’Izoard, and then overcame the remnants of the day’s breakaway, to claim Stage 18 resplendent in the polka-dot jersey of King of the Mountains.

Stage 18 would be the final battle in the mountains, culminating on the Col d’Izoard, the last chance for GC men to challenge yellow jersey Chris Froome before Saturday’s individual time trial in Marseilles.

And while there were changes on the general classification on the day, there was little change among the top three riders vying for the podium in Paris. Froome (Team Sky) continues to wear the maillot jaune, with both Romain Bardet (Ag2r La Mondiale) and Rigoberto Uran (Cannondale-Drapac) within 30 seconds.

Dan Martin (Quick-Step Floors), Bardet, and Mikel Landa (Team Sky) all attacked from the group of favorites, with Landa opening daylight before Froome attempted to bridge up to his teammate and contend for the stage win. The attacks distanced several riders, including Italian Fabio Aru (Astana), who started the day fourth overall but would lose 1:02 to Froome and Bardet and drop to fifth, 1:55 behind Froome.

Uran chased down Froome’s attack with Bardet on his wheel, and the four riders — Landa, Froome, Uran, and Bardet — converged at 1km to go.

Ahead, Darwin Atapuma (UAE Emirates), riding from the daylong breakaway, held on for second, with Bardet finishing third on the stage, taking the remaining four seconds of time bonus available. Froome and Bardet crossed the line 20 seconds behind Barguil but two seconds ahead of Uran, meaning that Bardet took a total of six seconds on the Colombian.

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