Tour de France gallery: Dusty gravel and deserving winners on stage 18

by Matt de Neef

The 2020 Tour de France hasn’t exactly gone to plan for Ineos Grenadiers. The team’s leader Egan Bernal fell by the wayside at the end of the second week and by the start of stage 17 the defending champion was on his way home. But Ineos hasn’t given up — Richard Carapaz has been in the breakaway three days in a row, finishing second on stage 16, 11th on stage 17 (after leading solo and only being caught with 3 km to go), and second again on stage 18.

That runner-up finish on stage 18 might have been frustrating for Carapaz were it not for the fact that his teammate and breakaway companion, Michal Kwiatkowski, won the stage. In fact the pair crossed the line arm in arm, Kwiato’s wheel just in front, after riding away from the rest of the breakaway. As a bonus, Carapaz now wears the polka dots of KOM leader too.

It’s not the Tour Ineos was after; but stage 18 was a very respectable consolation prize. Here’s how our photographers saw the stage, with a particular focus on a late gravel section inside the final 30 km.

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