Barguil Climbs to Stage Victory in Tour de France
Warren Barguil proved the strongest man in the final mountain stage of the 2017 Tour de France. The Sunweb rider was first to cross the finish line in the 179.5 kilometer stage 18 from Briancon to the top of the Izoard climb.
John Darwin Atapuma (UAE Team Emirates) crossed the finish line twenty seconds later together with Romain Bardet of AG2R-La Mondiale and defending Tour de France champion Christopher Froome of Team Sky Pro Cycling. Team Cannondale-Drapac's Rigoberto Uran finished the stage in fifth position, 22 seconds behind the winner.
With today’s Col de Vars and Col d'Izoard climbs positioned late in the stage, the parcours were designed to offer a welcome opportunity to breakaway hopefuls. Fifty riders accepted this challenge.
Once the breakaway riders reached the actual climbs of the day, their advantage had reached a maximum of eight minutes, but the breakaway group had started to disintegrate as the riders headed upwards.
Barguil was allowed to attack with Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) early in the final climb whilst behind all eyes were on the general classification group as the Sky team controlled the tempo before the strong AG2R-La Mondiale team initiated its attack on Froome and other general classification favorites.
The fight that took place between the general classification favorites significantly reduced the advantage of the surviving breakaway riders at the front as an active Daniel Martin (QuickStep Floors Pro Cycling Team) joined Bardet in trying to attack Froome.
Sundried Premium Sportswear
At the front of the race, Barguil caught and passed the remains of the day's breakaway and held off the yellow jersey group by 20 seconds. Behind, riders attacked up the road in the final three kilometers of the Col d'Izoard climb, working to limit their losses on the final summit finish of the Tour de France 2017.
"This is really fantastic, I can't believe it," a proud Barguil told Roadcycling.com after the finish. "It's really a dream to take another win. I wanted to take some extra time in the general classification, 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 our team to have four stage victories now, it's unbelievable."
After having conquered the first 3192 kilometers of this year's Tour de France, Froome leads the general classification. Bardet is 23 seconds behind, while Cannondale-Drapac's Rigoberto Uran is in third position, now 29 seconds behind the leader. Froome's teammate Mikel Landa is ranked fourth, but as Friday's 222.5 kilometer stage 19 of this year's Tour de France is relatively flat in its route from Embrun to Salon-de-Provence, he will have little opportunity to advance in the rankings, unless he manages to exploit the chance presented in Saturday's 22.5 kilometer individual time trial stage 20 from Marseille to Marseille.
Buy bikes and cycling gear in our road bike shop.