Tadej Pogacar conceded defeat to Jonas Vingegaard in the fight for yellow as Felix Gall beat Simon Yates to victory on stage 17 of the Tour de France in Courchevel.
While Gall and Yates fought out stage honours from the breakaway, the overall battle in this Tour was effectively decided on the mighty col de la Loze, the highest mountain of this year’s race, at the end of this 166km stage from Saint-Gervais.
Having shown cracks in Tuesday’s time trial, Pogacar crumbled on this punishing 28km climb, losing the wheels still with eight kilometres remaining to the summit as he watched his rivals ride away without even needing to attack, the time gaps ballooning before the finish.
“I’m gone,” Pogacar told his team on the radio as he watched his rival ride away. “I’m dead.”
The Slovenian, involved in a minor crash at the start of the stage, had trailed Vingegaard by just 10 seconds on Monday’s rest day.
When Vingegaard took 1min 38sec out of the two-time Tour winner in Tuesday’s time trial it looked massive, but a day later the gap on the road was almost six minutes, the difference overall now seven-and-a-half minutes.
While Pogacar crossed the line taking a consoling arm around the shoulder from team-mate Marc Soler, the usually reserved Vingegaard allowed himself a more vigorous celebration with his team. As long as the Dane makes it to Paris on Sunday, he will surely win his second consecutive Tour.
Pogacar’s form coming into the Tour had been an open question given his lack of racing since breaking his wrist in April. For two weeks he had kept the gap at the top tantalisingly close, but the third week has proven too much.
As soon as the 24-year-old radioed in his concession, his team-mate Adam Yates was told to ride on in order to protect his third place overall, and the Lancastrian put time into Carlos Rodriguez to solidify his podium spot, now 76 seconds up on the young Spaniard and three minutes behind Pogacar.
Up ahead, Gall had attacked from the remains of a 33-strong breakaway that had, for much of the day, been as big as what counted as the peloton. Simon Yates did his best to chase down the Austrian but could not quite bridge the gap and came in 30 seconds down.
It was a second runner-up finish of the Tour for Simon Yates, who was narrowly beaten by his twin brother Adam on the opening stage in Bilbao. His consolation prize this time was moving up from eighth to fifth overall.
Gall, making his Tour debut, delivered a first win of this year’s race for the Ag2r-Citroën team, having unexpectedly taken over the leadership role within the squad after Ben O’Connor’s overall ambitions faded in the first week.
“I don’t know what to say,” the 25-year-old said. “This whole year has been incredible and now to do so well in the Tour and to win the queen stage it’s incredible. I just want to say thank you to the team, they have given me so much.
“It’s not easy to do a three-week stage race and then to also have the role of leader after a few days, I slowly focused on that and I was stressing myself about that, it’s not easy but the last few days I’ve been more comfortable. I was afraid I would be caught in the last kilometre but it’s incredible.” PA
Tour de France, stage 17: As it happened. . .
04:58 PM BST
O’Connor congratulates stage winner Gall
04:45 PM BST
Updated general classification . . .
04:35 PM BST
Pogacar should keep his second spot . . .
. . . based on my calculations. But Jonas Vingegaard will lead by 7min 35sec. Ouch. Simon Yates (Jayco-Alula) will be moving up the overall standings, as will Pello Bilbao (Bahrain Victorious) and, of course, stage winner Felix Gall (Ag2r-Citroën).
04:33 PM BST
Another out of this world performance. . .
04:30 PM BST
Vingegaard rips Pogacar’s hopes to shreds
Pello Bilbao (Bahrain Victorious) rolled over the line to take third place, with Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) fourth on the day. But the big story this afternoon is the decisive knockout blow Vingegaard delivered to the chin of Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) who in the end lost an age of time to the maillot jaune. His Tour de France ambitions are left in tatters for another year.
04:24 PM BST
Gall wins stage 17 at the Tour de France!
What a team effort from Ag2r-Citroën who have won their first stage at this year’s Tour de France. Felix Gall landed the biggest win of his career after finishing off the job once he had been set up by Ben O’Connor, but there were no gifts for the Austrian who held off a chasing Simon Yates (Jayco-Alula) who finished second. That was only the second win of Gall’s short career after the 25-year old won a stage at this year’s Tour de Suisse. Gall will also move up the mountains classification standings.
Speaking afterwards, Gall said: “I don’t know what to say. This whole year has been incredible and now to do so well in the Tour and to win the queen stage it’s incredible. I just want to say thank you to the team, they have given me so much.
“It’s not easy to do a three-week stage race and then to also have the role of leader after a few days, I slowly focused on that and I was stressing myself about that, it’s not easy but the last few days I’ve been more comfortable. I was afraid I would be caught in the last kilometre but it’s incredible.”
04:22 PM BST
1km to go
Starting to look like Felix Gall will be winning today, but Simon Yates will, I am sure, be moving up the general classification.
04:20 PM BST
2km to go
The gap between Felix Gall and Simon Yates is yo-yoing between 15 and 20sec.
04:20 PM BST
2.5km to go
Simon Yates is in pursuit of stage leader Felix Gall, he has closed the gap to 13sec. Remember, there’s a little kicker before the line. Is this going to end in a sprint?
04:18 PM BST
3.5km to go
Felix Gall still leads the stage; Simon Yates follows at 18sec; Jonas Vingegaard is at 1min 25sec.
04:18 PM BST
5.5km to go
Jonas Vingegaard goes over the top, he has David Gaudu and Pello Bilbao hanging onto his wheel. Adam Yates is with team-mate Rafal Majka, but not sure about the time gaps so I cannot work out how much time the Briton is gaining on his team leader Tadej Pogacar.
04:16 PM BST
6.5km to go
Over the summit of the col de la Loze goes Felix Gall, a short descent is followed by a final, nasty kicker. Simon Yates trails by 25sec, while Jonas Vingegaard is still in the fight for the stage win, 1min 30sec down.
04:14 PM BST
7km to go
Thankfully the crowds are being respectful, allowing Felix Gall and Simon Yates to claw their way up this cruellest of climbs where the gradients are horrible and the air is at its thinnest. Tadej Pogacar has lost four minutes on Jonas Vingegaard.
04:12 PM BST
7.5km to go
Vingegaard has clear road ahead of him, 1min 50 off the pace of stage leader Felix Gall. Simon Yates, meanwhile, is just 19sec behind Gall. Breathtaking stuff.
04:10 PM BST
8.4km to go
Jonas Vingegaard is delayed by a race vehicle, it may have been Christian Prudhomme’s red Skoda. That may end his hopes of the stage win, but will have little affect on the eventual outcome of the Tour de France: barring disaster,m Vingegaard will be winning a second successive title in Paris on Sunday.
04:09 PM BST
9km to go
Felix Gall is in desperate search for oxygen, the Austrian is 2km from the summit of the col de la Loze. Simon Yates is closing in on the Ag2r rider having dropped Rafal Majka.
04:04 PM BST
10km to go
Tadej Pogacar is being cheered along, but he has lost 2min 30sec to race leader Jonas Vingegaard here today. This is painful viewing for fans of the Slovenian.
04:02 PM BST
10.5km to go
Felix Gall is struggling, the Austrian almost coming to a standstill as he gasps desperately for air. By contrast, Jonas Vingegaard is looking like he is out for a Sunday spin, albeit a rather hilly and hot one.
04:01 PM BST
11km to go
Jonas Vingegaard is on his lonesome now. He is off in pursuit of the stage win, while killing off the hopes of the rest of the peloton. This is an yet another unworldly performance. And all at high altitude.
03:59 PM BST
11.5km to go
Carlos Rodríguez is dropped by the maillot jaune, who now has team-mates Tiesj Benoot and Sepp Kuss for company. Adam Yates, meanwhile, is hanging onto the coattails of that Jumbo-Visma trio which has 1min 10sec over Tadej Pogacar now.
03:57 PM BST
12km to go
Tadej Pogacar has lost around a minute on Jonas Vingegaard, the defending Tour de France champion who is, surely, riding to a second successive yellow jersey here today.
03:55 PM BST
12.5km to go
Felix Gall has gone solo. The Austrian climber has gained around 30sec on Simon Yates et al.
03:54 PM BST
13km to go
Adam Yates is on the wheel of Jonas Vingegaard, he’s not sitting up for team-mate Tadej Pogacar who has lost around 20sec. Will Yates be replacing Pogacar in second place, or can he fight his way back into contention?
03:52 PM BST
14.4km to go – Pogacar is dropped
Tadej Pogacar has been dropped. Marc Soler sits up, waiting for his team-mate. Pogacar’s jersey is flapping in the wind, he must be having a terrible day. Suffering in the heat. His Tour could be over. In fact, if he completely blows Carlos Rodríguez could leapfrog him to third spot on general classification.
03:50 PM BST
14.5km to go
Ben O’Connor has ridden himself to a standstill. His day is done. Chris Harper takes over on the front, while Michal Kwiatkowski puts himself on the front of the maillot jaune’s group on behalf of Carlos Rodríguez.
03:48 PM BST
15.1km to go
Ben O’Connor is burying himself on the front of the break, working for team-mate Felix Gall. The Aussie is grimacing, while sweat pours off his face. Two wheels back, Simon Yates ha shis jersey unzipped which may suggest he is struggling as the road pitsches up.
03:46 PM BST
16km to go
Dylan van Baarle has been dropped, meaning Jonas Vingegaard has just one team-mate, Sepp Kuss who happens to be one of the best mountain domestiques in the world, jor company. But remember, he also has satellite riders Tiesj Benoot and Wilco Kelderman in the breakaway.
03:44 PM BST
17km to go
Jack Haig’s day is done, the Aussie has peeled off the front of the breakaway which still leads by 2min 34sec. They are a shade over 10km from the summit and have a healthy lead, but with the steepest inclines to follow this could all change very quickly.
03:43 PM BST
18km to go
Tadej Pogacar remain glued to the wheel of Jonas Vingegaard. The UAE Team Emirates leader peers over his left shoulder where he has three loyal team-mates tucked in behind. He also ha satellite rider Rafal Majka up the road in the breakaway. Does he have the legs to launch an assault on the maillot jaune today?
03:40 PM BST
20km to go – 13km to summit
A slight drop in gradient on the col de la Loze for the breakaway, but such is the pace being set by Jack Haig it is doubtful any of these riders will notice that. Their lead over the maillot jaune’s group has dropped slightly, but only by a few seconds.
03:31 PM BST
24.5km to go
Simon Yates is bouncing around on his pedals, riding at fifth wheel in the break, off the right shoulder of Pello Bilbao. Lots of liquids being taken on. It is climbs like this, especially when ridden in these temperatures – around 30C now – where team-mates are worth their weight in gold. Yates, by the way, has team-mate Chris Harper for company. Presumably carrying Yates’ bidons and gels.
03:28 PM BST
25.5km to go
Pogacar is looking serious, no smiling for the cameras today from the great entertainer. This is the business end of the Tour de France, and the two-time winner will be smarting from yesterday’s chastening time trial. Jonathan Castroviejo, meanwhile, is the lone Ineos Grenadiers rider on the front of the maillot jaune’s group now.
03:26 PM BST
26.5km to go
Tadej Pogacar rises out of his saddle, bouncing around just off the shoulder of Jonas Vingegaard. The gap between the stage leaders and these two rivals has dropped ever so slightly to 2min 32sec. Wilco Kelderman and Tiesj Benoot remains in the leading group for Vingegaard, the former is a fine climber and could be a huge help to his boss should Pogacar launch an attack.
03:21 PM BST
28km to go
The breakaway has been splintered, while the Ineos Grenadiers-powered group sweeps its way up the climb, while scooping up and spitting out the remnants of that earlier break. Jack Haig replaces compatriot Ben O’Connor on the front of the breakaway, but starting to think those two Aussies may be getting bowled over later today once the maillot jaune’s group steps up the pace a little further still.
03:15 PM BST
30km to go
Julian Alaphilippe has been subsumed by the maillot jaune’s group, but the Frenchman may struggle to hold on such is the pace with which they are moving. Omar Fraile, the former Spanish national champion, is towing this group along while Michal Kwiatkowski makes sure Carlos Rodríguez is fed and watered on the approach to the business end of the stage.
03:11 PM BST
Col de la Loze: Profile of a beast
03:08 PM BST
33km to go
Ben O’Connor is back on the front of the breakaway, but there is an awful long way to go yet. The stage leaders are almost 26km from the summit of the col de la Loze and riders are dropping like flies. Julian Alaphilippe, Giulio Ciccone Alexey Lutsenko and Rigoberto Urán have all been shelled on the lower slopes of this behemoth of a climb. Suspect the stage winner will be coming from a very small and selective group.
03:04 PM BST
35km to go
Nathan Van Hooydonck has peeled off from the front of the maillot jaune’s group. The Belgian managed to give the TV cameras a little wave while his team-mates, who are surrounding trace leader Jonas Vingegaard, press on towards . . . well, who knows? Will Vingegaard be winning the queen stage, or will he take another huge step towards being crowned Tour champion for a second year in a row?
03:02 PM BST
Col de la Loze time . . .
02:58 PM BST
40km to go
Bora-Hansgrohe and Ineos Grenadiers are sharing the workload on the front of the maillot jaune’s group. But why are they riding so hard? I suspect they are doing their best to set a high pace and deter any attacks, in an effort to protect their respective leaders Jai Hindley and Carlos Rodríguez who started the day fifth and fourth on general classification.
02:52 PM BST
45km to go
Ben O’Connor, who arrived at the Tour de France hoping to challenge for the podium, is riding on the front of the breakaway. The Aussie peers over his shoulder, no doubt looking for Ag2r-Citroën team-mate Felix Gall who is looking to cement his top 10 place. The gap between the stage leaders and the maillot jaune’s group is holding at 3min 10sec.
02:46 PM BST
47.5km to go
Jonas Vingegaard is sat at third wheel on whatis a twisting and turning descent, which will be followed by the long arduous ascent of the hors catégorie Col de la Loze. Lots of noise from squeaking disc brakes. Thankfully the road surface looks fairly good, and it is dry too. Very dry.
02:42 PM BST
52.5km to go
Egan Bernal has hit the deck. The 2019 Tour de France champion lost his front wheel on a right hander. He was soon back on his feet and in the saddle.
02:41 PM BST
54km to go
Omar Fraile moved to the front of the main group, ahead of a small posse of Ineos Grenadiers team-mates. Moments later they are replaced by Jumbo-Visma. I think these injections in pace are being caused by teams fighting for position.
02:38 PM BST
55km to go
Mikkel Bjerg, Felix Grossschartner, Adam Yates and Matteo Trentin are all shepherding Tadej Pogacar along in the maillot jaune’s group, while the pace has increased in the breakaway. As a result, a number of riders are out the back.
02:32 PM BST
58.2km to go
The maillot jaune crests côte de Longefoy, 3min dead behind the breakaway. Wout van Aert is sharing the heavy lifting with Nathan Van Hooydonck, while team leader Jonas Vingegaard has Sepp Kuss and Dylan van Baarle for company.
02:28 PM BST
60km to go
Over the top of the côte de Longefoy goes the breakaway, and it is that man Giulio Ciccone who takes maximum points – five – available atop the category two climb. The Italian who is doing a grand old job in the mountains classification, extends his lead further still. The way this is going, I think the only man that can challenge the Lidl-Trek rider for the polka-dots will be Jonas Vingegaard.
02:24 PM BST
61.5km to go – 3.5km from the summit
Just hearing that David Gaudu, who has had a disappointing Tour de France thus far, is now in the breakaway. Others, however, are struggling. Dries Devenyns (Soudal-Quick Step) was just spotted labouring towards the rear of the group.
02:19 PM BST
63.5km to go – 3.5km from the summit
Jack Haig is out of his saddle, the Australian pulling along on the front of the breakaway. I’m assuming he is working today for team-mate Pello Bilbao who started the day seventh on general classification. The Basque, who won the first Tour de France stage win of his career last week, may be targeting a top five spot.
02:16 PM BST
64km to go
Adam Yates, who started the day third on general classification, dropped back to his team car a few moments ago. The Briton is clearly feeling the heat: he took two opened bidons from the car, before emptying the cool contents over his head in an attempt to bring down his temperature.
02:11 PM BST
Incoming climb . . .
02:08 PM BST
70km to go
Jumbo-Visma has three riders setting the pace on the front of the peloton, with Jonas Vingegaard sat further back in the bunch. The pace has dropped off a little, meaning the breakaway’s advantage has grown out to 2min 38sec.
02:02 PM BST
75km to go
Reports are coming in from the valley that leads into the penultimate climb of the day, the côte de Longefoy, and the mercury is rising. Apparently it is 37C which may favour race leader Jonas Vingegaard. Despite coming from Denmark, Vingegaard goes well in the heat, while Tadej Pogacar prefers cooler conditions.
01:56 PM BST
80km to go
Simon Yates, who is in the day’s big breakaway, was interviewed before today’s stage. In it, the Briton said today would be an ‘interesting day’ before saying he would prioritise a stage win over his eighth spot on general classification.
01:44 PM BST
90km to go
Descending on long sweeping roads, that look to be in fairly good nick, the breakaway has gained a bit of time on the maillot jaune’s group. The descent is not too steep, so the pace is relatively benign. Once the finally reach the bottom, the road will start rising again towards the côte de Longefoy. Despite having some big names in the breakaway, the fact that Jumbo-Visma has afforded them just 1min 45sec would suggest that Jonas Vingegaard fancies his chances this afternoon on what the the queen stage of this year’s Tour.
01:35 PM BST
99km to go
And he does it, Giulio Ciccone clipped off the front of the breakaway to extend his lead in the mountains classification, and tighten his grip on the maillot à pois.
01:33 PM BST
100km to go
The breakaway is just 1km from the summit of the Cormet de Roselend, where the smart money will be on Giulio Ciccone adding another 10 points to his tally and extending his lead in the mountains classification.
01:23 PM BST
That breakaway in full . . .
It is 34 riders strong: Julian Alaphilippe (Soudal-Quick Step), Tiesj Benoot (Jumbo-Visma), Pello Bilbao (Bahrain Victorious), Magnus Cort (EF Education-EasyPost), Rui Costa (Intermarché-Circus-Wanty), Clément Champoussin (Arkéa-Samsic), Giulio Ciccone (Lidl-Trek), Lawson Craddock (Jayco-Alula), Dries Devenyns (Soudal-Quick Step), Matthew Dinham (DSM-Firmenich), Felix Gall (Ag2r-Citroën), Jonas Gregaard (Uno-X), Simon Guglielmi (Arkéa-Samsic), Jack Haig (Bahrain Victorious), Tobias Halland Johannessen (Uno-X), Chris Harper (Jayco-Alula), Hugo Houle (Israel-Premier Tech), Wilco Kelderman (Jumbo-Visma), Stefan Küng (Groupama-FDJ), Alexey Lutsenko (Astana Qazaqstan), Valentin Madouas (Groupama-FDJ), Rafal Majka (UAE Team Emirates), Guillaume Martin (Cofidis), Gregor Mühlberger (Movistar), Krists Neilands (Israel-Premier Tech), Ben O’Connor (Ag2r-Citroën), Nans Peters (Ag2r-Citroën), Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ), Nick Schultz (Israel-Premier Tech), Mattias Skjelmose (Lidl-Trek), Marc Soler (UAE Team Emirates), Rigoberto Urán (EF Education-EasyPost), Kevin Vermaerke (DSM-Firmenich) and Simon Yates (Jayco-Alula). They lead by 1min 18sec.
01:15 PM BST
The German sprinter has packed.
01:05 PM BST
111km to go
Interesting to not that Jumbo-Visma has two riders – Wilco Kelderman and Tiesj Benoot – in the huge leading group on the road. Likewise, UAE Team Emirates also have a pair well positioned after Marc Soler managed to bridge over to join forces with Rafal Majka. In both instances, I am assuming they will be working as satellite riders this afternoon.
12:58 PM BST
113km to go
Dries Devenyns (Soudal-Quick Step), who will be retiring at the end of the season, and Jonas Gregaard (Uno-X) have added some firepower to the leading group, which comprises 12 riders now but I suspect will be doubling or tripling in size pretty soon. ‘Just’ 14km to go from the summit of the Cormet de Roselend.
12:56 PM BST
113.5km to go
Thibaut Pinot has managed to bridge over to the stage leaders. Further back, Jumbo-Visma continue to ride on the front, but are tightly monitoring the gap which is holding at around 1min 15sec.
12:54 PM BST
115km to go
Ben O’Connor (Ag2r-Citroën) and Chris Harper (Jayco-Alula) are the latest to get into the leading group on the road. There is a sizeable group, including Groupama-FDJ team-mates David Gaudu, Thibaut Pinot, Valentin Madouas and Stefan Küng in pursuit.
12:47 PM BST
116.6km to go
Jack Haig (Bahrain Victorious), Gregor Mühlberger (Movistar), Mattias Skjelmose (Lidl-Trek), Kevin Vermaerke (DSM-Firmenich) have bridged over to stage leaders Julian Alaphilippe, Giulio Ciccone and Krists Neilands. The septet of talent is onto the second categorised climb of the day, the category one Cormet de Roselend. Having scratched off 2.5km, the leading group is now 17.5km from its summit.
12:40 PM BST
119km to go
Julian Alaphilippe takes maximum points (20) at the intermediate sprint in Beaufort, but that will have little bearing on the competition that is being led by Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Deceuninck) – the sprinter who has won four stages.
12:39 PM BST
120km to go
Riders are flying off the front of the maillot jaune’s group, suggesting a slowing of pace. Julian Alaphilippe et al’s advantage grows out to 30sec as they approach the intermediate sprint.
12:35 PM BST
125km to go
Krists Neilands flexes his lower back as the Latvian, who crashed on a descent during Sunday’s stage, sits on the wheel of Giulio Ciccone. The leading trio – completed by Julian Alaphilippe – are working well together, but their advantage over Jonas Vingegaard and his busy bees is negligible: just 17sec.
12:28 PM BST
130km to go
Julian Alaphilippe is descending off the col des Saisies like a demon, the Frenchman is being pursued by Krists Neilands and Giulio Ciccone. The trio only lead the maillot jaune by a shade over 20sec, which would suggest Jumbo-Visma are in no mood to gift anybody anything here today. Seriously thinking that Jonas Vingegaard may actually be thinking of also winning the polka-dot jersey.
12:24 PM BST
137.4km to go
Over the top of the col des Saisies goes Giulio Ciccone where he adds another 10 points to his mountains classification tally and extend his lead in the competition.
12:21 PM BST
138km to go
Tiesj Benoot has taken over on the front, Jumbo-Visma team-mate Dylan van Baarle peeling off, with the Belgian rising out of his saddle. It looks as if he’s really going for this. As a result, quite a few riders in the peloton are struggling – including Benoot’s team-mates Wout van Aert and Christophe Laporte – while the breakaway’s advantage has dropped. Speaking of being dropped, Neilson Powless has been shelled out of the front group to hand the advantage to Giulio Ciccone in the battle for the mountains points in a short while.
12:14 PM BST
142km to go
Dylan van Baarle appears to be setting a fairly fierce temp on the front of the peloton. The breakaway now leads by just below 30sec, while at the other end of things Tom Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers) and Mikel Landa (Bahrain Victorious) are struggling to stay in contact. Jumbo-Visma are making this as hard as possible for their rivals, and UAE Team Emirates have, thus far, looked a little ragged.
12:08 PM BST
145km to go
Julian Alaphilippe (Soudal-Quick Step), Rigoberto Urán (EF Education-EasyPost), Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) and Simon Yates (Jayco-Alula) – along with around another 12 riders – have bridged over to Giulio Ciccone (Lidl-Trek), Neilson Powless (EF Education-EasyPost) and Jonas Gregaard (Uno-X) on the front of the race. The sizeable group has an advantage of 20sec, while further back Dutch champion Dylan van Baarle (Jumbo-Visma) is controlling the pace of the peloton.
12:01 PM BST
148km to go
Julian Alaphilippe (Soudal-Quick Step) has taken things up on the front of the peloton, the increase in pace leading to a huge reduction in the ‘breakaway’s lead. Perhaps of more importance, though: Tadej Pogacar crashed in the bunch a few minutes ago. It never rains, it pours! The UAE Team Emirates rider is back on his bike, surrounded by team-mates and back in the bunch as it inches up the first categorised climb of the day, the category one col des Saisies.
11:51 AM BST
153km to go
Luka Mezgec (Jayco-Alula), the Slovenian sprinter, has managed to get into the leading group – which has advantage of 35sec – along with Giulio Ciccone (Lidl-Trek), Neilson Powless (EF Education-EasyPost), Mads Pedersen (Lidl-Trek) and Jonas Gregaard (Uno-X). Some strong riders, but imagine this will not be the day’s breakaway.
11:48 AM BST
155km to go
A reasonably-sized gap has formed in the peloton, and Adam Yates (UAE Team Emirates), who started the day third on general classification, was caught out. Luckily for the Briton, though, the other group is not riding too fast at the moment and so he soon regained contact.
11:44 AM BST
158km to go
Harold Tejada (Astana Qazaqstan), Mads Pedersen (Lidl-Trek) and Quentin Pacher (Groupama-FDJ) all shunted themselves towards the front of the race, but the peloton is all back as one – albeit stretched out in a long, long line. Suspect tickets for the breakaway today will not be handed out too freely.
11:38 AM BST
163km to go
Magnus Cort (EF Education-EasyPost) has teamed up with Valentin Madouas (Groupama-FDJ), the pair clipping off up the road with an early move. A quintet of riders are in pursuit, but that could grow further still.
11:34 AM BST
And they are off . . .
Having pedalled through short and relatively short neutralised section, race director Christian Prudhomme has reached KM0 where he stood up out of the sunroof of his shiny red Skoda before dropping the flag to signify that stage 17 is under way. Unsurprisingly, Giulio Ciccone (Lidl-Trek) and Neilson Powless (EF Education-EasyPost) were both tucked in just behind Prudhomme’s car, as was French national champion Valentin Madouas (Groupama-FDJ).
11:21 AM BST
Stage 17 preview
Hello and welcome to our live rolling coverage from stage 17 at the Tour de France, the 166 kilometre run from Saint-Gervais Mont-Blanc to Courchevel.
Following yesterday’s time trial to Combloux, emphatically won by Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma), one suspects a punch-drunk Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) will have awoken this morning wondering what happened on Tuesday afternoon. Well, the two-time Tour winner got walloped by the defending champion with an out-of-this-world performance that may prove decisive. Losing 1min 38sec to a Vingegaard who, until yesterday, had been shadowing Pogacar pedal stroke for pedal stroke over the previous few days came as a huge shock to most observers. With a huge day in the mountains incoming, though, Pogacar has no time to wallow.
With four categorised climbs – the col des Saisies, Cormet de Roselend, côte de Longefoy and the col de la Loze – that features 5,400 metres in vertical elevation, this is not a stage for the faint-hearted. The final climb of the day, the hors catégorie col de la Loze (below) may have an average gradient of just 5%, but with sections that pitch up to 24% near the summit this could cause some serious damage. In addition to its 28.1km length, and punishing gradients near the pointy end of the climb, another factor that may prove decisive is its altitude: 2,304 metres above sea level. This is prime territory for Vingegaard who, on paper, prefers the longer and higher climbs, but Pogacar will be hurting and must, surely, attempt to crack his rival of he wants any chance of winning a third Tour.
Aside from the main protagonists, it could be a big days for those targeting the mountains classification, so I would not be surprised if Giulio Ciccone (Lidl-Trek) and Neilson Powless (EF Education-EasyPost) attempt to get into a breakaway.
Whatever happens, Telegraph Sport will be here to guide you through all of the key moments, from start to finish. Racing starts at 11.30am (BST).
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