Nairo Quintana wins 18th stage, Julian Alaphilippe defends Yellow in Tour de France
Jul 25 2019 11:08 pm CET

Nairo Quintana wins 18th stage, Julian Alaphilippe defends Yellow in Tour de France
Nairo Quintana wins 18th stage, Julian Alaphilippe defends Yellow in Tour de France
Photo of Nairo Quintana

Movistar's Nairo Quintana has taken the victory of the 18th stage of the Tour de France. The Colombian crossed the finish line by himself while behind Julian Alaphilippe managed to save his GC position on the last descent.

The first stage in the Alps was 208 kilometres long between Embrun and Valloire over a mountainous profile that included the hors-category climbs of the Col d'Izoard and the Col du Galibier. A group of 34 riders formed the breakaway of the day and included riders like Romain Bardet, Nairo Quintana, Michael Woods, Damiano Caruso, Julien Bernard, Greg Van Avermaet, Tim Wellens and Alexey Lutsenko.

The front group managed to build a gap of more than eight minutes but this advantage was reduced as the climbs passed. The first ascent managed to make the front group smaller until only eleven riders remained.

With 26 kilometres to go and as the riders climbed the Galibier, Quintana attacked and built a gap with the rest, and was soon followed by Bardet and Lutsenko. At the ascent of the Galibier where Dylan van Baarle finished his work at the front of the peloton, Egan Bernal changed the pace and was not followed by any of the other favourites.

Quintana reached the summit by himself, one minute and 45 seconds ahead of Bardet while Bernal had a gap of almost a minute with the rest of the favourites. Shortly after, Geraint Thomas also made a move and the rest of the favourites followed but Julian Alaphilippe was seen struggling behind.

The next change of pace came from the legs of Thibaut Pinot and it was the one that dropped Alaphilippe. The Frenchman of Groupama-FDJ took the rest of the favourites back to Thomas while Bernal kept riding ahead of them and the holder of the Yellow Jersey far behind.

The Frenchman of Deceuninck-Quick-Step caught the Thomas group on the descent and even went ahead of them to try to earn some more time but at the end didn't manage to get away. Quintana arrived to the end by himself, one minute and 35 seconds ahead of Romain Bardet, while Bernal crossed the finish line four minutes and 46 seconds behind the Colombian. The rest of the favourites did so at five minutes and 18 seconds from the winner.

Alaphilippe remains on top of the General Classification and Bernal climbs to the second position of the overall standings.




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