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  1. Poland's Rafal Majka wins stage 17
  2. Vincenzo Nibali finishes third to extend GC lead
  3. Italian Giovanni Visconti takes second spot

Live Reporting

By Lawrence Barretto

All times stated are UK

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That's all from me, folks. Thanks for your company, as ever. It's been a blast.

Here's the stage report, including analysis from Magnus Backstedt.

Chris Bevan is in the saddle tomorrow so until next time, it's good afternoon from me.

Tomorrow - stage 18

Tour de France stage 18 profile
Tour de France

Tomorrow, stage 18 runs 145.5km from Pau to Haytacam. "The final battle in the mountains takes in the iconic Col du Tourmalet before the final showdown on Hautacam," says Team Sky's Geraint Thomas.

"Expect Vincenzo Nibali to be all guns blazing."

Tinkoff-Saxo chief Olaf Tinkoff on ITV4: "I'm very happy with my guys, we proved to the world that we are the strongest team. If there were some sceptics, we proved them wrong today. We are the strongest team. It was a sad about Alberto, but we have a good spirit. I'm very happy for my boys."

Three French riders - Thibaut Pinot, Jean-Christophe Peraud and Romain Bardet - retain their places in the top five.

With the way they're riding in the mountains, there's every chance two of them could make it onto the podium in Paris, behind Vincenzo Nibali, who looks untouchable at the top.

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Small Man Peaky: "Exciting young French, Polish and Colombian riders. The future of cycling is bright. The future of British cycling. Not so much."

It's stage winner Rafal Majka's turn to take to the podium, the Pole receiving his polka dot jersey after an sensational ride on the ascents today.


Yellow Jersey


Vincenzo Nibali

Italian Vincenzo Nibali, who is quite frankly dominating this year's Tour, climbs aboard the podium to receive the yellow jersey. Tomorrow will be the 15th day he'll be in yellow. It's been a sensational ride.

I reported that the gruppetto had crossed the line, but that was a mistake. They're still out there. Only 61 riders, of the 167 which started, have crossed the finish line.

Overall standings

Yellow Jersey


1) Vincenzo Nibali (Ita/Astana) 76hrs 41mins 28secs

2) Alejandro Valverde (Spa/Movistar) +5mins 26secs

3) Thibaut Pinot (Fra/ +6mins 00secs

4) Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra/AG2R) +6mins 08secs

5) Romain Bardet (Fra/AG2R) +7mins 34secs

6) Tejay van Garderen (US/BMC Racing) +10mins 19secs

Good effort from the gruppetto which crosses the line now, around 15 minutes behind the winner. That should be within the time limit so that they can fight another day.

Rafal Majka

"Thank you for my team," says stage 17 winner Rafal Majka on ITV4. "Also Nicolas [Roche] did a great job today. I'm really happy to go in the front, pass everybody and win the stage. Yesterday I went easy, now I have the polka dot jersey and I want to keep it until Paris."

Stage 17 result

1) Rafal Majka (Tinkoff) 3hrs 35mins 23secs

2) Giovanni Visconti (Movistar) +29secs

3) Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) +46secs

4) Jean-Christophe Peraud (AG2R) +same time

5) Alessandro De Marchi (Cannondale) +49secs

Magnus Backstedt

Swedish cyclist on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

"The Tinkoff-Saxo team is filled with confidence now after Michael Rogers' win on Tuesday and they are getting the confidence and form. Without Alberto Contador this is the next best result they could have hoped for and once they got the first win under their belt the floodgates appear to be opening for more stage wins."

Polkadot Jersey


Rafal Majka

That's Rafal Majka's second stage victory of his debut Tour de France after he triumphed in stage 14. He leads the polka dot jersey standings with 149 points, 31 clear of Vincenzo Nibali with Joaquim Rodriguez six further back.

Yellow Jersey


Vincenzo Nibali extends his lead in the general classification to five minutes and 26 seconds over Alejandro Valverde, with Thibaut Pinot third, 34 seconds further back.

Yellow Jersey


It's an impressive ride from yellow jersey leader Vincenzo Nibali who crosses the line third, just 43 seconds behind Majka.


Tinkoff-Saxo rider Rafal Majka of Poland wins stage 17 of the Tour de France.

Vincenzo Nibali is now just one minute behind stage leader Rafal Majka and has five other riders, including 2010 Tour winner Frank Schleck, for company. But there are less than 2km to go.

Rafal Majka makes a move, launching an attack on the outright lead on this stage and Giovanni Visconti can't respond. What a ride this is from the polka dot jersey holder.

Polkadot Jersey


Rafal Majka, who holds the polka dot jersey, has caught leader Giovanni Visconti. Both are grimacing as they work together as the edge towards the summit.

They have a lead of one minute and 37 seconds over race leader Vincenzo Nibali and Jean-Christophe Peraud. Just 3.8km to go.

Yellow Jersey


With 5km to go, yellow jersey leader Vincenzo Nibali puts the hammer down and ups the pace. Within a couple of minutes, he slashes the gap to the leader from two minutes to one minute 39 seconds.

Lots of attacks on the mountain right now as Rafal Majka goes it along, after being dragged along by team-mate Nicolas Roche. He wants to hold on to the polka dot jersey.

Meanwhile, there's been an attack from Thibaut Pinot, who lies third overall, in the yellow jersey group and race leader Vincenzo Nibali.

However, Alejandro Valverde, who lies second in the general classification, can't respond and gets dropped.

Giovanni Visconti goes it alone, while Nicolas Roche drops back into a group which features polka dot jersey holder Rafal Majka, who himself has dropped rival Joaquim Rodriguez.

Magnus Backstedt

Swedish cyclist on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

"Vincenzo Nibali isn't really under any pressure, he's got a team-mate with him as a safety net just in case he has any technical problems."

Yellow Jersey


Race leader Vincenzo Nibali is in a group two minutes away from the leaders with 7.6km to go. The Italian also has second-placed Alejandro Valverde and third-placed Thibaut Pinot for company.

Nicolas Roche
Getty Images

Nicolas Roche (pictured) and Giovanni Visconti have gone clear, shaking off the challenge of Amael Moinard and Pierre Rolland. The chasing group, which features Joaquim Rodriguez, is 37 seconds further back.

We're approaching the bottom of the final climb - the Saint-Lary - Pla d'Adet, which has gradients of 10% in the opening few kilometres. Expect the field to spread out as riders attack.

Frenchman Romain Bardet has attacked on the descent, with the six-man yellow jersey group, which has broken free of the peloton, 23 seconds behind.

A 14-man lead group has a one minute and 53 second lead.

Col de Val Louron result

Polkadot Jersey


1) Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) - 10 points

2) Rafal Majka (Tinkoff-Saxo) - 8

3) Jon Izaguirre (Movistar) - 6

Polkadot Jersey


Joaquim Rodriguez injects a burst of speed to go clear of the field and take the maximum King of the Mountain points to further extend his lead at the top of the standings. It looks like he'll be wearing the polka dot jersey tomorrow.

Good effort from Vasil Kiryienka but his time at top is over. The group, led by Nicolas Roche, gobbles him up just before the summit. Kiryienka can only watch on as all 13 riders pass him.

Magnus Backstedt

Swedish cyclist on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

"I think Kiriyienka is starting to struggle now, and the lead he has now will not be good enough as he hits the penultimate climb. It is a bit of a worrying moment when the cars come in around you because it tells you that the chasing riders are getting closer to you."

Nicolas Roche has moved to the front of the chasing group and is dragging it along. The result is that the gap to leader Vasil Kiryienka is down to 43 seconds and closing.

Magnus Backstedt

Swedish cyclist on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

"I don't think the gap is enough for Vasil Kiriyienka. Unfortunately for him the tough climb coming up and then the one to the finish will be too much for him."

Vasil Kiryienka is grimacing as he pushes on up the Col de Val Louron-Azet. Is his time alone at the front coming to an end? He still retains a lead of one minute over the chasing group and three minutes 14 over the peloton. Just over 26km remain.

Green Jersey


Sprinters green jersey holder Peter Sagan has dropped out of the peloton and is in the gruppetto, which has the sole aim of surviving the mountains to get to the finish within the time limit.

As the riders continue their progress up the Col de Val Louron-Azet, the third climb of the day, Vasil Kiryienka sees his lead cut down to one minute.

The chasing group has reduced to 16, with the peloton three minutes and 30 seconds further back.


Back in the day, riders used metal bidons (water bottles) and stopped at village fountains to refill them. Nowadays, they've got someone to do it for them.

Called a soigneur, it's their job to fill up those hundreds of bottles a day and pack the musettes. He or she will also makes sure that the riders sleep, eat and drink well and also gives the riders their daily massages.

Vasil Kiryienka

Vasil Kiryienka has form in breakaways. The Team Sky rider bolted away from the pack in stage 18 of last year's Vuelta a Espana at the uphill finish of Pena Cabarga, riding the last 40km solo.

He also has two stage wins on the Giro d'Italia. Can he complete the set today with a maiden stage win in the Tour?

Vasil Kiryienka's lead is down to one minute and 20 seconds over a group of 17 - now including Nicolas Roche and Jesus Herrada Lopez, who had previously made a break for it to get the points at the summit before dropping back.