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Summary

  1. Stage 17: Digne-les-Bains - Pra Loup, 161km
  2. Simon Geschke wins stage
  3. GC contender Van Garderen retires
  4. Froome keeps lead of 3mins 10secs

Live Reporting

By Chris Osborne

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Until tomorrow then

Stage 18
Le Tour

A first-time stage winner. A GC contender retiring. Contador and Pinot crashing. A sprint between yellow jersey rivals.

It was a pretty straightforward day overall.

Tomorrow should be a similar affair on the 186.5km from Gap to Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne. Although there is no climb finish, so any attacks from Quintana will have to come early.

"This should be a day for the breakaway to succeed," says Geraint Thomas in our stage preview.  

Stay on the BBC Sport website for more reaction and the BeSpoke podcast, but join me again tomorrow, when we'll do it all over.

I came as a helper for john but knew I could go for my own chances and today was that day. I didn't feel great this morning. I was going with the flow and suddenly I was in a bigger group and thought i'd give it a try. I hope Germany is proud.

Simon Geschke on ITV4

It's raining

The stragglers cross the line in the nick of time. The heavens have opened.

"Quintana is still pushing me and testing me. In that last km he was pushing on to see if i could respond. I'm feeling alright and just hoping to stay on my bike the next few days."

Chris Froome on ITV4

Jersey holders after stage 17

Yellow - Chris Froome

Green - Peter Sagan

Team - Movistar

Polka dot - Chris Froome (worn by second-placed Joaquim Rodriguez)

White (young rider) - Nairo Quintana

I've got my climbing legs back but it was disappointing not to be in the front group. Alberto Contador crashed in front of me. I think he maybe hit a rock or something like that - but it can change the whole dynamic of the race.

Richie Porte on ITV4

Handshake

After their sprint to the line, Nauro Quintana made a point of going over to Chris Froome to shake the Briton's hand. Is that the Colombian suggesting the yellow jersey race is over, or just a signof respect?

Wiggo makes history

Since you've mentioned Wiggo, Matt, it only seems to fair to look back at this...

3 years ago today Sir Bradley #Wiggins became the first British cyclist to win the #tourdefrance. #waybackwednesday

3 years ago today Sir Bradley #Wiggins became the first British cyclist to win the #tourdefrance. #waybackwednesday

Three years ago today, boom! #AllezTeamSky #VaVaFroome #AllezWiggo #TDF2015
Three years ago today, boom! #AllezTeamSky #VaVaFroome #AllezWiggo #TDF2015
Three years ago today, boom! #AllezTeamSky #VaVaFroome #AllezWiggo #TDF2015
Three years ago today, boom! #AllezTeamSky #VaVaFroome #AllezWiggo #TDF2015

Three years ago today, boom! #AllezTeamSky #VaVaFroome #AllezWiggo #TDF2015

Get Involved

#bbccycling

Ben Sutton:  Obv want Froome to win the GC but actually punched the air when I saw the update about G. What a ride from the Welshman

Matt Taggart : The last former track cyclist finishing 4th in the TdF, didn't he do rather well afterwards?

I didn't feel super but I managed to hang in there. For me it's decent and for Froome even better. At one point we thought about going for the stage but thought 'hold on'. The team is strong and we're communicating really well. When you look at the GC, Nibali is not a major threat. but when it comes to the final climb he just has to watch Nairo or Valverde.

Geraint Thomas on ITV4

Yellow jersey

Confirmation that Chris Froome's lead stays at 3mins 10secs. Geraint Thomas, aided by Tejay van Garderen's retirement and Alberto Contador's late fall, is up to fourth. The Welshman is becoming the story of the Tour.

GC
Le Tour

Rob Hayles

Former GB cyclist

"Froome was completely outnumbered in that final run-in. Movistar did the best they could under the circumstances but there wasn't enough road to make the time up. They wre unasble to crack Froome. I'm sure we will see similar things to this over the next few days."

Thomas fourth

Well, it wasn't only enough to keep him sixth. Geraint Thomas has moved up to fourth in the GC we are hearing.

Geraint Thomas
AP

Granite Thomas

And there's the man made of stone, Geraint 'granite' Thomas. He's on his tod and gritting his teeth like a champion. It will be a few seconds lost but should be enough to keep him sixth in the GC.

Yellow jersey

Nairo Quintana pips Chris Froome to the line, but they will have the same time, and the yellow jersey gap stays as it was. Vincenzo Nibali is over now and will have lost a few seconds.

Quintana v Froome

Quintana comes off the back of the group, but guess who is with him. Quintana looks to his right and is almost bewildered to see the Sky man with him. They are in a sprint finish..

Quintana and Froome make a move
@letour

A rip in the shorts of Alberto Contador confirms his mechanical was a result of a fall.

Mathias Frank has finished fifth on the stage. He should be a big mover in the GC, and was about seven minutes behind Froome at the start of the day.

Froome holding on

Chris Froome is absolutely unshakable. Nairo Quintana goes, Froome gets him. Vincenzo Nibali goes, Froome gets him. Alejandro Valverde considers it, but knows that Froome would probably get him.

Alberto Contador is about two minutes off the yellow jersey group after his mechanical.

Now that's over, we can turn our attention to the GC. Meanwhile, Thibaut Pinot has finished.

Tour de France
Reuters

Geschke wins stage 17

A wonderful ride and a wonderful beard. The Giant rider Simon Geschke nails the biggest win of his career by winning stage 17. What a grin that is.

Andrew Talansky is over 30 seconds later.

Simon Geschke wins
@letour

Movistar get numbers

Now, this could get spicy. Movistar riders Nairo Quintana and Alejandro Valverde have been joined by Adriano Malori and Jose Herrada in that group with Froome and Nibali. Can they make those numbers work?

Geschke set to win stage

Simon Geschke has 1.5km to hold on - Andrew Talansky has the gap down to about 40 seconds, but is slowing.

Yellow jersey

Froome, Valverde, Nibali and Quintana are bunched together. This is what you pay your admission fee for. Can any of them shrug off the Team Sky GC leader on the final ascent?

Chris Froome
AP

Matt Slater

BBC Sport

"We are hitting warp speed, folks! The descent of the Col d'Allos is not an opportunity to get your breath back, it is a physical and mental challenge all of its own. The final ascent to Pra Loup could even be a relief.

"Thibaut Pinot's descending issues are well documented and he is seeing a chance of victory disappear as fast as the trees that are flashing by his ears.

"But they are all on the edge here and as Alberto Contador has just discovered, even good descenders get it wrong sometimes.

"And that is another reason to commend Chris Froome on what has been a fine all-round ride. So far."

Race to Pa Loup

The final ascent to the finish, and Simon Geschke has Andrew Talansky in pursuit. But the gap is 59secs with 4km to go - you'd expect the Germasn to hold on.

A look at Geschke's (TGA) speed up col d'Allos. #TDF2015 #TDFdata. Riders are now descending.

A look at Geschke's (TGA) speed up col d'Allos. #TDF2015 #TDFdata. Riders are now descending.

Geschke wobbles

The thin mountain air seems to be playing havoc with the riders. Simon Geschke, who leads by almost two minutes with 7km remaining, almost flicks into his own support car. Bonkers.

Vincenzo Nibali has made a break on the descent. Chris Froome has gone with him but has no team-mates. Alejandro Valverde is there too. 

Vincenzo Nibali
Getty Images

I suggest you get any toilet breaks, tea-making and breathing done now. This is about to get zesty.

Contador crisis

Alberto Contador looks to have had a mechanical and there's a bunch of Tinkoff-Saxo riders trying to help him out.

Thibaut Pinot's wobble seems to have addled his brain. He's been sucked in by Andrew Talansky and the American passes with ease.

Pinot has had a nightmare, but to be fair, he was a few inches from falling off a mountain a few moments ago.

Thibaut Pinot crashes
@letour

Rob Hayles

Former GB cyclist

 "Richie Porte has come back right at the perfect time. This will play on the other rider's minds. They thought they had lost Team Sky riders and then there's Porte. "

Team Sky are either tactical geniuses or the jammiest team in the world. Nairo Quintana's break is stopped short as he finds Richie Porte up the road, who had dropped off the chase group and was able to hold back the Colombian to ensure Chris Froome could stick.

Quintana attacks

Here we go, Nairo's on the move...

Nairo Quintana
Getty Images

Pinot was straight up and back on the bike and stays second. A terrifying slip though, with just a small wooden plank on the edge of the road the defence between Pinot and a drop down the mountain.

Ouch!

Oh my days, Thibaut Pinot, what are you doing? He's on the descent, hits a left-hand turn, and the wheels just kink below him and he hits the tarmac.

Yellow jersey

In that peloton it's Astana who are dragging the group along. Vincenzo Nibali is showing a turn of pace that has been missing so far on the Tour. The yellow jersey of Chris Froome bobs around just behind them, but Geraint Thomas looks like he might be slipping off the back. This is real leg-killing stuff up the Col d'Allos.

Chris Froome is followed closely by Vincenzo Nibali
AP