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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

  1. Until tomorrow then

    Stage 18

    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.

  2. Post update

    Quote Message: 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. from Simon Geschke on ITV4
    Simon Geschke on ITV4
  3. It's raining

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

  4. Post update

    Quote Message: "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." from Chris Froome on ITV4
    Chris Froome on ITV4
  5. 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

  6. Post update

    That beard. It's absolutely pristine.

  7. Post update

    Quote Message: 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. from Richie Porte on ITV4
    Richie Porte on ITV4
  8. 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?

  9. Wiggo makes history

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

  10. 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?

  11. Post update

    Quote Message: 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. from Geraint Thomas on ITV4
    Geraint Thomas on ITV4
  12. 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
  13. Post update

    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."

  14. 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
  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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
  18. Post update

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

  19. Post update

    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.

  20. 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.

  21. Post update

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

  22. Post update

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

    Tour de France
  23. 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
  24. 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?

  25. 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.

  26. 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
  27. Post update

    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."

  28. 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.

  29. Post update

  30. 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.

  31. Post update

    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
  32. Post update

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

  33. Contador crisis

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

  34. Post update

    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
  35. Post update

    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. "

  36. Post update

    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.

  37. Quintana attacks

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

    Nairo Quintana
  38. Post update

    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.

  39. 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.

  40. 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
  41. First over Col d'Allos

    Simon Geschke is the first to hit the descent on the other side of the Col d'Allos, with 22km to go. Things could get interesting when the yellow jersey group reach this point - they're 11 minutes behind.

    Simon Geschke
  42. French favourite?

    The French have been deprived of a home hero so far in this Tour - which some are saying is the reason for Chris Froome getting so much stick from the French press.

    Regardless, today could be the day for those whose allegiance lies with the tricolor of France, as Thibaut Pinot is trying to close the gap on Simon Geschke. 

  43. Post update

    Matt Slater

    BBC Sport

    "The race has calmed down a bit since Van Garderen's emotional exit and we are now in a bit of a holding pattern as the riders start the very long ascent up the Col d'Allos.

    "A first-category climb, it's a 14km slog to 2,250m. The first half of it is not particularly steep but from halfway up it gets harder.

    "But the Col d'Allos' real challenge is probably on the other side. The descent is notorious and it is telling that the race organisers put in place special measures today for the convoy of journalists, officials, VIPs and other vehicles in the race convoy - most of them were diverted off the descent to make sure the way is clear for the riders.

    "Oh, the clouds are coming in at the moment, so it could be wet."

  44. Your cycling nosh

    #bbccycling

    You've gotta earn it - but what's your favourite cycling food? Use #bbccycling to tell us

  45. Pinot pressing

    Thibaut Pinot has decided it's time to get going and he's stormed up towards Yates and Kruijswijk. This is what we expected from the Frenchman earlier in the Tour - he has designs on a stage win.

  46. Post update

    Teklehaimanot is back in the main chase group, which TV are calling the Thibaut Pinot group, mainly because the Frenchman is in it. Now Britain's Adam Yates is pursuing Simon Geschke with Steven Kruijswijk alongside him - they're two minutes back.

    Teklehaimanot
  47. Your cycling nosh

    #bbccycling

    I'm a massive fan of food in the shape of objects. This is a winner.

    What food do you treat yourself on a ride? Use #bbccycling to get involved

  48. Kwiatkowski retires

    Michal Kwiatkowski has retired. The world champion also announced this morning he will be leaving Etixx-Quick Step. So that's two departures in one day for the Pole.

  49. Post update

    There are only 35km remaining, but they're a tough 35km. Chris Froome, Nairo Quintana, Alejandro Valverde, Vincenzo Nibali and Alberto Contador are 10 minutes off the front. When do they make a move?

    Chris Froome
  50. Post update

    BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra

    You can now join Simon Brotherton and Rob Hayles by listening to BBC Radio 5 live sports extra - you could also click the Live Coverage tab at the top of this page.

  51. Post update

    Daniel Teklehaimanot is doing his bit to get a few column inches for MTN-Qhubeka. The Eritrean's South African team are the first African team in the Tour de France, and he's out in second on the stage and is the one pursuing leader Simon Geschke.

  52. Your cycling nosh

    Food is life's best motivator. What are favourite treats on rides? Use #bbccycling to tell us

  53. Post update

    Matt Slater

    BBC Sport

    "Nothing like a gentle start after a rest day, is there? Not that the riders would know, as they did not get one.

    "First cat-three climb - one of three mountain passes on the menu today - and boof, Nairo Quintana is off, stretching everybody's legs and sending third-placed Tejay van Gardenen to the medical car at the back of the peloton.

    "An hour or so of very pained pedalling later, the American had climbed off and Quintana's team-mate Alejandro Valverde was up to third.

    "TVG, as he's affectionately known, has been struggling with illness - cruel timing for a decent bloke."

  54. Post update

    It's all a bit all over the place right now. Jose Herrada Lopez and Kristijan Durasek have left the lead group to pursue Geschke. There are two groups about a minute behind respectively, and then the yellow jersey bunch are seven minutes off the front. No change to the GC.

    There are 40km remaining - will Quintana, Valverde, Contador or Nibali make a move as we start to go up the Col d'Allos.

  55. Post update

  56. Post update

  57. Geschke goes for it

    We have a chancer ladies and gents. Simon Geschke has put 30 seconds between himself and the lead group. The German's dad Jurgen is a two-time Olympic medalist.

  58. Granite Thomas

    Poll results

    Earlier we asked you whether Geraint Thomas (who I've renamed Granite Thomas) could be a team leader. The result is pretty emphatic.

    92% of you said yes, 8% said no.

    Somebody get a team cap on that likeable Welshman.

  59. Your cycling nosh

    #bbccycling

    The food on a ride is almost as important as the ride itself. What are you favoutrite biking eats Use #bbccycling to join in

  60. Green jersey

    Peter Sagan could almost seal the green jersey if he wins this intermediate sprint at the foot of the Col d'Allos.

    But he's pipped by Benoit Vaugrenard in first and John Degenkolb. No matter, Sagan has a 104-point cushion ahead of Andre Greipel on the points leaderboard.

  61. Tweet us via #bbccycling

    Stephen Shaw: My heart's breaking watching the images of

    Gregg Goull: Sad to see Van Garderen having to pull out the race - had performed far beyond most people's expectations so far

  62. As it stands

    We have 53km remaining. The lead group, all 28 of them, are all back together. Britain's Adam Yates is there. As are Team Sky riders Richie Porte and Nicholas Roche. Two minutes and 21 seconds behind them is a set of five, including Jan Barta and Michael Rogers. Then there's the yellow jersey group, almost four minutes off the front.  

  63. Sam Bennett retires

    Bora-Argon rider Sam Bennett has retired. The Irishman was last in the GC.

  64. Post update

    Serge Pauwels (MTN - Qhubeka), Kristijan Durasek (Lampre-Merida) and Jose Herrada Lopez (Movistar) are the three men leading the race with 65km remaining. They are whizzing down the descent of Col de la Colle-Saint-Michel. Green jersey man Peter Sagan is in the chasing pack.

    Peter Sagan
  65. Your cycling nosh

    Get Involved

    How do you treat yourself on a ride? Tell us about your cycling food using #bbccycling

  66. No escape

    Team Sky and Chris Froome look very relaxed about all these attempted breaks from the peloton, as the summit of Col de la Colle-Saint-Michel looms. Michael Rogers has five with him, but none are GC threats. There's been action up the road too, with three riders pulling away from the lead group. The yellow jersey group is three minutes back.

  67. Van Garderen retires

  68. Post update

    Hmmm, well it looked like he might give it another go, with team-mate Michael Rogers pulling away from the yellow jersey group, but only Movistar's Adriano Malori has gone with him.

    They're testing the nerves of Chris Froome...

  69. Van Garderen out

    It seemed like only a matter of time, but Tejay van Garderen has called it a day. It was getting painful to watch. But it's such a shame for the American, who was up in third in the GC and had far surpassed expectations in this year's Tour.

    Meanwhile, Contador is at it again...

  70. How it stands

    This is pretty enthralling. We still have 28 riders, including the unstoppable Peter Sagan, nine minutes in front. Contador has been reined in, but the move has caught out a few in the peloton, with poor old Tejay van Garderen dropped once again after working so hard to get back among the group. He is apparently sick and looks like he's cycling through treacle.

  71. Contador on the move

    This is what we like to see. Today could be absolutely manic.

    Alberto Contador has gone clear of the peloton on the climb up the category-two Col de la Colle-Saint-Michel, and Tinkoff-Saxo team-mate Michael Rogers has gone with him. This is a real show of intent from Contador, who is fifth in the GC.

    Alberto Contador
  72. BeSpoke podcast

    If you;re able to sneak your headphones on while at the office, or need something to listen to on the train home, can I suggest downloading the BeSpoke podcast, which was recorded at the end of yesterday's rest day.

  73. Van Garderen returns

    It seems the call of nature has come to the rescue of Tejay van Garderen. Many of the yellow jersey group have relieved themselves at the side of the road and before you know it, Van Garderen has made up a three-minute gap and is back in the peloton. Well done sir.

  74. Your cycling nosh

    Get Involved

    What are your favourite food stop offs on a cycle? Use #bbccycling to tell us

  75. Quintana support?

    On Brad's question re Nairo Quintana there, the next three days will hold the answer. There are three Movistar riders in the lead group currently - let's see how well they stick around for Quintana's inevitable push later on today.

  76. Tweet us via #bbccycling

    Matt Salisbury: Shame if today marks the end of Van Garderen - arguably one of most impressive rides compared to pre-event expectations

    Brad Gibson: #NairoQuintana isn't getting deserved credit as #movistar doesn't have a strong lead out team in mountains. You agree?

  77. 90km to go

    The GC contenders remain in the peloton, 2mins and 21secs off the lead group of about 28 riders. Chris Froome's Team Sky team-mates Richie Porte and Nicholas Roche are in that bunch out front.

    Tejay van Garderen is hemorrhaging time at the back - he's more than three minutes off the peloton. 

  78. Your cycling nosh

    Get Involved

    Tell us what you eat on your rides, before or after... use #bbccycling

  79. Westra down, Haas out

    Lieuwe Westra of Astana has clipped a wheel and takes a spill. He's back up though. Meanwhile, Cannondale's Nathan Haas has pulled out of the race.

  80. Van Garderen sick

    BMC directeur sportif Yvon Ledanois has confirmed that Tejay van Garderen is poorly, which will explain why he is struggling in the last group. It remains to be seen whether he will be able to last out the stage.

  81. Your cycling nosh

    Get Involved #bbccycling

    What are your favourite eats during, before or after a ride? Use #bbccycling to tell us

  82. All change

    There's been as bit of swapsies out front. The GC contenders are back in the peloton - Chris Froome included - while points leader Peter Sagan is with about 27 other riders out front.

    62km down, 99km to go.

  83. Tweet us via #bbccycling

    Andrew Harvey: Crazy for the race to be this animated so early on! If this continues, we're in for some afternoon

    Tovu: The #bbccycling feed seem to be having a field day with Tejay struggling. Literally the only time they've mentioned him in two weeks

    I mention Tejay all the time. Mainly because Tejay is just so much fun to say and write.

  84. Froome and co move

    Here we go, business is picking up early. Thirty or so riders have pulled away, with Chris Froome, Nairo Quintana, Venconzo Nibali and Alberto Contador among them.

    Peter Sagan and Joaquim Rodriguez are in the peloton, while Tejay van Garderen is floundering behind them.

    Nairo Quintana and Venconzo Nibali
  85. Post update

  86. Cycling nosh

    Tweet us via #bbccycling

    Breakfast

    One of the most important things about a rest day, I assume, is eating the right things. And as we know, no good cycle ride is complete without a stop off for food.

    So whether it's a coffee and a croissant, a picnic in the Pyrenees or an ice cream on the coast, tell us about your favourite cycle food and add a picture if you have one. Use #bbccycling on Twitter.

  87. Van Garderen struggling

    You may recall I mentioned a group of stragglers off the back of the peloton. Well, American Tejay van Garderen, who is third in the GC standings, is in that bunch, about a minute or so off the pace.

    The peloton has completed the first descent of the day and Van Garderen will need to get back in the mix to preserve his podium place.

    Van Garderen
  88. So many numbers

    So, the lens has been firmly placed on Chris Froome after a French TV station gave air time to an independent expert who produced some startling figures on Froome's performance

    Those numbers were based on the final 15km climb at La Pierre-Saint-Martin on 14 July, which saw Froome launch a devastating attack with 6.4km to go.

    Team Sky have since produced their own figures - which focus on the wattage of power produced per kg - and these look a lot more sensible. But there's conjecture over whether any of it means anything at all in the context of doping.

    You can read more on it here and also take a look at Matt Slater's article on why Team Sky are getting it in the neck so much.

    Chris Froome
  89. Breakaway caught

    That breakaway lasted about as long as an England innings at Lord's. They've all been caught. Although there are a bunch of stragglers off the back.

    Meanwhile, Jens Voigt is on ITV4 talking about how he's now got a pair of love handles since hanging up the cycling gloves. The two-time Tour stage winner is a funny guy.

    Jen Voigt
  90. Granite Thomas

    Chris Froome may be running away with it, but where would he be without his trusty lieutenant Geraint Thomas? The Welshman has been a tiger in the climbs, is sixth in the GC and got straight up after riding head first into a telegraph pole. 

    Them man is rick hard - which is why, from this point forwards, I will be calling him Granite Thomas.

    But should he remain Froome's understudy? We've got a vote up and running until 13:30 BST, let us know whether you think Granite could be a team leader. You can find the vote at the top of the page or by clicking the tab.

    Geraint Thomas
  91. Group breaks from peloton

    A group of 36 riders have moved off the front of the peloton. There are no GC contenders in there, but polka dot wearer Joaquim Rodriguez and green jersey man Peter Sagan are up there. There's a 20-second gap to the peloton.

  92. Digne-les-bains - Pra Loup, 161km

    Stage 17 profile

    The Pyrenees are behind us, and now come the Alps. Today's 161km route takes in five climbs, but it does not get serious until the final third, when we hit the category-one 5.5% ascent up Col d'Allos. The whizz down the other side could prove crucial, with a more sedate uphill romp to the finish in Pra Loup to follow.

     "France's Romain Bardet won this exact same stage at the Criterium du Dauphine with a brilliant descent, but Vincenzo Nibali is equally gifted going downhill," says Geraint Thomas in our stage-by-stage preview.

  93. 129km remaining

    Not much to report so far, with the peloton completely intact and heading through the commune of of La Tuilière at the 33km point. We're just beginnning the ascent up the first of five climbs today, the Col des Leques. There have been a few attempted breaks, but all have been foiled.

  94. Stage 17 is under way

  95. Rest day? What rest day?

    Chris Froome

    What did you do with your Tour de France day off?

    If you were sensible, you would have followed my lead and put your feet up, watched day-time telly and eaten ice cream on the sofa (cookie dough flavour). 

    If you were a Team Sky rider, or from almost any other team for that matter, you were probably being asked questions about Chris Froome and the legitimacy of his race so far.

    We'll get into that, but first...