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Live Reporting

Chris Osborne

All times stated are UK

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  1. La Tussle on Toussuire

    Remember when Chris Froome left 'team-mate' Bradley Wiggins for dead three years ago and had to be called back by his team? That was on La Toussuire and we go up it again tomorrow.

    Geraint Thomas is too much of a good boy to prove a similar point tomorrow, right?

    The only way to find out is to join us from 12:30 BST, when we do it all over again. Until then, au revoir.

  2. Presentations

    Romain Bardet, at the age of 24, is a great white hope for French cycling. A future Tour winner? Maybe. He showed true grit today. He's received his plaudits on the stage and here comes Chris Froome.

    Froome is given the yellow jersey, a bunch of flowers and, like one every stage, a cuddly lion, which is probably the best bit.

  3. Stage 19: Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne - La Toussuire 138km

    Stage 19

    There's plenty more climbing to be done tomorrow, including a whopper in the middle and a biggie to the finish line.

     "With a difficult climb straight from the off, whoever has the yellow jersey will not only have to watch out for the top-five riders but those just outside," says Geraint Thomas in our stage-by-stage preview.

  4. Post update

    Romain Bardet's speed up Montvernier pretty much mirrors the crazy hairpins all the way up.

  5. Polka dot jersey

    There's a bit more action when we take a look at the polka dot jersey. Chris Froome started the day at the top of the leaderboard, but Joaquim Rodriguez wore the spots as Froome had the yellow.

    He owns it outright now, but only just. The Spaniard is level on points with Romain Bardet, and edges through a count back on who has won the most top-category climbs.

    Kom
  6. Yellow jersey

    So Chris Froome's lead remains 3mins 10secs, with just two more stages to go until the procession into Paris. All wrapped up? Yes? Surely? Definitely?

    Class
  7. 'We see the finish'

    Quote Message: Perfect. It's ideal really. The team was strong, we didn't panic when guys were attacking. We didn't have to react to Contador when he went. We followed over the top. The last climb was tough with those hairpins. Morale is good and everyone is up for it. We can see the finish." from Team Sky's Geraint Thomas on ITV4
    Team Sky's Geraint Thomas on ITV4
  8. Yellow jersey

    Chris Froome, Nairo Quintana, Alejandro Valverde, Geraint Thomas, Alberto Contador, Robert Gesink and Vincenzo Contador - they all finished together, so there's no change in the yellow jersey top seven.

    Romain Bardet's superb stage win has moved him up to 10th in the GC, which is the only change in the top 10.

  9. Froome on edge?

    Rob Hayles

    Former GB cyclist

    "Geraint Thomas was so strong and it was a great ride. It's kind of a role reversal for Chris Froome in the way he helped Bradley Wiggins win that first British yellow jersey. Geraint actually looked in better shape than Froome there - Froome looked on the edge at times, admittedly it wasn't a problem."

  10. Yellow jersey

    We get a mini sprint from the yellow jersey group, they all finish together, with Team Sky's Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas safely home. 

  11. Yellow jersey

    We await the yellow jersey group. We may be short on excitement...

  12. Bardet wins stage 18

    There is a French roar in Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne. Romain Bardet ha his fists clenched, hands in the air, the finish line is in sight. A tremendous battling performance from the AG2R rider. It's a French one-two as Pierre Rolland follows shortly after.

    Romain Bardet
  13. 3.2km remaining

    Speedbumps. The nemesis of the cyclist. Romain Bardet has to swing around a few as he edges closer to a second French win at this year's Tour. He has a 42-second lead over Pierre Rolland (also French) in second.

  14. 4.2km remaining

    Is Chris Froome human? He might just be. The Briton is right at the back of the yellow jersey group, clinging on. There is a bit more worry in his face than usual. But no panic just yet.

    Chris Froome at the back of the yellow jersey group
  15. Polka dot jersey

    Romain Bardet picked up five points on that climb, which puts him level with polka dot wearer Joaquim Rodriguez at the top of the classification.

    Joaquim Rodriguez and Romain Bardet
  16. 6.8km remaining

    Vincenzo Nibali gets a bit of space, but then runs out climb! It looked, briefly, like Chris Froome was struggling, but just in the nick of time the summit of Montvernier arrives and the group get back on Nibali's wheel.

  17. Post update

    What of the yellow jersey group I hear you ask? I'm asking that too.

    Ah, here we go, we finally have pictures of Froome and co. They are all together, but here goes Vincenzo Nibali.

    Chris Froome cycles past British flags
  18. 10.1km remaining

    The French spectators get excited a Romain Bardet emerges at the top of the climb. He's got Pierre Rolland, Winner Anacona and Bob Jungels 30 seconds behind.

  19. 11.2km remaining

    There could be a logistical problem here. If the yellow jersey group catch the leaders, there may not be any room to pass the support cars in between. There's still a 2mins 53secs gap.

    The riders are looking like ladybirds climbing up strings of spaghetti. It's superb.

  20. Post update

    And another...

  21. Post update

    Here are more gratuitous photos of Montvernier. You're welcome.

  22. 12.8km remaining

    Romain Bardet is 43 seconds in front. Just 18 hairpins to master and the stage is yours my friend. The climb up Montvernier is odd - there is no crowd because the road is so narrow.

    The yellow jersey group are together and are 3mins 17secs down - they are about to hit the climb.

  23. French fancy

    Matt Slater

    BBC Sport

    "Romain Bardet's profile in France could be about to go stratospheric.

    "It has been a tough Tour for the locals after the apparently false dawn of last year's Paris podium places for Jean-Christophe Peraud and Thibaut Pinot.

    "But the young Frenchman who finished sixth last year is one short climb from an epic win.

    "Already feted as the future of French cycling, his present will be pretty good if he pulls this off and there is an expectant crowd waiting for him."

  24. 14.8km remaining

    Romain Bardet looks set to hold on to this until the end of the stage. His lead over the eight riders behind is hovering at about 35 seconds. Who will try and close him down?

    Romain Bardet
  25. Post update

    The leaders are on Montvernier. It looks spectacular - hopefully it will become a mainstay of the Tour.

  26. Post update

    Hats off to Bauke Mollema. He's pretty much just time trialled his way on to the back of the yellow jersey group.

    Bauke Mollema
  27. Post update

    Adam Talansky, in the front group, has been given food. Technically it's not allowed, because he's in the final 20km. But there were few opportunities to do it safely on the descent just before, so he'll probably get away with it.

  28. 18.9km remaining

    Romain Bardet has a 30-second lead over the front group, which has Jakob Fuglsang back in it after his unfortunate fall. Then 2mins 10secs further back is the yellow jersey group, where Chris Froome has survived attacks from Quintana ans Nibali. Plenty of arms being waved, asking for water and feed.

  29. Post update

    My picture of Montvernier may not have worked. So here's another to gawp at. The TV helicopters will have a field day with these shots. The riders will look like ants heading through capillaries of a nest.

  30. 24.1km remaining

    Romain Bardet is out on his own in front and looks like a good bet to take the stage. It will all depend on whether he's left enough in the legs to get up Montvernier.

    The yellow jersey group is 2mins 42secs off the lead.

  31. Your cycling nosh

    Yes. There's always time for an ice cream in almost any life situation. Tell us about your cycling food using #bbccycling

  32. 29km remaining

    The yellow jersey group is on the descent, with Vincenzo Nibali and Alberto Contador back in there. They are 2mins 41 secs off the leaders.

  33. Mont-swervier

    Speaking of climbs, we still have this one to come...

    It's not the biggest of the day, but the last ascent before the finish is a mind-boggling zig-zag up Montvernier. It looks gorgeous but probably feels like hell to go up it. Anybody given it a go before?

    Credit to will_cyclist for the photo

    Montvernier
  34. 33.7km remaining

    Meanwhile, Frenchman Romain Bardet is pleasing the locals by being the first to the top of Col du Glandon and is moving off the front of the lead group on the descent. Speaking of brilliant names, he's got Winner Anacona with him.

  35. 36.8km remaining

    Nairo Quintana is off! He's gone ahead of Nibali. This time Geraint Thomas, like a hound of hell, is told to go get him. Chris Froome is out of his saddle and clings on for dear life.

  36. 39.3km remaining

    Vincenzo Nibali

    It's starting to liven up. Vincenzo Nibali makes a move from the yellow jersey group. Geraint Thomas looks to follow, but Chris Froome shakes his head to tell his team-mate to stick. Nibali is eight mins behind Froome in the GC.

  37. Crash

    You can remove Jakob Fuglsang from that leaders group, he's just hit the deck. It's an odd one, as he was right at the front of the lead group. The consensus is he may have hit a motorbike - which is terrible luck if so.

    Jakob Fuglsang falls
  38. As it stands with 40.5km remaining

    Lead group: 11 riders including Rodriguez, Fuglsang, Bardet, Talansky and Jungels

    Second group +2mins 16secs: Four riders - Contador, Frank, frank, Gesing, Barguil

    Yellow jersey group +3mins 3secs

  39. Get Involved

    #bbccycling

    Ross Wilson:  Bob Jungels - not only a great name, but a future tour winner?...you heard it here first!

    A future king of the jungles?

  40. Post update

    Rob Hayles

    Former GB cyclist

    "Contador is in attacking rider. The other guy you would say will attack is Valverde. He will be looking for a stage win as well and could be dangerous because of the time bonus on offer. There are a lot of attackers in there and we will see a lot more animated racing."

    Listen to Rob by clicking the Live Coverage tab

    Alberto Contador
  41. Post update

    Matt Slater

    BBC Sport

    "With the Col du Glandon dishing out hurt left, right and centre, it is fascinating to look at the races within the race. And there are lots of them.

    "With only four stages up for grabs, teams without a win so far will be getting increasingly desperate to change that. Sponsors come and go on these things.

    "Jakob Fuglsang seems to have been given carte blanche by Astana to win one and Cannondale-Garmin's entire season will look a lot better if Andrew Talansky can deliver.

    "Orica-GreenEdge's hopes rest with the tag-team Yates twins, while the only French team to get off the mark is AG2R. A nation expects."

  42. Contador moves

    There goes Alberto Contador, pumping the legs to get ahead of the yellow jersey group, who choose not to react. The Spaniard lost about two minutes in a fall yesterday, so is barely a threat to the GC.

    Alberto Contador
  43. 45.8km remaining

    There's been a move off the front of the yellow jersey group. Mathias Frank, Warren Barguil and Robert Gesink have gone, the gap is about 15secs. There is no panic on the Team Sky faces, who have Movistar's Nairo Quintana and Alejandro Valverde tucked in behind them.

  44. Your cycling nosh

    The mummy and baby polka dots here are outstanding. Lunch on your bike ride? What do you have? Use #bbccycling to tell us

  45. Get Involved

    #bbccycling

     Richard Wilson:  Col du Glandon has to be one of the prettiest climbs in the Alps, though I can't remember looking at anything other than tarmac!  

  46. 47km remaining

    Col du Glandon is an absolute beast, isn't it? The kilometres are ticking along very slowly. It's just a grind against nature. The lead group - which has dropped Thbaut Pinot - still have a way to go to get to the top.

  47. 48.9km remaining

    Team Sky

    Team Sky look like they have this all under control. Despite not needing to, they sit at the front of the peloton, with Nicholas Roche driving it forward. Movistar and Tinkoff-Saxo don't seem to have the numbers in there to cause problems. The gap to the lead group is 3mins 40secs.

  48. Post update

    BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra

    BBC Radio 5 live producer Gemma has been speaking to fans at the finish line.

    Fiona Walker and Pete Smales are following the whole Tour. Pete says: "We've been combining the tour with our holiday for the last four years. Some days you wait for more than four hours and you only get a fleeting glimpse of the riders but that's when we have to remind ourselves that we're on holiday," Last week Pete bumped into the Team Sky boys at his hotel and they signed his shirt for him, so it's definitely worth the wait.    

    You can listen to commentary by clicking the Live Coverage tab.

    Tour fans
  49. Get Involved

    #bbccycling

    Yup, it will be there in a few kilometers, Rob. Looks glorious.

  50. Front runners

    Four riders have a 40% share of the lead when it comes to time spent at the front between 60km and 120km. 

    Riders front running share infographic
  51. 51.8km remaining

    The lead group have hit a little dip in the grueling climb up Col du Glandon. It's a tiny respite before the grind again. Joaquim Rodriguez is still among it, as are Thibaut Pinot and Bob Jungels, who should be given a special jersey for having the best name on the Tour.

  52. 'Respect the riders'

    While we're on the subject of Team Sky, they have received a bit of stick from a very small minority among spectators along the French roads.

    You may recall Chris Froome said he had urine thrown at him on stage 14, while Richie Porte claims he was punched on stage 10.

    It's taken five days, but cycling governing body the UCI and Tour de France organisers ASO have released a joint statement.

    "UCI President Brian Cookson and Tour de France Director Christian Prudhomme ask crowds along the roadside to respect every rider, and the integrity of the riders and in particular the Yellow Jersey."

    Froome
  53. 55km remaining

    Right. Team Sky are at the front of the yellow jersey group, with Nicholas Roche leading the way. It's admirable stuff and I guess Team Sky want to remain in control, but it's slightly puzzling, as they just need to sit and wait for rivals to make their move.

    There are a couple of Tinkoff-Saxo riders up the road - they may come in handy for Alberto Contador.

    Chris Froome in the yellow jersey
  54. 'The data will never be enough'

    With the big climbs approaching, we'll find out how well Chris Froome can defend his yellow jersey.

    Froome has responded to allegations of him doping saying that no matter what information is released on him, it won't be enough to satisfy the critics. You can read the full article here

    Chris Froome quote
  55. Your cycling nosh

    Not an almonds man myself. But I'll take the coffee. Send us your cycling food updates at #bbccycling

  56. 57.9km remaining

    The front group is disintegrating. Eleven left, no 10. Joaquim Rodriguez is there, with the 25 points at the top of the climb on his mind. Comedy faller Thibaut Pinot is there too (just don't let him descend on his own).

  57. 59km remaining

    Thomas De Gendt has been caught, which makes me sad. I had visions of him still cycling years from now, with three-foot beard and unwashed hair. He still might be I suppose.

    It's a group of 23 at the front and they are two mins ahead of the yellow jersey group, with the climb up Col du Glandon well under way.

  58. Post update

  59. Tour interest up

    A research organisation has measured interest in Le Tour from 11 different countries, and say it's up from 20% in 2012 to 23%.

    Interest has dropped heavily in the Netherlands and a little bit in France. But interest has increased in the UAE, Italy and the USA considerably.

    How long before we have a Tour winner from UAE?

    Research by Repucom.

    Tour interest
  60. 65km remaining

    Thomas De Gendt has got a bit of the Forrest Gumps. The Belgian won the intermediate sprint and just kept going - pedal Thomas pedal.

    Some tried to go with him but he's lost them and there are 28 riders behind him as he flies over a viaduct with beautiful views over the water.

  61. Your cycling nosh

    #bbccycling

    A ride is not a ride without a stop for food. Tell us about your bike food by using #bbccycling

  62. Media

    Producing over 80 hours of live broadcast the Tour de France really does have a huge media following. BBC Radio 5 live's Simon Brotherton and Rob Hayles are a small section of the hundreds of journalists that are at the event- you can hear coverage from 15:00 BST by clicking the audio icon on this page. 

    A camera at the Tour de France
  63. Post update

    BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra

    BBC Radio 5 live sports extra commentators Simon Brotherton and Rob Hayles, along with producer Gemma, are on their way through the Alps to the finish line. Not a bad life.

    Commentary today is online only, from 15:00 BST.

    5 live
  64. 73km remaining

    Quite a few in the lead group were caught out by Thomas De Gendt's decision to keep on putting the pedal to the metal after that sprint. There's 11 of them 25secs out in front, including yesterday's runner-up Adam Talansky, polka dot wearer Joaquim Rodriguez and Ireland's Dan Martin.

  65. Your cycling nosh

    Cafe or take your own? What's your favourite cycling food? Use #bbccycling to tell us

  66. 77km remaining

    That group that fell off the back of the peloton contains green jersey wearer Peter Sagan, although he has 104-point lead at the top of the classification so he won't be concerned. Tony Gallopin is there too and they're about a minute of the yellow jersey group.

  67. Green jersey

    Thomas De Gendt takes the intermediate sprint, he's 11th in the green jersey rankings. And with it comes a move to pull away from the leading group. Let's see if this is just a flash in the pan...

  68. 80km remaining

    Chris Froome is having a little turn at the front of the peloton, picking up the pace, and it's caused a bit of a fracture in the group. It looks pretty messy actually. There's a gap of 3mins 40secs to the leaders, who are now 1km away from the sprint line.

    Chris Froome
  69. Post update

    Matt Slater

    BBC Sport

    "While we wait for the day's main action on the 21.7km plod up the Col du Glandon, which looked suitably menacing as we sped past it on the motorway this morning, let us look at which teams are in the prize money at the moment.

    "The Tour de France dishes out bonuses for all kinds of things - stage wins, days spent in leaders' jerseys, combative rides and so on - and with four stages left we have a running total.

    "Tinkoff-Saxo lead the way on 72,580 euros, thanks to Peter Sagan's efforts, then it is Etixx-Quick Step on 50,690 euros, with Team Sky in fifth place on 36,130 euros.

    "That could all change in Paris, as that is where the big prizes come.

    "But spare a thought for injury-ravaged Orica-GreenEdge in 21st place with just 6,100 euros. They have spent that on bandages already."

    Adam Yates of team Orica-GreenEdge
  70. Green jersey

    What is this? It seems to be road that stretches out forwards in a non-ascending manner. What's that word? Oh yes, it's 'flat'.

    Make the most of it boys, they're as rare as unicorn poop out here in the Alps.

    So who fancies these sprint points in Rioupereuex then?

  71. Post update

  72. Your cycling nosh

    #bbccycling

    I'm sure your girls are delighted you've sent us a pic of them scoffing food Paul. Looks like a wonderful day though. What food stops do you make on your rides? Use #bbccycling to tell us

  73. Get Involved

    #bbccycling

    Jonathan Meres:  Interesting fact. 'Col' is actually short for 'Colin'  

    Edu:  Movistar quite clearly aiming for podium+best team. Look how they attacked when Contador fell yesterday. #noambition

    Matt Taggart:  Renshaw is a(nother) loss, but Cav ditched the lead out in Stage 7 and he's won by sniping many times before

  74. 92km remaining

    The leaders are flying down Col de la Morte. But here comes the biggie.

    We have an intermediate sprint first, but then it's the hors categorie Col du Glandon - 21.7km at 5.1%. It's a leg stinger.

    The peloton are within 3mins 39secs of the leaders now.

    Riders in the Tour de France
  75. Polka dot jersey

    It's five from five for Purito. Joaquim Rodriguez snaffles five climbers' points by reaching the summit of Col de la Morte first. That puts him seven points clear of Chris Froome in the king of the mountain standings.

  76. Stats fantastique!

    Let's have a look at how the Tour compares to this time last year, before the start of stage 18. Chris Froome has so far cycled fewer km at a slower speed. Although Froome has a narrower lead over his nearest rival Nairo Quintana, he's over eight minutes ahead of last year's winner - Vincenzo Nibali

    Stage 18 comparison stats
  77. Get Involved

    #bbccycling

    Andrew Harvey:  Wow, Cav's got his work cut out in Paris after main lead-out man Renshaw has abandoned. Lead-out train now 3 riders light!   

    Chris King:  I don't think Movistar can beat Froome without sacrificing 1 of their podium positions. They need to decide what they want more

  78. 103km remaining

    The peloton spins past a man stood alone in a field dressed in an orange morph suit taking photos. Perfectly normal.

    Giant are pulling the group along and the gap is closing on the leaders (3mins 45secs) - they may want to give Warren Barguil a chance of winning the stage.

    The breakaway are 1km from the next summit.

    The peleton
  79. Renshaw retires

  80. Renshaw retires

    You may recall I mentioned that Mark Renshaw had fallen off the back of the peloton. It turns out the Australian was having a problem.

  81. Get Involved

    #bbccycling

    Joaquim Rodriguez, better known as Purito, has won all four climbs today so far. Will he take the king of the mountains jersey by the time we reach Paris though?

    Edu:  Still might not be enough polkadot points for Purito Rodriguez though, Froome could well pick up some points on Alpe d'Huez  

  82. 108km remaining

    We still have the same 29 riders out in front, and they will be staring up to the 8.4% 3.1km climb up Col de la Morte - our fifth categorised ascent of the day already.

    The peloton have finished descending Col de Malissol and have made some time on the leaders, they are 4mins 24secs back.

    Cyclists including Chris Froome at the Tour de France
  83. Your cycling nosh

    #bbccycling

    Where and what do you like to get down your gullet before, during or after a cycle? Tell us using #bbccycling

  84. Polka dot jersey

    Rodriguez takes polka dots

    He was already wearing it, but now Joaquim Rodriguez is the rightful owner of the polka dots jersey after reaching the top of Col de Malissol first. The Spaniard is two points clear of Chris Froome, who will have to make do with just his yellow jersey.

    Meanwhile, the yellow jersey group is five minutes back, but has dropped a few riders, most notably Mark Renshaw.

  85. Meintjes retires

    South African Louis Meintjes retired this morning before the start of the stage. The 23-year-old is part of MTN-Qhubeka, the first African team to take part in the Tour de France.

  86. 118km remaining

    The climbs keep on coming. We're on the category three Col de Malissol, with 29 riders out in the lead group, including Briton's Simon Yates, polka dot wearer Joaquim Rodriguez, Jan Barta, Romain Bardet and Thibaut Pinot.

    The peloton, and its yellow jersey contenders, are about 5mins 40secs back.

  87. Your cycling nosh

    #bbccycling

    This is a breakfast to make Homer Simpson proud. What are your cycling meals and refueling haunts? Use #bbccycling to tell us, maybe even with a picture.

  88. Polka dot jersey

    Joaquim Rodriguez has reached the top of Cote de la Mure first and adds two points to his climbers' tally, which draws him level with Chris Froome at the top of the classification.

    He's wearing the polka dot jersey anyway, because Froome has already slipped on the yellow, but one more point and it's his, ALL HIS!

  89. Cav's assessment of the stage

  90. Gap to Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne

    As Hot Chocolate almost sang - It started with a climb.

    They also didn't sing about there being some more climbs and then after that a couple more climbs with a sprint in the middle.

    It's very up and down today, with a hors categorie climb, and a swift descent on Col du Glandon inside the last 40km. It could all be very spread out by then.

    "This should be a day for the breakaway to succeed. I don't think a lot will be happening in terms of the yellow jersey because everybody will be keeping an eye on each other before the final two days in the mountains," says Geraint Thomas in our stage-by-stage preview.  

    Stage 18 profile
  91. 127km remaining

    Rohan Dennis has been sucked back into the lead group, who are embarking on the third climb of the day up Cote de la Mure. The peloton remains five minutes adrift.

  92. Your cycling nosh

    #bbccycling

    If you joined us yesterday, you will recall we were asking for your favourite cycle-ride food. Coffee stops, full English, picnic on the beach?

    Anyway, you sent so many that I figured we'd keep it going today (plus I couldn't think of anything else).

    Use #bbcycling to send us your pics and tells us your stories

  93. 131km remaining

    Rohan Dennis, who won the first-stage time trial oh so many days ago, has gone for a little wander off the front of the leading group. The peloton is getting further and further behind - five minutes now - but is entirely intact.

  94. Yellow jersey

    So, before we take a detailed look at today's stage, here is the top five in the race for the yellow jersey.

    Nairo Quintana has three more stages left to eat into Chris Froome's lead - but will team-mate Alejanro Valverde, who is third, help the Colombian, or be eyeing his own glory?

    Class
  95. 134.5km remaining

    Joaquim Rodriguez is only borrowing the king of the mountains jersey at the moment - Chris Froome leads the classification but polka dots and yellow don't match. But the Spaniard has reached the summit of Ramp du Motty first and is close to owning the jersey outright.

  96. Up, down and out

    Van Garderen

    We lost third-placed American Tejay van Garderen because of illness, and world champion Michal Kwiatkowski also had to retire. Alberto contador's faint GC hopes took a battering afte he fell late in the stage and that allowed Welshman Geraint Thomas to climb up to fourth in the overall rankings. 

    Oh, and Thibaut Pinot's decending difficulties returned to haunt him as he fell off his bike and nearly fell off a mountain.

    Other than that, not much happened.

  97. Good, but not good enough

    Qintana and Froome

    Nairo Quintana was better than Chris Froome yesterday, but by inches, not minutes.

    Team Sky's Froome clung on to the coattails of Quintana on the final climb to Pra Loup and with it clung on to his lead of three minutes and 10 seconds over the Colombian.

    But that wasn't all that happened yesterday...

  98. Allez!

    Tour

    Bonjour. Bienvenue. Cava? Tres bien.

    That's my GCSE French exhausted. 

    Anyway, here's a quick update on the race. Two of the seven climbs are completed and there's a breakaway of 29 riders who have reached 43km (143km remaining). Names like Briton's Simon Yates, polka dot wearer Joaquim Rodriguez, Jan Barta, Romain Bardet and Thibaut Pinot are there.

    The peloton is four minutes back and it has all our general classification contenders in it.

    You're up to date - so let's get our bearings.