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Summary

  1. Stage 19: Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne - La Toussuire 138km
  2. Quintana gains 32secs on Froome
  3. Froome still leads by 2mins 38secs
  4. Nibali wins stage, Quintana second, Froome third

Live Reporting

By Chris Osborne

All times stated are UK

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Stage 20: Modane - Alpe d'Huez 100km

Stage 20
Le Tour

More of the same tomorrow please gents.

Nairo Quintana has the faintest of hopes of causing some damage tomorrow. And the legendary climb up Alpe d'Huez is worth watching regardless of the action.

In our stage-by-stage preview, Geraint Thomas warns: "On a solid day like this, somebody could have a bad day and end up losing the Tour, no matter what's happened over the past three weeks."

You'd be mad not to join us tomorrow. Thanks for your company today. A bientot.

A cheap nail

I was empty today. lt was always going to happen. I was hoping it would come Monday. Sometimes you'ret the hammer and sometimes you're the nail. I was a cheap Ikea nail today. When you have nothing in the legs there's not a lot you can do.

Geraint Thomas speaking to ITV4

I feel I must say that Ikea's nails are no worse or better than other nails on the nail market.

Tough day for Geraint

Geraint Thomas came in 52nd, 22mins short on Nibali. That puts him down to 15th overall. Let's hear from him...

Froome on his mechanical

I felt as if my back wheel locked up - some tar or a stone was in between my brake calipers ad back wheel. Unfortunately that was the moment Nibali moved - he did see what he was doing. You don't do that to the race leader, it is not sportsmanlike. Tomorrow will be full on. I'm looking forward to Alpe d'Huez. It would be a dream to win there but I have to keep up with a little Colombian first.

Chris Froome speaking to ITV4

Froome on the yellow jersey

It was a massive day. From the word go the racing was on. All in all it was a good day to be able to tick it off with one day of racing left. Quintana put in a big attack and I opted to limit my losses and keep a bit of energy.

Chris Froome speaking to ITV4

Froome says he felt NIbali didn’t show sportsmanship when attacking. Piece of tar between brakes & back wheel. #TDF #homeofcycling

We're close to hearing from Chris Froome...

Froome spat at?

Chris Froome has a small grin as he is robed in the yellow.

We may have an idea of why he was so miffed at the line. There are some pictures floating around that suggest he may have been spat at in those last few km. It's unclear at the moment - but I'm sure he will say something if it's true.

Stage winner Nibali

Astana's Vincenzo Nibali is on the stage and he looks to the heavens, mainly with relief. A top ride from the Italian, regardless of what you think of the tactics.

I'm trying to get a steer on how Geraint Thomas did by the way. It doesn't look good though.

It was really hard. With the start uphill it was always going to be hard. It was a big fight for everybody. I was glad I was feeling much better than yesterday. There are just two climbs tomorrow, so that is better

Bauke Mollema of Trek Factory speaking to ITV4

Yellow jersey

In fact, Chris Froome had held that 3mins 10secs advantage over Nairo Quintana since stage 14. Today was the first chink in the armour we've seen for a while.

Yellow jersey

Here is how it looks then. This is the closest anyone has been to Chris Froome since Tejay van Garderen was 2mins 52secs behind after stage 10.

Yellow jersey
Le Tour

Froome frustrated

Chris Froome does not look happy. In fact he looks slightly angry. That boy does not like losing time. Or maybe it's frustration at that tiny mechanical.

Yellow jersey

It was actually 30secs Chris Froome finished behind Quintana. That means his lead, after time bonuses, is cut to 2mins 38secs ahead of the Colombian.

There's a mini sprint fro the bunch behind. Thibaut Pinot takes it, with Valverde and Contador in tow.

Froome finishes third

And here comes Chris Froome, the seconds ticking, 27, 28, 29. About 29 seconds lost by Froome.

Quintana crosses the line...

Now, Quintana. What can you eke out here?

Nibali wins stage 19

Vincenzo Nibali celebrates
AP

Vincenzo Nibali grits his teeth, gets his head down. And there's a grin, and there's a fist in the air.

700m to go

Oh Nibali - he almost overshoots a left-hand turn. He survives. The camera stays on him as he nears the finish.

1.1km to go

Now Quintana's tongue is out, there's a slither of pain on his face. Nibali is safe - he is 1min 27secs ahead. Froome is now 23secs behind Quintana.

1.9km to go

The crowds are building. It's about to get hectic at La Toussuire. Nairo Quintana looks very composed. Chris Froome is out of the saddle as we hit a small descent. Quintana is 16secs in front. 

2.7km to go

Froome meanwhile is 40secs in front of the Contador group.

3.2km to go

Quintana is 16 seconds ahead of Froome. That would put the GC gap below 3mins.

Rob Hayles

Former GB cyclist

"The gap is opening up between Chris Froome and Nairo Quintana, but Froome is absorbing the pace better than the rest of his rivals.

"Alejandro Valverde and Alberto Contador are going backwards quickly."

3.6km to go

Nairo Quintana in action
Reuters

Quintana is just 1min 28secs behind Nibali. Can the Italian hold on?

as far as the stage win goes, this could be perfectly timed by Quintana.

3.8km to go

Quintana is pulling away from Froome who in turn is pulling away from Valverde and Contador. Froome may lose time. It will only be seconds, but it will be for the first time in such a long time.

4.3km to go

Oh my word. Alberto Contador and Alejandro Valverde can't keep with Chris Froome who is hot on the heels of Nairo Quintana. There is a man with a Colombian flag running alongside the Movistar man.

Quintana has a gap

4.7km to go

Nairo Quintana has pulled away. Not very far, but he's away. Chris Froome responds and just as he makes up ground the Colombian goes again.

5.2km

Oh, I spoke too soon.

Wout Poels has gone, he can't keep with the yellow jersey group anymore. Chris Froome will be up against his GC riders by himself for the final 5km.

Nairo Quintana is off...

5.5km to go

Anyone fancy making a move in the final 5km? Anyone? Pretty please?

Chopper powered?

A few of you have noticed the photo we used in our 16:04 entry and are having a bit of fun.

You may notice the propellers attached to Chris Froome's helmet, which some of you have suggested might give him a competitive advantage. Big laughs all round.

Froome
AP

6.8km to go

Pierre Rolland has a look over his shoulder. He sees 11 riders bearing down on him. He takes a nonchalant swig of water, like he doesn't care. He does, I promise you.

Fan wears hat with yellow bike during the 19th stage
Reuters

Meanwhile, here is a picture of a man in a silly hat. Just because.

9km to go

There has been much less drama on this final climb than in the previous three. Chris Froome will be delighted.

Even if there was a move now, how much time can you chomp in to in 9km? Not enough, would be the answer.

Alberto Contador needs to watch the gap to Vincenzo Nibali, who could jump him in the standings. The Italian has a lead of 2mins 23secs.

9.9km to go

Rafal Majka is the man probing at the front of the yellow jersey group, hoisting the pace a tad. His Tinkoff-Saxo team-mate Alberto Contador will be there or thereabouts.

Polka dot jersey

Romain Bardet's efforts today have put him in control of the polka dots. The last climb to the finish might shake things up a bit more.

KOM
Le Tour