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Live Reporting

Chris Osborne

All times stated are UK

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  1. Stage 20: Modane - Alpe d'Huez 100km

    Stage 20

    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.

  2. A cheap nail

    Quote Message: 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. from Geraint Thomas speaking to ITV4
    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.

  3. 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...

  4. Froome on his mechanical

    Quote Message: 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. from Chris Froome speaking to ITV4
    Chris Froome speaking to ITV4
  5. Froome on the yellow jersey

    Quote Message: 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. from Chris Froome speaking to ITV4
    Chris Froome speaking to ITV4
  6. Post update

  7. Post update

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Post update

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

  11. Post update

    Quote Message: 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 from Bauke Mollema of Trek Factory speaking to ITV4
    Bauke Mollema of Trek Factory speaking to ITV4
  12. 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.

  13. 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
  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Post update

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

  17. Post update

  18. Froome finishes third

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

  19. Post update

    Quintana crosses the line...

  20. Post update

    Now, Quintana. What can you eke out here?

  21. Nibali wins stage 19

    Vincenzo Nibali celebrates

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

  22. 700m to go

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

  23. 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.

  24. 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. 

  25. 2.7km to go

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

  26. 3.2km to go

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

  27. Post update

    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."

  28. 3.6km to go

    Nairo Quintana in action

    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.

  29. 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.

  30. 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.

  31. 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.

  32. 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...

  33. 5.5km to go

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

  34. 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.

  35. 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.

  36. Post update

    Fan wears hat with yellow bike during the 19th stage

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

  37. 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.

  38. Post update

  39. 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.

  40. 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.

  41. 12km to go

    Vincenzo Nibali

    Vincenzo Nibali is getting quicker. Or everyone else is getting slower. 

    Either way the gap is growing - the Italian is a minute ahead of Pierre Rolland and 2mins 20secs up on the yellow jersey group.

  42. 12.8km to go

    Chris Froome lets Wout Poels slip in front of him at the top of the yellow jersey group, as the pair pound up towards La Toussuire. A move must happen, soon, surely? Yes? Pierre Rolland looks in agony. His teeth might collapse in on themselves he is gritting them so hard. Expect him to drift back to the chasers.

  43. 13.9km to go

    Vincenzo Nibali has 14km of climb in front of him if he is to take a stage win. Pierre Rolland is becoming a distant dot to the Italian. But the yellow jersey group might be seeing him come into focus some time soon - they're down to 1min 35secs behind the Frenchman.

  44. Nibali attacks

    16km to go

    Vincenzo Nibali has decided that Pierre Rolland is more ballast than help.

    The Italian steps on the pedals and accelerates away from the long-time stage leader.

    There is nothing much coming back from Rolland and a decent stretch of tarmac separates them already.

    Nineteen seconds and climbing is the gap.

  45. 16.3km remaining

    Who would have thought that Wout Poels would be leading the yellow jersey group after his dropped off the pace two mountains ago? The second wind of second winds. Movistar have just taken the onus off him though - they are 1min 44secs off the front two of Pierre Rolland and Vincenzo Nibali.

  46. Contador bike change

    Just as we start to head up the final ascent to the finish to La Toussuire, Bertie Contador decides to switch bikes. Mechanical or tactical? Who knows. But he's back with the group.

  47. Your cycling scenes


    Don't worry, we've not forgotten about your cycling views.

  48. 19.8km remaining

    Romain Bardet finally has that problem with his gears sorted - in fact they just give him a new bike. But it means he loses his advantage on the yellow jersey group and is at the back of the pack.

  49. Post update

    Rob Hayles

    Former GB cyclist

    Chris Froome decends

    "Chris Froome doesn't have to attack but if he feels like he is the strongest rider on the climb, it's not like him to wait. But we do have that big stage tomorrow."

  50. 22.8km remaining

    It's not great news for Geraint Thomas, who has drifted about 8mins off the leaders and will almost definitely drop down the GC by the end of the day.

    Wout Poels has looked dead on his pedal a few times today, but he's at the front of the yellow jersey group and working like a monster. Romain Bardet is about to be caught.

  51. Post update

    If you can pull yourself away from the live text commentary (don't), then have a look at this wonderful piece of programming (maybe wait until later, yeah?).

  52. 27.1km remaining

    Romain Bardet, a few seconds ahead of the yellow jersey group, is banging his bike with the heel of his foot as he flies down the descent. He does not look happy.

    And Roman Kreuziger has a puncture. But he's still flying down the hill - how on earth do you stop with a dodgy tyre?

  53. 31.1km remaining

    Vincenzo Nibali is a character. He catches Pierre Roland and taps the Frenchman on the shoulder as they start the descent. "Come on, let's go," he says. Rolland puffs his cheeks and follows the Italian, who then gets his line totally wrong on a corner and almost sends them both off the road. Rolland wisely goes in front.

  54. 32.9km remaining

    Nairo Quintana has been very quiet so far. He's waiting and waiting and waiting.

    Meanwhile, Romain Bardet pulls of the yellow jersey group - he wants polka dot points.

  55. 34.8km remaining

    Pierre Rolland has a Vincenzo Nibali-shaped cloud looming over him. The Italian is within a few seconds of the Frenchman - in fact he's so close the computer has given up telling us the gap.

  56. Get Involved


    David Randall:  Guess no-one's booing Nibali for attacking when CF had a mechanical. Don't want them to either but just saying.  

    3wisemonkeys:  good on him. All's fair. Too much pandering in sport to the so called stars. It is sport. Winning and losing, full stop.

     Alec Glen:  Smart by Nibali as he knew the GC contenders he's attacking had to stay with Froome who he's too far back from to be a threat

  57. Va Va Froome?

  58. Yellow jersey

    This is the virtual yellow jersey picture.

    Geraint Thomas is back up to fourth, but he is off the yellow jersey group and Vincenzo Nibali is eating up time into the Welshman.

  59. 38.5km remaining

    The climbs come thick and fast now. We're on the category two Cul du Mollard - it gets up to 9% in parts.

    Pierre Rolland is 53secs clear of Vincenzo Nibali, who has 1min 25secs on the yellow jersey group. Chris Froome and Wouter Poels will be bracing themselves for more digs from rivals.

  60. 39.8km remaining

    There is a suggestion that Chris Froome may have had a stone in is brakes rather than a chain issue on that climb.

  61. Your cycling scenery


    All that drama has distacted us from the business of your cycling scenery. Here are a couple to keep us going.

  62. 43.4km remaining

    Pierre Rolland has a curious descending style. He's off the seat and crouched as low to the frame as possible, but is sort of skewiff to the left. It's all a bit wonky. Whatever lights your candle I guess. Vincenzo Nibali is 50secs behind.

  63. Post update

  64. Get Involved


    Eric Fitton:  Cheeky for Nibali to check Froome was in trouble, it was an outrage when Contador half attacked Schleck in 2010

    Peter Yates:  Even if Nibali didn't know it was a mechanical at the time, surely he knows now from the radio. Either way he's taking advantage

    Dan:  Nibali looked back directly at Froome three times and then accelerated. He knew very well what he was doing.

  65. 47.7km remaining

    Watching Vincenzo Nibali descend these curves is a bit like being on one of those virtual machines that make you feel like you're on a rollercoaster. It's precarious stuff using every inch of the road,, in fact he almost clips a stone wall - head down, eking out seconds. The reigning champion fancies a stage win.

  66. 50km remaining

    We're over the top of the summit and the yellow jersey group whizzes into the hairpins, with Alejandro Valverde leading, Wouter Poels behind him and then Chrus Froome.

    Vincenzo Nibali is 47secs up the road and is 59secs off leader Pierre Rolland.

  67. Post update

    Rob Hayles

    Former GB cyclist

    "Nibali knew exactly what was going on. It wasn't just Froome he was attacking. There are six other guys he wants to make time up on."

  68. Get Involved


    Alain Taylor:  That's a disgrace by nibali. You don't attack your GC rivals when they have a technical  

    Graham Dobson:  Nibali using the win at all costs angle there

     I'm the dude:  Except wait - how far back could he see? He was already on the attack and Froome's mechanical was unseeable - roll the tape

  69. Yellow jersey

    Chris Froome and Vincenzo Nibali

    Vincenzo Nibali started the day 8mins 4secs behind the yellow jersey. If he can build on that gap, he will climb places.

    Chris Froome is still in the group with Nairo Quintana and Alejandro Valverde.

  70. 56.2km remaining

    Drama. Award winning drama. Vincenzo Nibali is not going to wait for Chris Froome to get his chain back on. Is that fair? It's exciting regardless.

    Nibali is 25 seconds ahead of Froome.

  71. Keep calm?!?

  72. 58km remaining

    I may have mixed up my Albertos and Alejandros a moment ago. Pretend you never saw that. Thanks.

    Wouter Poels digs deep and just about keeps Valverde within touching distance. There will be no gap just yet, but how much damage has that done to Poels and, maybe even Chris Froome?

  73. Post update

    BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra

    This is a public service announcement.

    These two men, Rob Hayles and Simon Brotherton, are live on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra and on the Live Coverage tab at the top of this page.

  74. 58.8km remaining

    And he's away. He's gone. Wouter Poels is at the front of the yellow jersey group and he doesn't panic - they should reel him in on the descent.

    Alejandro Valverde was 4mins 9secs off Froome in the GC at the start of the day.

  75. 59.6km remaining

    A bit of relief for Chris Froome as Wouter Poels rejoins the group. He looks like he might squeeze himself dry in support of Froome.

    Here goes Alejandro Valverde...

  76. As it stands

    60km remaining

    First: Rohan Dennis

    Rigoberto Uran, Ruben Plaza +1min 51secs

    Yellow jersey group +2mins 32secs

  77. Get Involved


    Ted:  Any chance Sky are faking fatigue to come back stronger on the final climbs???

     Paul Mulligan:  No teammates for #Froomey - it's going to be a tough day in the Alps. Astana, Tinkoff and Movistar could all make up some time.

  78. 61.1km remaining

    Alberto Contador

    Geraint Thomas has ceded fourth place in the virtual GC standings to Alberto Contador.

    Chris Froome pours liquid down his throat and kicks on again. There's still a few km to the top.

  79. Froome isolated

    Wouter Poels does not have the legs. He's gone. Chris Froome is entirely by himself without team-mates. Vincenzo Nibali smells blood and is off. And where's Nairo Quintana? Like an expert ninja he sneaks quietly out of nowhere. Froome is clinging on.

  80. 62.3km remaining

    It's Wouter Poels who is proving Chris Froome's go-to man again, as the pair tuck in behind a two Astana jerseys. The increase in pace is causing carnage down the road, men dropping off all over the place.

  81. 63km remaining

    Team Sky's Richie Porte is off the back of the yellow jersey group. He looks shattered but has enough energy to hand a bottle to a spectator.

    And that's Geraint Thomas struggling to keep up too. Chris Froome is starting to look isolated...

  82. 63.9km remaining

    Vincenzo Nibali rides on stage 19

    The game is afoot - again. Vincenzo Nibali's Astanah ave upped the pace at the front of the yellow jersey group. It's not enough to cause damage, but it's a display of intent as the inclines become tastier.

    Pierre Rolland meanwhile is more than minute in front of the lead group, all on his tod.

  83. Your cycling scenes


    You're all making me want to get out on my bike. What is the best view you've seen from the saddle? #bbccycling

  84. 66.1km remaining

    Not content with coming second yesterday, Pierre Rolland has gone for a jaunt off the lead pack and is out in front. The Europcar man is almost 30 seconds in the clear.

  85. 67km remaining

    Riders are fluttering off the lead group like dying leaves in autumn. Tony Gallopin has now gone all the way back the yellow jersey group, Tim Wellens is just ahead and Jarlinson Pantano is falling off too.

    There are 19 in the lead group, including Joaquim Rodriguez, Romain Bardet, Pierre Rolland and Steve Cummings. The gap to the peloton is 2mins 46 secs.

  86. Your cycling scenes


    So many lush pictures. We want your best views from your bike. Use #bbccycling

  87. Get Involved


    Alejandro Valverde on stage 19

    Tony Adamson:  If I were Movistar: make Valverde attack on Croix, hold Nairo back. Leave Froome a hard choice who to cover... What's your view?  

    It's a decent plan, but can Valverde escape? What does everyone else think? Use #bbccycling

  88. 71.1km remaining

    Chris Froome in the yellow jersey

    Even if you've only ever driven these mountain roads, rather than cycled them, you'll know how taxing they are.

    Lotto-NL Jumbo are tugging along the yellow jersey group and Team Sky are sitting in just behind. So far, it's a much more sedate scenario for Chris Froome than the first climb.

  89. Post update

  90. 72.7km remaining

    Lotto-Soudall pair Tim Wellens and Tony Gallopin have fallen off the back of the lead group. Behind them by about two minutes is the yellow jersey group, who have just dropped Mark Cavendish and Andre Greipel.

  91. Your cycling scenes


    Can you beat that view? Send us your cycling views to #bbccycling

  92. Col de Crikey

    The climb up Col de la Croix de Fer is ridiculous. It's a hors category 22.4km ascent at an average 6.9% incline. I'm dizzy just thinking about it.

  93. 'We came for winning'


    There are fears that Movistar might protect their current hold on second and third, and not let Nairo Quintana and Alejandro Valverde attack Froome. The Spanish team are having none of it...

    Quote Message: "Second and third, it looks good on paper. But it's not enough for us. We came for winning and the whole has been working for three weeks to make Nairo a winner. Unfortunately, there was this special stage in Zealand where Nairo lost one and half minute. Three minutes deficit is a lot, but in the two coming stages, failures can happen. We've seen it in the past. Those two hard stages are made to create differences. We have no choice but attack. However we have to do it smartly. Nairo is motivated. We keep the hope." from Movistar directeur sportif Jose Luis Arrieta speaking to
    Movistar directeur sportif Jose Luis Arrieta speaking to
  94. 75.9km remaining

    The breakaway are a friendly bunch. They waited for Tim Wellens and he promptly takes up a position on the front. That pulls the peloton closer to about 1min 42secs as we start our way up Col de la Croix de Fer.

  95. Your cycling scenes


    Some gorgeous landscapes from your rides. Keep them coming by using #bbccycling

  96. Retirement

  97. Ouch!

    Tim Wellens, part of the breakaway, has gone down like a sack of spuds while trying to get hold of a food bag. He's straight back up though and the doctor is having a look at him while he goes.

  98. Get Involved


    The power of the internet. After seeking your help, a million of you have told me that it's a new lion every day, which saddens me somewhat.

    Rebecca:  I believe it's a new one, and the bus drivers compete to see who can get the most toys on the dash

    Philip:  The Lions are new each day, and the drivers of the team buses have a competition to see who has the most in their windscreen!

  99. 84.4km remaining

    The breakaway on stage 19

    Catch your breath folks. This is as quiet as it's going to be today. 

    There are 22 riders in a lead group, which includes Briton Steve Cummings, as well as Joaquim Rodriguez, Michael Rogers, Pierre Rolland and Romain Bardet. Everyone else is 2mins 13secs back.

    We have a few minutes until we start the climb up the beast that is Col de la Croix de Fer.

  100. Ferocious Froome

    Like any good journalist, I'm about to get you guys to do my job for me.

    The lion Chris Froome is presented with at the end of each stage he wears yellow - is that a new lion, or the same one each time? I have a feeling it's a new one.

    I can imagine that giving up the cuddly toy might be more emotionally crushing than handing over the maillot jaune if you were to surrender the lead.

    Anyway, if you know the answer, use #bbccycling to tell me. Cheers

  101. Green jersey

    A general view of the peloton

    Not many sprinters in that supposed intermediate sprint. Cyril Gautier takes it - he's 39th in the points classification to give you an idea of how little it affects the standings. Peter Sagan still holds a big and bouncy 104-point lead at the top.

  102. 91.4km remaining

    The peloton has slowed right down and is now 1min 55secs down on the front group. That has allowed all the stragglers to catch up, including Chris Froome's team-mates Nick Roche and Richie Porte.

  103. Your cycling scenes


    I know these roads very well. Beautiful, flat, blustery Cambridge roads.

    We have a shed load of your cycling views, but keep them coming using #bbccycling

  104. Post update

  105. 95.6km remaining

    In out in out shake it all about. There's relentless activity on the flat to Epierre.

    A  group with Joaquim Rodriguez and Romain Bardet in it has moved about 45 seconds clear. Peter Sagan's not there, so he won't be among the sprint points.

  106. Bumps up ahead

    King of the Mountains fact. Joaquim Rodriguez
  107. 101.9km remaining

    It's a one-man race up top. Pierre Rolland is left on his own as Romain Bardet, Rigoberto Uran and Joaquim Rodriguez are reeled in. The gap is small though - just a few seconds.

  108. Your cycling scenes


    Right guys, I think you're breaking the internet.

    I asked for your pretty pictures from your rides, and they're coming in their droves. We'll use as many as we can, but I suggest you head to the #bbccycling stream and take a look. Some amazing snaps.

  109. 107.1km remaining

    Yellow jersey group 27 seconds behind

    Adam Yates on the first climb of the day

    Chris Froome has got the familiar Welsh face of Geraint Thomas back alongside him, which will be a massive relief. But the disintegration of Team Sky at the top of that first climb is a worry for the yellow jersey man. There's 30km or so of flatty flat flat, including a sprint, before we head to the heavens again and find out if it was a one off.

  110. Get Involved


    Paul Grainger:  I reckon #ChrisFroome could lose time today, fingers crossed not too much but would make for an interesting day tomorrow

    Andrew Harvey:  Plot twist! All GC guys go too hard to early, all crack, and Serge Pauwels takes the leaders jersey for MTN....could happen

  111. Post update

  112. 113.4km remaining

    Stage 18 winner Romain Bardet and Rigoberto Uran have gone for a stretch on the descent. It's a tad moist up there, so the pace is slow. Chris Froome is just behind with his GC rivals and pretty much everyone else.

  113. Polka dot jersey

    Joaquim Rodriguez cycles on stage 19

    Joaquim Rodriguez goes clear at the top of the climbers' classification, after reaching the top Col du Chaussy first. That's 10 points for Purito.

  114. Get Involved


  115. Worry for Froome?

    119km remaining

    Is business about to pick up?

    Chris Froome is running out of team-mates. Richie Porte seems to be struggling and is off the pace. And while Froome has got among Valderde and Contador at the front, Geraint Thomas and Leopold Konig are finding it difficult to hold on. Froome has just Wouter Poels with him.

  116. Post update

    Makes me glad I don't have a cycling career to retire from, Jens.

  117. Your cycling scenes


    The sight of the peloton winding its way up Montvernier like tiny little worker ants will become one of the iconic images of this year's Tour.

    So, after being told I can't ask for photos of food for a third consecutive day, I've decided that today, as we continue through the Alps, I want your pictures of the views you've captured on a ride.

    Mountains, beaches, city-scapes, jungles, pubs - what's the most jaw-dropping scene you've snapped?

  118. 124.3km remaining

    Giant yellow jersey bike

    So much going on already. Vincenzo Nibali, Alberto Contador and Alejandro Valverde have all brudged the gap to the front group. That's upped the pace of the yellow jersey group, and there's a few who have fallen off the back - namely Peter Sagan, Mark Cavendish and Andre Greipel. Not a day to be a sprinter.

  119. Polka dot jersey

    Joaquim Rodriguez

    The race for the spots has a bit more spice.

    Joaquim Rodriguez won the first five climbs yesterday to take hold of the polka dots outright.

    Romain Bardet won the last two climbs to level it up on points, but 'Purito' clings on to the jersey through a count-back on who has won the most high category climbs.

    Don't count out Jakob Fuglsang either, who was more than a bit miffed yesterday when he got knocked off by a race motorbike.

    KO classification
  120. Yellow jersey

    So, to refresh your memory, it's as you were in the GC standings, with Chris Froome maintaining that 3mins 10secs lead over Nairo Quintana on stage 18.

    Romain Bardet's burst yesterday moved him into the top 10, but other than that there's no change.

    GC slassification
  121. 126.5km remaining

    The pack ride on stage 19

    Go on Bertie! Let's get this going early.

    Alberto Contador has a pop out of the yellow jersey group. Alejandro Valverde and Geraint Thomas are the ones to react to haul him in.

    Positive stuff. Does it also suggest that Valverde is racing for Quintana today, rather than his own third place?

  122. Give a Brother a hand

    Speaking of BBC Radio 5 live, get off your chair and doff your cap to this fella.

    Commentator Simon Brotherton has now worked on 20 Tours. I was 11 years old when he started...

  123. Post update

    BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra

    Alpine view

    This is the view the BBC Radio 5 live sports extra team woke up to today.

    Not jealous at all. Not one bit. I don't even like glorious alpine views.

    Simon Brotherton and Rob Hayles will bring you commentary of stage 19 on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra and online from 15:00.

  124. 128.7km remaining

    That Peter Sagan group has caught up with the boys out in front, but it has also dropped Peter Sagan (does that make sense?). There are 25 riders out front and the yellow jersey group is 35 seconds back. We're about halfway up Col du Chaussy.

  125. Bardet bullet and Thomas the tank

    Despite the lack of yellow jersey movement yesterday, there was plenty of action on the slopes to Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne.

    Nairo Quintana, Froome's closest rival in the yellow jersey race, made attempts to shake off the Team Sky rider. So did Alberto Contador and Vincenzo Nibali. They all failed, partly in thanks to the scampering and scurrying of Geraint Thomas.

    And what about Romain Bardet? Breaking away on the Col du Glandon and holding on until the end to add a bit of French fancy for the stage win.

    Romain Bardet
  126. 131km remaining

    Behind that front group is a bunch of attackers off the yellow jersey group. Green jersey man Peter Sagan is there, probably keeping himself in contention for the sprint at the bottom of Col du Chaussy. Yesterday's runner-up Pierre Rolland and consistent front-runner Andrew Talansky are in the mix too.

  127. Feeling yellow

    Chris Froome

    He's held it since stage seven, and it will take something very, very extraordinary to peel that yellow jersey off his slender frame before the parade into Paris on Sunday.

    Chris Froome looked ever so slightly human yesterday, for he first time in almost three weeks, but with a little help from his friends, the Team Sky man gave away no ground in his pursuit of a second Tour de France title.

    Nairo Quintana and Alejandro Valverde - today is the day you have to test what the Kenya-born Briton is really made of. But I suspect it might be stern stuff.

  128. 132.6km remaining

    Already there's a group off the front on Col du Chaussy. And polka dot wearer Joaquim Rodriguez is there. More on the climbers' situation in a moment.

  129. Stage 19: 138km to La Toussuire

    Stage 19 profile

    A short but hopefully very sweet stage today folks. We're already straight into a category-one climb up Col du Chaussy,

    At about halfway comes the beast that is Col de la Croix de Fer and then there's the romp up to La Toussuire to finish.

    We asked Geraint Thomas about each stage before the Tour started - his thoughts on today are quite interesting.

    "There is always somebody in the top seven or eight who can still be pretty dangerous on a stage like this, even if they are four or five minutes down."  

    Nairo Quintana is 3mins 10secs down. You never know...

  130. Allez!

    Beinvenue to stage 19 of the Tour de France.

    The big names have rolled through the neutral zone, and the race from Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne to La Toussuire is on.