The race of truth. 22.5km with 33 corners to make the nerves jangle and a savage climb to test the legs and the gearing choices. Maciej Bodnar covered the course in a silky smooth 28.15 mins, beating fellow Pole Michal Kwiatkowski by a single second to take a hugely popular victory. Rigoberto Uran outpaced Romain Bardet to jump onto the second step of the podium despite a contretemps with the barriers. The Frenchman had a nightmare on his TT bike, giving everything to just retain third place by a second from a charging Mikel Landa. Chris Froome never looked anything less than the winner of this year’s Grand Bouclé. Nearly catching Bardet on the line to finish 4th on the day and ride into Paris 54secs to the good.
The longest stage of this year’s Tour de France was animated by the usual suspects: Thomas De Gendt, Jan Bakelants and Jens Keukeleire, who did their bit for breakaway fame. The latter pushed and chased and almost got the win, but were outfoxed by the cunning Edvald Boasson Hagen. Taking the shorter route around a roundabout, the Norwegian then took off at 2km and soloed to the line in what was his first win at the Tour in six years. GC classifications didn’t change, nor did any of the jerseys.
The last summit finish of this year’s Tour de France, the last real chance for GC guys to put time into Chris Froome before Saturday’s time trial. But in the 179km stage, it really was only the last 10km that felt like a race. Warren Barguil already clinched the KOM jersey for 2017 earlier in the stage, but he saw his chance, he attacked out of the yellow jersey group just under the 10km mark to bridge the 2mins and hunt down Darwin Atapuma to take a solo win on the mighty Izoard. Chris Froome was never in difficulty, finishing comfortably in yellow while Romain Bardet took a few seconds from Rigoberto Uran to swap podium places.