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 Michael 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 on the podium by a second from a fast 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 ahead.
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.
Stage 17 of this year’s Tour de France looked like it would be a monster stage with three of the most iconic climbs one right after the other: la Croix de Fer, Telegraphe and Galibier ending with a sweeping descent into Serre Chavelier. The GC contenders, however, were not in the mood to risk much, leaving it to the other jersey fights and super-domestiques to spice up the stage. LottoNL-Jumbo’s Primoz Roglic attacked out of a Contador break 6.5km from the summit of Galibier to solo win his first Tour stage. Chris Froome stayed in yellow.