18/07/13 - 11:30
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Gap - Alpe d'Huez
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Tour de France • Stage18
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Gap - Alpe d'Huez
Tour de France - 18 July 2013

Tour de France – Follow this cycling race live with Eurosport. The action starts at 11:30 on 18 July 2013. Our live coverage lets you follow all the key moments as they happen.
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0km

With that ride, Quintana moves onto the podium in third place. Froome now has 5:11 over Contador and 5:32 over the Colombian.

0km 

Contador finished just under a minute back after a late rally - surely he cannot win the Tour de France any more?

0km 

Porte and Froome power towards the line and it's Porte who crosses the line first before the pair embrace each other, with Valverde crossing just behind. They finished at 3:18.

0km 

Nairo Quintana out-sprints Joaquim Rodriguez to take fourth, 2:12 down on the winner.

0km 

Moreno Moser takes third place 1:30 down.

0km 

Tejay van Garderen crosses the line 58 seconds down to take second place - so near and yet so far...

0km

Victory for Christophe Riblon of Ag2R-La Mondiale! The Frenchman has time to savour it and is in tears as he punches the air on multiple occasions through the final bends and crosses the air, arms aloft.

0.5km 

What a day for Riblon and the host nation!

1km

Riblon's Ag2R-La Mondiale DS draws level in the team car, but Riblon waves him away - he doesn't want or need the distraction.

1.5km

Quintana and Rodriguez have 30 seconds on Froome and Porte and 1:45 on the Contador group.

1.8km

RIBLON DANCES CLEAR AS HE REACHES VAN GARDEREN! We're going to have a French victory on the Tour!

2km 

Van Garderen is really pedalling squares and Riblon has a second wind as they reach the 2-to-go banner.

2.5km 

Riblon has Van Garderen in his sights! The American has hit the wall!

3km

Van Garderen is tiring... he has 22 seconds on Riblon now inside the last 3km.

3.5km 

Quintana soloes clear with Rodriguiez in pursuit, while Sky regroup.

4km

Porte went back and got some energy gels - and just as he was handing them to Froome, a spectator almost pulls down the Australian when his Japanese flag gets caught on his handlebars! We're also hearing that this is an illegal feed for Sky - it's within the last 6km and so there may be repercussions...

4.5km

Van Garderen still has 3:30 on the yellow jersey group - BUT FROOME HAS A PROBLEM! His arm is up and he is gesticulating to the support cars. Porte drops back... and now Quintana attacks!

5km

Porte is having a storming day. He's driving such a pace that even Froome is struggling to keep up with him. Crucially, that means that Quintana and Rodriguez cannot take advantage of Froome's weary legs with an attack.

5.3km

Van Garderen is looking good for the win - he has 45 second on Riblon now, and 3:40 on the yellow jersey group.

5.5km 

Quintana, Rodriguez and Froome have been caught by the marvellous Richie Porte just as they catch and pass Jens Voigt. Froome will be happy to see the Australian.

6km

Contador is now one minute down on Froome, and is back with Kreuziger, Serpa and Moreno.

6.5km

Van Garderen pushes a man in a polka dot jersey who has been persistently running alongside him, then shakes his fist at him. As if it's hard enough not to cycle up Alpe d'Huez for a second time without having to deal with cretins while doing so...

6.8km 

Both Rodriguez and Quintana are out of the saddle, but they're not making much headway over Froome.

7km

The gap is now four minutes for Van Garderen, who also leads Riblon by 32 seconds.

7.2km

Froome looks to be struggling here to keep up with Quintana - it's the first time we've seen a human side to him in this year's Tour!

7.5km

Moments after Froome almost rides into a rogue running kid, Rodriguez puts in an attack! The Spaniard opens a small gap over Froome and Quintana...

8km 

Quintana ups the tempo and opens up a small gap, but Froome and Rodriguez close the gap. The Contador group, which also has Valverde, Moreno and Porte, have caught Jeannesson.

8.5km

Katusha attack! Purito and Moreno pull clear, before the latter peels off, his work done. Rodriguez is riding back on with Froome and Quintana, while Contador and Valverde have no answer.

8.8km 

Froome and Quintana are picking off some of the earlier breakaway riders - the likes of Danielson and Jeannesson.

9.2km

Quintana has managed to reach Froome's wheel. Behind them is a quartet of Rodriguez, Contador, Valverde and Moreno - with Porte just sitting on the back refusing to help lead the chase.

9.5km 

Kreuziger has cracked and is dropped from the main pack... and then Froome attacks! No one can follow... unbelievable stuff.

10km 

10km to go for Van Garderen and he still has 4:20 over the pack. Riblon is in pursuit, while Voigt and Moser ride further down the road...

10.2km 

Porte fights back to his team leader's side, and is greeted by a hug from Froome - real camaraderie there! They know that they have this race in their pocket now...

10.8km

FROOME ATTACKS! The yellow jersey puts in one of his trademark in-the-saddle high-cadence attacks moments after whispering something to Porte. The big favourites stay with him, but Mollema has been dropped. They catch the Valverde and Serpa group.

11km 

Tejay van Garderen is the lone leader, 4:35 ahead of the yellow jersey pack.

11.5km

Richie Porte is setting the pace, the last Sky man with Froome. Poised to strike behind the yellow jersey are the likes of Rodriguez, Moreno, Quintana, Fuglsang, Contador and Kreuziger.

11.7km

Numerous attacks at the start of the climb - Serpa and Valverde amongst them. Off the back goes Ten Dam, Voeckler and Schleck...

12km

Wow - 41-year-old Jens Voigt has caught Moser! They still trail the two leaders by 20 seconds and Van Garderen is really ramping it up because he knows that Movistar are on the rampage.

12.5km

Movistar are ripping it up - and the gap is down to 5:30 as the main pack approach the climb. This is a sprint to the start of the climb - and it is going to have devastating results once the road heads uphill!

13km

Schleck, Nieve and Chavanel are caught by the pack, with Rolland and Poels soon to follow. It's been the pace setting of Movistar that did for them. But if they're thinking of setting up Quintana for the win, it's probably too late - surely even the Colombian climber cannot overturn a seven-minute deficit on the final climb?

13.5km 

Moser is dropped from the outset - and it's TGV and Riblon riding alongside Didi the Devil at the start of this decisive climb. Can they hang on? Probably.

14km

The three leaders - Tejay van Garderen (BMC), Christophe Riblon (Ag2r-La Mondiale) and Moreno Moser (Cannondale) - are onto the second ascent of the HC Alpe d’Huez (13.8km at 8.1%). They have 7:20 over the pack.

15km 

Yes, it was a bike change for Contador... trying to play the same game as Froome yesterday.

16km

CONTADOR OFF THE BACK: The Spaniard must have had a mechanical or something because he's off the back with Kreuziger and now frantically fighting back on as Movistar lay it on thick on the front.

18km

Rolland is back with the Schleck group now after that tough descent.

19km

Van Garderen is closing in on the two leaders. He looked very solid on the last ascent of Alpe d'Huez but then suffered a problem with his chain on the Sarenne downhill.

20km 

Contador and Kreuziger talk and decide to knock it off, knowing that they're being tracked by both Sky and Movistar. Wise decision - they need to keep some energy back in reserve for the final ascent.

21km

Now Movistar have moved to the front of the main pack, driving the pace for Quintana - who will certainly have a pop on the final ascent.

22km

Contador and Kreuziger have 20 seconds on the yellow jersey group.

24km 

As expected, Pierre Rolland has been distanced on this descent from the Schleck group. So it's Nieve, Schleck, Chavanel and Poels together, with the Europcar rider lone in pursuit.

25km 

Riblon, with his wet shoes, is back with Moser on the front of the race. Moser may have had no idea what happened to him there. The Italian gets an energy gel from his team car. They have completed the main part of the downhill and are now on a slight uphill drag ahead of the final dip into the valley.

26km

Van Garderen is 45 seconds down on Moser, the Schleck group is 6:15 back, while the peloton rides at 7:35.

27km 

The rain has held off - thankfully. Just a few drops at the moment - although the grupetto may get it worse, which would be cruel.

29km

Moser is the lone leader after that Riblon spill and Van Garderen chain-drop. He's now onto a proper road, which he'll be pleased about.

30km 

Sky aren't chasing down the Saxo attack - there's no need to worry just yet. Contador and Kreuziger have just passed the ditch that Riblon rode into...

32.5km

ATTACK: Saxo-Tinkoff duo Contador and Kreuziger have edged clear on the downhill - they are taking massive risks!

33km 

Van Garderen is riding back towards the leaders after sorting out his chain. He's 42 seconds back.

35km

Now the peloton reach the summit... and it has just started to rain! It's going to be carnage!

36km

Riblon overcooks a tight bend and rides through a bend and into a ditch of water! He doesn't crash but it remains to be seen if he picked up a flat or damaged his wheels there. Hairy moment!

37km 

The Rolland/Schleck/Nieve/Poels group have almost caught Sylvain Chavanel, who was part of the initial break. They have now come to the summit of the Sarenne and face that long, winding downhill.

38km 

Moser has caught Riblon and the pair are taking on this narrow, sinuous descent very gingerly. The road surface is pretty terrible, even if patches have been relaid recently.

40km

The leading duo are on the infamous descent, which is narrow and potholed. Van Garderen drops his chain and has a clear problem. He has to freewheel for a bit, then stops and waits for the neutral support car. Nightmare for the American.

40.5km

The Schleck/Rolland group has 2:15 on the peloton, but still trail the leaders by six minutes. Back with the pack, Movistar have come to the front.

41km

ATTACK: Ryder Hesjedal of Garmin-Sharp has a pop off the front of the pack.

41.5km 

Sky still lead the pack on this narrow track that links Alpe d'Huez and the start of the Col de Sarenne climb. The leaders, Van Garderen and Riblon, are nearing the summit now.

42km

Despite all the earlier fears, the sun in a cloudy sky is out and there's no rain as we approach the hairy Col de Sarenne descent.

43km

Moser has been dropped by Van Garderen and Riblon.

44km

Our leading trio of Riblon, Van Garderen and Moser have reached the Cat.2 Col de Sarenne (3km at 7.8%). Interestingly, there are no fans lining the narrow road - just green, open plains. It's rather beautiful.

44,5km

The Rolland group has one minute on the peloton. But still trail the leaders by 7:20.

45.5km 

Voeckler is caught by the peloton just after the summit. He looks in a fair bit of pain...

46km

Nieve has attacked the Rolland group! But he's reeled in swiftly...

47km

The three leaders have gone over the summit of the Alpe d'Huez and are on the slight downhill ahead of the Col de Sarenne climb - this is new territory for the Tour de France. Moser took the 25pts ahead of Riblon, van Garderen and Voigt.

48km

The leaders still have 8:15 on the peloton and, given the downhill, it's hard to see them being caught. There will be a shake up with the GC, but they won't be contesting for the win.

49km

Andy Schleck is closing in on the group containing Voeckler, Rolland, Nieve and Poels. And he's now joined them. it's nice to see him back and in competitive shape. Voeckler calls it a day as Schleck whizzes by! One in, one out...

49.5km 

Off the back of the peloton, Kwiatkowski anmd Gautier have popped.

49.8km

Moser now rides clear of the leading trio! But he then slows to allow them back onto his wheel.

50km

ATTACK: Andy Schleck now edges clear of the peloton. He's going to try and join the Voeckler/Rolland group, which has 25 seconds on the main pack.

50.2km

Van garderen is caught by Moser and Riblon. They lead Voigt by 35 seconds.

50.7km

Siutsou peels off the front to leave Sky with three riders in support of Froome: Lopez, Kennaugh and Porte are doing the honours.

51km

ATTACK: Andrew Talansky of Garmin breaks clear of the pack in pursuit of the Voeckler/Rolland group.

51.5km 

Moreno Moser has joined Christophe Riblon in pursuit of Van Garderen. Back with the pack, Andy Schleck stops to make an adjustment with his chain.

51.8km 

Belkin duo Mollema and ten Dam are now on Froome's wheel. The crowds at Dutch corner are so dense that the pace comes right down.

52km 

Sky still have four riders helping Chris Froome. Voeckler, Rolland, Laurent Didier (not Schleck!) and Poels ride off ahead - and Mikel Nieve, the polka dot jersey from Euskaltel, attacks off the front in pursuit.

52.5km

NOW ROLLAND GOES! The Frenchman, winner here in 2011, jumps clear and joins his team-mate Voeckler.

53km

ATTACK: Thomas Voeckler makes his move! Andy Schleck and Wout Poels follow in his wheel.

53.5km

Riblon gives a topless man a thump after he was running alongside him. The fans are giving them no space at all! Riblon trails Van Garderen by 25 seconds, with Moser/Danielson/Voigt at 40 seconds. The peloton is still eight minutes back.

54km

Thomas Voeckler has cruised up to Pierre Rolland and they're deep in discussion - expect an attack very soon!

54.6km 

Yellow jersey Chris Froome has both Nairo Quintana, the white jersey, and Pierre Rolland, the former polka dot jersey, on his wheel.

55km 

We have yet to reach Dutch corner, and Johnny Hoogerland has already been dropped by the pack.

55.2km 

Voigt, Danielson and Moser are riding separately in pursuit of lone leader Van Garderen. The supporters are out in their droves. They say half a million are on the Alpe today...

55.8km

Cadel Evans of BMC is already off the back. This has been a horror Tour for the Australian. His team-mate is looking great on the front of the race, though. The American still has 7:45 on the pack.

56km

Roche has already been caught by the pack and now Paulinho is next.

56.5km 

Polish youngster Michal Kwiatkowski of Omega Pharma is still very near the front - he's been so impressive this year.

57km 

Multiple riders off the back already - including the green jersey Sagan and Rein Taaramae of Cofidis.

58km

Two Sky riders have already been dropped, do we're down to five, with Siutsou and Lopez on the front.

58.5km

Tejay van Garderen and Christophe Riblon are alone up front after dropping their fellow escapees. They have Jens Voigt in pursuit. Riblon drops now, leaving the young American TVG out in front. Could this be the day he saves his Tour?

59km

Europcar's Pierre Rolland, winner here in 2011 after reeling in an attack from Contador, is near the front of the peloton and poised to strike, it seems.

59.5km

Sergio Paulinho taps Nico Roche on the back and then powers ahead. The Portuguese will plough ahead now in the hope that he can help out Contador and Kreuziger later... As for Roche, it will be a long ride to the finish...

60km

The main pack have passed through Bourg d'Oisans and are onto the first ascent of Alpe d'Huez. The question is: will we see some attacks from the favourites this first time round or will they wait for the final ascent?

61km

Back with the peloton ahead of the climb, Cannondale make a hash of things and Andre Greipel picks up the 12th place ahead of Peter Sagan at the intermediate sprint - not that that changes anything.

62km

Riblon onto the front for the escapees, with Voigt right on his wheel. The escapees are back together after that slight split, whioch saw Lars Boom take the green jersey points at the intermediate sprint.

63km

The leaders onto the first of two ascents of the HC climb of Alpe d’Huez (12.3km at 8.4%). Here we go!

65km

There's a split in the leading group on the descent, with Chavanel and four others (Boom, Riblon, van Garderen and Moser) slightly ahead of the other four - Jeannesson, Voigt, Danielson and Amador.

68km

There's an intermediate speech at the bottom of this descent and so Peter Sagan and his Cannondale team-mates have come forward. Granted, the points would only be for 12th place given the men up the road, but every little helps...

70km 

The peloton cross the summit around eight minutes down.

72km

Roche and Paulinho crest the summit. They're six minutes down on the leaders.

74km 

RadioShack, Belkin and Johnny Hoogerland have come to the front alongside Sky on the climb. It will be interesting to see if anyone tries a counter attack on the Ornon.

77km

Arnold Jeannesson takes the KOM points over the summit ahead of Sylvain Chavanel and Jens Voigt. That's 12pts so far today for Jeannesson, who moves into 12th place in the KOM standings. If he crosses the next two in pole position, he will be the polka dot jersey.

79km

Incidentally, Moreno Moser, the Italian from Cannondale, is sporting his 'SNAKE' Fi’zi:k bib shorts. Others include 'BULL' (which is favoured by the green jersey Peter Sagan) and 'CHAMELEON' - although none of the Cannondale boys seem to be favouring the latter.

80km

After such an explosive start to the stage, it has got a bit pedestrian now - which is hardly surprising, what with the two ascents of Alpe d'Huez coming up. The nine leaders now have 8:10 over the peloton and 5:25 over the two chasing Saxo-Tinkoff riders.

84km

The nine leaders are onto the Cat.2 Col d’Ornon (1,371m high; 5.1km at 6.7%).

85km

We're approaching the third climb of the day with Sky still setting the pace ahead of Saxo-Tinkoff. The gap is 7:15.

90km

Van Garderen, who was had the lead in yesterday's ITT before the big guns rolled down the ramp, leads the escapees after dropping back to chat with his BMC team car. The team have had a troubled tour, what with both Van Garderen and Cadel Evans struggling for the overall, and no stage wins coming elsewhere.

95km

Saxo, Astana, Movistar and Europcar are all near the front of the peloton behind Sky. The gap is now seven minutes for the nine leaders. The Saxo chasing duo of Roche and Paulinho trail the leaders by 4:50 and so have 2:10 ob the pack.

98km

Lunch time for the nine leaders, who pass through the feed zone with six and a half minutes to play with over the Sky-led peloton. The sun is still out despite the stormy clouds on the horizon.

100km

With 100km remaining, the nine leaders have 6:40 on the peloton and 5:15 on the Paulinho/Roche chasing duo.

102km

Europcar had intended to make it into the day's main break but their man Thomas Voeckler, who passed over the summit of the opening climb this morning in third place, suffered a mechanical issue and had to drop back to his team car. Remember, Pierre Rolland won on Alpe d'Huez two years ago in stage 19. That year, it was France's first and only win... can history repeat itself?

105km

Andre Greipel regrets putting on a base layer and is now riding with his German national champions jersey off his back as he strips off his under garment to reveal his ripped torso, before putting his jersey back on.

111km

We're onto this undulating section ahead of the third climb of the day, with the road going up and down constantly. Sky and Saxo control the peloton, which trails the break by 6:20. Roche and Paulinho are riding one minute ahead of the main pack.

115km

The French should be excited: Jeannesson and Riblon are decent climbers who could both target the win today. The host nation are still without a win in the 2013 Tour, and yesterday their best placed rider, Jean-Christophe Peraud, crashed out with a broken collarbone. That means the best placed Frenchman is now Peraud's Ag2R team-mate Romain Bardet, the 22-year-old Tour debutant, in 20th place.

119km

Euskaltel are the latest team to sent two riders up the road, but their foray into the unknown doesn't last long before Ian Stannard and the Sky team reel them in on this slight downhill.

120km

The Saxo-Tinkoff duo pass over the summit 5:25 down on the leading nine riders and 15 seconds ahead of the peloton.

122km

Average speed for the first hour of the race was 44.6kmh so this is a fast one.

124km

RadioShack's Laurent Didier tried to follow Roche and Paulinho, but he didn't make any headway, what with the Skybots cranking out 400 watts apiece on the front of the pack,

125km

Tom Danielson crosses the summit of the Rampe de Motty in pole position ahead of Christophe Riblon.

126km

Astana's Alexey Lutsenko has withdrawn from his debut Tour.

127km

ATTACK: There's no reaction from Sky as Saxo-Tinkoff send two men up the road on this short but steep climb. It's Nicolas Roche and Sergio Paulinho.

128km

Sylvain Chavanel is the best placed rider on GC in this leading group - 35'17 down on the yellow jersey. There are three former stage winners in this group - Chavanel, Riblon and Voigt. They have six minutes now.

129km

The nine escapees are onto the second climb of the day, the Cat.3 Rampe du Motty (2.4km at 8%).

130km

All seven remaining Sky riders are on the front, with the entire Saxo-Tinkoff team in their wheels. The gap for the leading Chavanel group is up to five minutes.

135km 

It was great to see both Saxo-Tinkoff and Movistar test their legs on the first climb and put Sky under some pressure. It may have come back together now, but it bodes well for the neutrals who want to see some fireworks today.

140km

The first rain drops start to fall on the leaders, who have four minutes now on the peloton.

142km 

Yellow jersey Chris Froome is deep in conversation with former Sky team-mate Mick Rogers, now of Saxo-Tinkoff, while Contador is off the back to speak with his team car and make soem alterations with his shoes. Froome then has a long discussion with Richie Porte, who then drops back to chat to Alejandro Valverde... oh, to be a fly on the wall of the peloton.

145km

After a savage opening ascent, order has been restored on the Tour's queen stage: the two pelotons are back together after the early split on the Col du Manse. The pack trails the break of the day by 2:10.

148km

The leaderas are: Jens Voigt (RadioShack), Arnold Jeannesson (FDJ), Christophe Riblon (Ag2R-La Mondiale), Andrey Amador (Movistar), Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma-Quick Step), Lars Boom (Belkin), Tom Danielson (Garmin-Sharp), Tejay van Garderen (BMC) and Moreno Moser (Cannondale). They have 1:30 over the peloton, which is now being controlled by Team Sky.

153km 

A group of nine riders has formed around Chavanel off the front of the pack. Christophe Riblon, Arnold Jeannesson and Lars Boom are there.

155km

This slight descent has allowed the race to get back together somewhat. The peloton is extremely strung out but it is no longer as thin up front as before. There is a second peloton, however, riding at one minute to the main pack with the yellow jersey. Dan Martin, who won stage nine, is in this group after being distanced on the first climb.

158km

Once over the top, Sylvain Chavanel starts to power along on his specal limited edition orange Specialized steed. This has been a frenetic opening to the stage!

159km

Hesjedal passes over the summit in pole position, but he has just 30 metres to play with. Meanwhile, after a frantic opening, it appears to have come back together. What was a small leading group is now a peloton of around 60-odd riders, which more joining. Arnold Jeannesson crosses for second place ahead of Thomas Voeckler.

160km

Canada's Ryder Hesjedal attacks! Last year's Giro winner opens up a small ga[p on the front.

160.5km

Now Contador has a pop! Froome covers him and we have about 20 riders now on the front of the race - including Froome, Contador, Kwiatkowski, Quintana, Valverde and two other Movistar riders. Kreuziger doesn't appear to be here...

161km

QUINTANA ATTACKS! It's just a little acceleration but already it has blown the field apart - and Froome has no team-mates with him after Richie Porte appears to blow up.

162km

Cadel Evans has a pop off the front too, but was reeled in. But now it's his BMC team-mate Van Garderen who leads a small group of five riders off the front.

163km

Sky are concerned about this and have sent Peter Kennaugh to the front. The youngster manages to reel in Hernandez. Riders are already being blown off the back - the likes of Jonathan Hivert, who finished last on the Ventoux, and even Thomas De Gendt are already in trouble.

164km

ATTACK: Saxo-Tinkoff send Jesus Hernandez up the road. It's kicking off already! The Spaniard has Brice Feillu (Sojasun) in pursuit...

165km

It's back together as one as the peloton reach the first of five climbs on the menu: the Cat.2 Col de Manse (6.6km at 6.2%). They're going up in the opposite direction as the other day when Contador crashed on the descent...

168km

Puncture for Euskaltel's Ruben Perez, who drops back to change a wheel.

170km

Jens Voigt (RadioShack) is also having a pop, along with birthday boy Simon Clarke (Orica-GreenEdge) who is 27 today. But it's coming back together.

172km

ATTACK: Straight away there's an acceleration from Dutch national champion Johnny Hoogerland of Vacansoleil-DCM, who sparks a response from numerous riders...

172.5km

They're off! Christian Prudhomme waves the flag and the remaining 177 riders get this Queen Stage under way...

11:40

The riders are currently rolling through the neutral zone ahead of this all-important stage. After more than a fortnight of blue skies and blazing sunshine, yesterday saw the first rain fall on the 2013 Tour. Rain is forecast today as well, which would make that descent of the Col du Sarenne fairly testing. There was talk of cancelling the second ascent of Alpe d'Huez over fears for rider safety - but for the time being the weather is cloudy but holding up and the stage goes ahead as planner.

11:35

Slovakia's Peter Sagan (Cannondale) has all but sewn up the green jersey for the second successive year after one stage win and four runner-up spots. He leads Britain's Mark Cavendish (OPQS) by 99 points and only a crash or withdrawal through illness could see Sagan beaten to green in Paris.

11:32

The best young rider is that man Quintana, with Movistar's Colombian climber leading Omega Pharma-Quick Step's Kwiatkowski by 4:12 on GC. American Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Sharp) is third as 8:15.

11:30

Today is bound to see a shake up in the king of the mountain standings with a total of 75 points available over the last two summits of the day - the dual climb of Alpe d'Huez. Yellow jersey Froome leads the standings on 88 points ahead of white jersey Nairo Quintana on 69 points, which means third place Mikel Nieve of Euskaltel once again wears the polka dot jersey, despite being only third on the standings on 53 points.

11:25

Froome extended his lead over Contador to 4:25 in the overall standings although his Spanish rival and team-mate Roman Kreuziger both moved aboive Dutchman Bauke Mollema on GC after the Belkin rider conceded two minutes in the ITT to drop to fourth place. With Jean-Christophe Peraud withdrawing with a broken collarbone after a double crash yesterday, Polish all-rounder Michal Kwiatkowski moves back into the top ten. Rodriguez also rose to sixth place at the expense of Dutchman Laurens ten Dam.

11:20

Yesterday, Chris Froome put yet another stamp of authority on the race with victory in the mountain time trial from Embrun to Chorges. The British rider from Team Sky trailed at each split, but benefited from a bike change atop the final climb to come home nine seconds quicker than Saxo-Tinkoff's Alberto Contador and a further second faster than Joaquim Rodriguez of Katusha. It was Froome's third victory in the race after his previous triumphs at Ax3 Domaines and Mont Ventoux. Can he make it 4?

11:15

Welcome to live coverage of stage 18 of the Tour de France - the one we've all been waiting for: a 172.5km trek through the mountains from Gap, concluding with the first ever double ascent in Tour de France history. This really is the showpiece of the 100th edition of the race, with the famous 21 hairpin bends of the 'Dutch Mountain' coming either side of a long and treacherous descent of the Col du Sarenne. Buckle up and brace yourselves for the ride...