Watch the finish...

Here's the moment Miguel Angel Lopez crossed the line in front of French President Emmanuel Macron to take a maiden stage on the Tour de France - the ninth rider to do so in this year's race...

Cycling
Pogacar, UAE Emirates first cycling team to get Covid-19 vaccine
08/01/2021 AT 09:19

Roglic extends lead

Lopez's victory in Stage 17 saw the Colombian move up onto the provisional podium while Roglic strengthened his grip on the yellow jersey - he now has a 57-second gap over his compatriot Pogacar.

Victory for Lopez!

It's a maiden Tour stage win for Miguel Angel Lopez of Astana! What a ride from the Colombian...

Roglic comes home for second place at 15 seconds while Pogacar trundles home for third at 30 seconds. He looked to be closing in on his countryman but was knocked down by one of the many ramps towards the finish.

Kuss takes fourth, Porte fifth, Mas sixth, then Landa and Yates around 1'25" down and ahead of Uran.

Final kilometre

Lopez should hold on but Pogacar is closing in again on Roglic - they will battle for the bonus seconds and polka dot jersey points, not to mention valuable seconds in the battle for yellow.

1.5km to go - Pogacar dropped

Roglic rides clear of his countryman in pursuit of Lopez. It's a huge gap to close though - and as the road is pretty straight, he can see the gap he needs to close.

2km to go - Lopez in pole position

Lopez rides clear of Kuss on a savage incline, the American caught in two worlds, feeling he should sit up and wait for his teammate. And then Roglic attacks behind! He catches Kuss but doesn't manage to shed Pogacar.

The fans are out in their droves - this isn't cycling in a pandemic, it's ludicrous. Pogacar has to swat some away with his hand - then a fat man in a boiler suit wearing no mask shouts right in his face... Well done, France, well done...

3km to go - Carapaz caught

It's all over for Richard Carapaz... Sepp Kuss now rides clear as the road flattens - and Lopez bridges over. No reaction from Roglic and Pogacar, who now have Porte back with them, plus Carapaz clinging on.

3.5km to go - Lopez attacks

The first attack comes from Lopez. Pog, Rog and Kuss go with him but Porte, Mas and Yates have been dropped. Meanwhile, Carapaz's lead is down to just 10 seconds. Tense, nail-biting stuff.

4km to go - Pogagar prepares

Change of dynamic behind as David de la Cruz comes to the front for his UAE teammate Tadej Pogacar. Could he be preparing for an attack? The white jersey has the yellow jersey in his wheel, with Porte poised. And now gaps are appearing...

Landa, Uran, Valverde, Dumoulin all dropped... Yates, Porte, Lopez, Mas, Kuss, Rog and Pog in the lead as it's whittled down to seven.

4.5km to go - Windy and steep

There are quite a few fans out here lining the road. Carapaz has 45 seconds on the 13 chasers and he's looking astonishingly good - although the GC battle behind has yet to kick off so you fear for his chances. As he exits the trees there's definitely a bit of bluster in the air - and while there's some sunshine, there are also grey clouds looming.

6km to go - Carapaz extends lead

It's a baker's dozen of 13 riders in the yellow jersey group now as they hit the trees above Meribel. They're onto that narrow bike path now, which is closed to traffic and acts as a link up and over to the ski resort of Val Thorens. And in this quasi-calm before the GC storm, our Ecuadorian lone leader has extended his lead to 30 seconds.

7km to go - Carapaz holds the gap

The Ineos rider is not giving up lightly. Meanwhile, big news: Wout van Aert has finally been dropped! As for Bahrain-McLaren's tactics today - not everyone is impressed...

Time will tell if it pays off. But Bilbao has just gone so Landa is down to Caruso alone...

9km to go - Then there was one...

Gorka Izagirre sits up to leave Carapaz as the only remaining escapee out ahead. The Ecuadorian has 20 seconds to play with and looks motivated but realistic. He finished second yesterday, can he win and take the polka dots today? Not impossible, but highly unlikely.

10km to go - Pog poised

Most of the GC favourites are isolated with the exception of Roglic and Landa. The latter has Caruso and Bilbao who are still going strong, while the former now has three Jumbo teammates - Van Aert, Dumoulin and Kuss - after George Bennett just peeled off. Roglic has compatriot Pogacar in his wheel. He's alone, as is Lopez, Uran and Porte. Valverde and Mas are there for Movistar - towards the back with Yates and De la Cruz. Elissonde is the latest to be dropped, while Alaphilippe has been caught and passed.

12km to go - Alaphilippe pops

The Frenchman has been dropped by Carapaz and Izagirre, whose lead is down to 45 seconds.

14km to go - Poels pulls

No one who saw Wout Poels suffer in the opening week of the race would have envisaged the rangy Dutchman doing a job on the Col de la Loze. Well, that job - and a superb one it was - has just ended. He peels off the front to leave Landa with two more teammates but six Jumbo riders in his wheel. The gap is now 1'22" for the three leaders and Warren Barguil is the latest rider to be shelled out the back, along with Hugh Carthy. Oh, and Robert Gesink, too. So Roglic id down to four teammates. What luxury.

17km to go - Jumbo sitting pretty

Primoz Roglic's Jumbo-Visma team has not had to do anything yet so far because of this early lead-out by Bahrain-McLaren. Pogacar has one UAE teammate in David de la Cruz, Miguel Angel Lopez has an Astana teammate with him - plus Izagirre up the road; but Richie Porte and Adam Yates are both isolated - two riders who will be joining Ineos Grenadiers next year, incidentally.

Still four Bahrain riders on the front for Landa, with Poels, Bilbao and Caruso tapping out tempo with their shirts undone. The gap is 2'00". Poor Mikel Landa must be bricking it, knowing how much work his team has done...

20km to go - Martin dropped

Dan Martin and Lennard Kamna, both previously in the break, were holding on at the back of the yellow jersey group, but the Irishman has now been dropped. His namesake, Guillaume Martin, could move into the top 10 today if he finishes well. The Frenchman was 11th this morning but the 10th place rider, Nairo Quintana, was dropped on the last climb and is clearly not in a good place.

Here's what to expect when the race hits that cycle path above Meribel. Alaphilippe rode clear just now for a bit before reigning it in and being caught by the two other escapees. They still have 2'15" but their morale must be low. Of course, there's always the chance that the peloton slows up as the GC favourites play a waiting game...

Tour de France 2020 - Col de la Loze

Image credit: Eurosport

21km to go - Col de la Loze

Right, here we go - the Tour's first ever ascent of the HC Col de la Loze (21.5km at 7.8%). The gap is down to 1'50" for the three leaders - Carapaz, Alaphilippe and Izagirre.

25km to go - Storm clouds gather

The trio are on a false flat ahead of the final climb with their lead down to 2'15". It's hard to see how they could stay out on that cushion. Today's stage is going to be a battle for the yellow jersey contenders with a winner-takes-all feel. There has been a bit of drizzle but the heavens have yet to open. Will it stay dry for the riders or are we going to get a meteorological conundrum the kind of which curtailed last year's nineteenth stage...?

35km to go - Martin caught

Ireland's Dan Martin is swept up by the pack, which is being led by Matej Mohoric of Bahrain. He was dropped on the climb but used his descending skills to rejoin the party alongside Pedersen. Wout Poels, meanwhile, is taking a time out after overcooking a band and almost coming a cropper.

Our three leaders have completed the descent and now have the 13km largely flat run to the foot of the final climb. The gap is 2'40" and it looks like Benoit Cosnefroy is back with this yellow jersey pack, which is very impressive, but don't expect him to win back the polka dot jersey from Pogacar. Of course, if Pog goes into yellow, the Frenchman could still keep the jersey in theory - but it would probably still go to someone else who finishes near the front of today's final climb. Being the highest climb of the Tour, the Col de la Loze has double points, remember, so 40pts for the winner.

45km to go - Pedersen back

The world champion has fought back to rejoin the yellow jersey group - and that will be a boost for Trek teammate Richie Porte ahead of the final climb. The Australian still has Kenny Elissonde, who's ridden a decent debut Tour.

Carapaz has rejoined the leaders who have a gap of 2'35" on the Bahrain-led pack. Landa has four teammates again in the eye-catching "papaya" jersey of Bahrain-McLaren.

50km to go - Alaphilippe goes clear

The Frenchman has ridden clear of Carapaz and Izagirre as he really pushes things on this descent; it's quite terrifying to watch. Martin, meanwhile, is 50 seconds back with the peloton at two minutes. Ah, and here comes Izagirre, who seems to have dropped his Ecuadorian colleague to bridge over to the lone leader.

55km to go - Martin dropped

Dan Martin, who has been cautious on descents - quite understandably - since his bad fall in 2017, has been distanced by the three other escapees on the descent. They have maintained their lead of around 1'40" on the pack but you can't see one of these guys winning today given the length of the final climb and the quality just behind.

60km to go - Pogacar in polka dots

But when the peloton comes over the summit, Tadej Pogacar skips clear of the reduced pack to take the 8pts for fifth place - and that puts him on 41pts in the standings and five clear of both Cosnefroy and Rolland. So, Pog going for an upgrade on his white jersey by adding some red spots to it...

62km to go - Carapaz takes 20pts

Richard Carapaz darts clear of Julian Alaphilippe to take the maximum 20pts over the top of the Madeleine. That puts him onto 32pts and into 5th place in the KOM standings - four points off the summit. So, there's scope for a run on the polka dot jersey here for the Ecuadorian.

63km to go - Summit coming up

Poels taps out tempo for Bahrain as the break's gap is slashed to 1'40" now. But Landa only has three Bahrain teammates while Roglic is still surrounded by five Jumbo bees - so for all their damage, the yellow jersey is not exactly isolated.

65km to go - Kamna caught

Just two minutes for the four leaders now as they get within 2km of the cloud-clad summit. Lennard Kamna has been caught - so there goes my 'favourite' and tip for the polka-dot jersey...

It's worth adding that, for all the high-tempo being set by Bahrain-McLaren, Wout van Aert - winner of two sprints early in the race - is still here in the Jumbo train. What an astonishingly versatile rider he is.

68km to go - Under three minutes

The gap drops to 2'50" for the four leaders as Alaphilippe leads them above the tree line and onto an exposed section of the climb. Still no signs of those storms we heard about earlier. But there is still another 5km to go till the summit. Still five Bahrain riders on the front - although all the GC favourites have teammates with the exception of Yates, who is all alone.

70km to go - Mikel Nieve abandons

A blow for Mitchelton-Scott's Adam Yates as it's announced that his Spanish teammate has withdrawn. That's the first time in Nieve's career of 19 Grand Tours that he has abandoned, so that's a sad end to the Spaniard's race. In fact, in those previous 18 Grand Tours, Nieve had never finished lower than 25th place - a superb record. Going into today's stage, he was in 48th place, so perhaps he just didn't fancy ruining his sequence?

Back to the race and the four leaders now have 3'05" on this slimmed-down yellow jersey group. Cosnefroy fought back but was distanced again, while the world champion Mads Pedersen has only just popped. It's a great job from Bahrain who have successfully managed to isolate Roglic from some of his Jumbo lieutenants. The question is now whether Mikel Landa can deliver...?

72km to go - Martin on a mission

Dan Martin is setting the tempo on the climb for the four leaders. The Irishman has Alaphilippe in his wheel, then Carapaz and Izagirre. Kamna is off the back and the main pack 3'40" back and Quintana almost another two minutes in arrears.

Colbrelli, meanwhile, peels off the Bahrain train after his prolonged pull. Chapeau, sir. He passes the baton over to Wout Poels, who seems to be back in some form following his troubles in the first week when he cracked a rib and was coughing up blood on a daily basis. Tough cookies, these pro cyclists - even if they have the metabolism of a patient in a care home.

75km to go - Kamna dropped

Yesterday's stage winner is feeling the effort he put in... The German has been dropped by the leaders and there's still another 12.5km of this climb to go! Bahrain, meanwhile, continue stringing things out. They have reduced the gap of the leaders to 3'35".

76km to go - Quintana cracks

Bahrain-McLaren are really doing some damage on the front here through Colbrelli and Haller, who are setting an infernal pace. Colombia's Nairo Quintana is the big casualty, the Arkea-Samsic rider already off the back. He crashed in the second week and lost lots of time on the Grand Colombier. Yesterday he dropped to 10th place and today's the day Quintana will clearly drop out of the top 10.

Thibaut Pinot has also been dropped while Cosnefroy and Pierre Rolland - the men who lead the KOM standings - are both in difficulty.

78km to go - Thunderstorms ahead?

There are reports that there's stormy weather on the summit of both the Madeleine and the Loze... that will throw another dynamic to proceedings. As the main pack swing onto the climb, the Bahrain-McLaren and Trek-Segafredo teams of Mikel Landa and Richie Porte - seventh and sixth on GC respectively - have come to the front to set tempo ahead of the Jumbo-Visma train. That's an interesting development...

The gap, meanwhile, is down to 5'30" for the five leaders.

80km to go - Col de la Madeleine

It's time to climb! The break has moved onto the giant that is the Col de la Madeleine (17.1km at 8.4%). This is the 27th time the Madeleine has appeared in the Tour, but this marks the first ascent via the secondary southern approach via Montgellafray - the same way up that they used in stage 3 of the Dauphine last month (won by Davide Formolo, who is no longer in this race).

92km to go - Kamna in polka dots?

Lennard Kamna is currently in seventh place in the king of the mountains standing on 27pts - that's 9pts behind the two French leaders, Benoit Cosnefroy and Pierre Rolland. But with 20pts available over the Madeleine and 40pts on the Col de la Loze, the German youngster is a good bet for the jersey today. That said, should it come back to the race favourites on the final climb, Slovenian duo Roglic and Pogacar are just a couple of points off the summit too...

100km to go - Kamna or Carapaz?

If this break holds on it's hard not to see beyond a repeat battle between the riders who finished first and second yesterday. Izagirre is a decent rider but could be there more as a bridge for teammate Miguel Angel Lopez; Martin was an excellent climber in his day but started this Tour with a fractured sacrum and so surely will suffer on two climbs above 2000m; Alaphilippe blew up yesterday on a climb far less daunting than either of these beasts on the menu today. The Frenchman is the darling of the public but he's not got the climbing legs he had in 2018 or 2019 so I expect him to fade.

Ineos really need the win but Carapaz has been in the wars in this Tour. Kamna, too, crashed in the opening week, but seems to be back to his best. He must be the favourite - although if the GC battle erupts behind, then there's no guarantee any of these five will still be in play once we rise on the cycle path above Meribel...

105km to go - Pushing five minutes

Some more information on today's stage finish on the Col de la Loze - a new climb being used for the first time in the Tour. The 21.5km ascent takes the riders through Meribel and then up to 2,304m on a new cycle path which was only paved last year. It's a climb which ramps up in several steps with some gradients pushing 20%. It's also very narrow, with the last couple of kilometres straight with hardly a kink in the road, meaning there's nowhere to hide.

It was used in the Tour de l'Avenir in 2019 but this is the first time it features in a major professional bike race.

110km to go - Three former winners

This move has three Tour stage winners in it: Alaphilippe (who won Stage 2 this year and two wins in both 2018 and 2019), Martin (who has wins from 2013 and 2018) and that man Kamna, who won yesterday to deny Carapaz a victory in his maiden Tour. Izagirre has won a stage in the Giro in 2017 but has yet to get on the score sheet in his eight Tours to date.

115km to go - Impey caught as gap extends

Daryl Impey's potato-chasing comes to an end as the Mitchelton-Scott rider is reabsorbed by the peloton, which now trails the five all-star break by over four minutes.

121km to go - Bennett, comme d'hab

It's another two-point swing to Sam Bennett after he and Michael Morkov do their usual trick to push out Sagan and Trentin. So, the Irishman extends his lead over the seven-time green jersey winner to 47 points. Time is running out for Sagan, who will need a big performance in Friday's rolling stage if he wants to make it eight.

125km to go - Alaphilippe wins sprint

Well, 'wins' is a bit strong - the Frenchman simply rides through at the head of the break. Their gap has grown after Primoz Roglic stopped for a natural break. Impey, meanwhile, looks like he's sat up after rolling through the sprint over a minute down... The peloton will pass through in another couple of minutes. The teams of the green jersey candidates are readying themselves for a little tussle for the remaining points...

130km to go - Impey in between

The South African is stuck in no-man's land between the five leaders and the peloton. But with the latter looking like it has sat up, Impey may yet join the leaders, who are: Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers), Lennard Kämna (Bora-Hansgrohe), Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-QuickStep), Gorka Izagirre (EF Pro Cycling) and Dan Martin (Israel Start-Up Nation).

135km to go - Five out ahead

The five leaders have completed that climb but they still only have 20 seconds to play with - and with Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-Scott) trying to bridge over, plus the intermediate sprint out ahead, we can certainly expect more attacks. Jumbo-Visma remain attentive to the danger on the front of the peloton - although their work will come on the two climbs that go above 2000m today.

140km to go - Alaphilippe on the move

The French stage 2 winner stamps on the pedals to open up a gap on this uphill grind. He takes Gorka Izagirre, Richard Carapaz, Lennard Kamna and Dan Martin with him. A few more are in pursuit - including Stage 13 winner Dani Martinez. But the gap is small, and that encourages a counter from Dylan van Baarle and Valentin Madouas. Behind them, those green jersey candidates - Bennett, Trentin and Sagan are chomping at the bit.

143km to go - Soler-powered pursuit

Spain's Marc Soler is trying to bridge over. He has an Astana rider and an EF rider with him. The break's gap is coming down on this long seven-kilometre uncategorised climb before the intermediate sprint. And it looks like it's going to come back together - unless you're off the back, which applies to quite a few riders already.

145km to go - De Gendt has company

We now have 21 riders out ahead after two groups managed to bridge over to De Gendt. Carapaz is the best placed rider on GC - at around 17 minutes - and he's there with Ineos teammate Luke Rowe. Some other big names here including Greg van Avermaet, Julian Alaphilippe, Dan Martin, Oli Naesen and yesterday's winner Lennard Kamna. The gap is around 20 seconds.

150km to go - Moves aplenty

Chris Juul Jensen of Mitchelton-Scott tries to bridge over to De Gendt and he's got many others trying to join behind - including Richard Carapaz of Ineos. But it's still very unsettled and Ge Gendt's advantage very, very slender.

152km to go - De Gendt goes clear

Thomas De Gendt with a typical degendtian move here as the Belgian soloes clear in a massive gear to open up a gap. There's a flurry behind because all the breakaway wannabes know full well that if you want to get in the right move on a stage like today, then you follow the Lotto Soudal specialist.

They say there's no doubting Thomas... but a few days ago, even De Gendt wasn't feeling very confident in his abilities.

155km to go - Sagan in trouble

Peter Sagan has a mechanical problem and needs to change his bike. He's taking quite a long time to do so - and while he's off the back, both Bennett and Trentin are laying it on thick on the front to neutralise those skirmishes by Bol and Bonifazio. Slightly bad form, although you can bet your bottom dollar that the Italian and the Irishman are "not aware" of Sagan's difficulties...

160km to go - Bol & Bonifazio on the move

Dutchman Cees Bol (Team Sunweb) has ridden clear and has the Italian Niccolo Bonifazio (Total-Direct Energy) in pursuit. Bol has about as much chance as my gran of winning today but he's clearly paving the way for some of his Sunweb teammates to make a move.

165km to go - Ineos Grenadiers on the charge

Four Ineos riders come to the front after that move was neutralised before Dylan van Baarle rides clear with Nils Politt of Israel Start-Up Nation in pursuit. The British team really need a win today. They placed both Carapaz and Sivakov in the top four yesterday - but the Ecuadorian was denied the win by the excellent Lennard Kamna.

I wrote a reaction piece to yesterday's stage suggesting today would be the ideal launchpad for Ineos - and in particular, Bernal. Of course, that's all immaterial now following the Colombian's withdrawal - which was on the cards given his arrival in the gruppetto. But the points still remain: Ineos have not won a Grand Tour stage since Geraint Thomas took his second win of the 2018 Tour on Alpe d'Huez. To put that in perspective, Tadej Pogacar has won five stages in his past two Grand Tours - and this one is still going.

Bernal is a generational talent who could end up winning multiple Grand Tours. But he needs to be more ruthless. He needs to win stages in the same way that Roglic and Pogacar do. He needs to develop some leadership qualities and command more respect. This race has been a huge set-back in his development. He needs to learn from it.

168km to go - Green jersey battle

We have two savage peaks today - including the highest finish in this year's Tour - but the early subplot is going to be the battle for the intermediate sprint points at 45km. The green jersey battle is poised with Sam Bennett holding a 45-point lead on Peter Sagan, and Matteo Trentin just another 12pts down.

The Italian Trentin was in the break yesterday, winning the intermediate sprint to pocket 20pts and then picking a few more in coming 14th at the finish. So he's really put himself back in the mix - and it's the CCC Team rider who bridges over to that De Gendt move. This sparks an inevitable reaction from both Bennett and Sagan...

170km to go - They're off!

Attacks from the outset as Israel Start-Up Nation push through Ben Hermans and Krists Neilands. Cofidis have a man here and Thomas De Gendt of Lotto Soudal is putting in a big effort - well, of course he is.

No Prudhomme!

Christian Prudhomme isn't in the red Skoda today - but don't worry, he hasn't contracted Covid-19 again. He's travelling with the French President Emmanuel Macron today in the convoy... Right, flag at the ready, we're about to get going...

Riders in the neutral zone

The remaining 152 riders of the race are rolling through the neutral zone in Grenoble. Another non-starter today: Stefan Kung of Groupama-FDJ. He follows teammate David Gaudu, who called it a day yesterday. Another Frenchman, Jerome Cousin of Total-Direct Energie, finished outside the time limit yesterday and so he doesn't take to the start.

Egan Bernal out

The big news today is that the defending champion Egan Bernal had withdrawn from the race because of his back and knee issues. The Colombian's Ineos Grenadiers team confirmed the bombshell this morning after Bernal came home in the gruppetto yesterday more than 10 minutes down on the yellow jersey group.

Bonjour le Tour!

And welcome to live coverage of the queen stage of the race - a 170km slog through the Alps with the Col de la Madeleine followed by the Tour's first ever summit finish on the Col de la Loze. Here's what's on the menu...

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Wiggins podcast analysis

A huge summit finish on the mountain pass on the Col de la Loze should pose a huge test to General Classification leader Roglic (Team Jumbo-Visma), with his Slovenian compatriot Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) hot on his heels. But Could Pogacar have an issue if he does ride into yellow? That's what Brad and Brian Smith discussed in the latest Bradley Wiggins Show podcast.

“If he takes the yellow jersey now, how can he control it? Because they don’t have the team to be able to control it,” added Smith.

“If I was [UAE Team Emirates DS] Allan Peiper I would say: ‘Try to get seconds back’. If he can get within 20 seconds going into that final time trial, as Slovenian champion, anything is up for grabs.

“I know the course really suits Roglic but anything can happen at a time trial at the end of a three-week tour. I think they have to get as close to Roglic as possible and hope that they can do something in the time trial.”

Stage 16 recap - Kamna seizes the moment

German youngster Lennard Kämna soloed to victory in Stage 16 of the Tour de France after attacking over the summit of the penultimate climb to distance fellow escapee Richard Carapaz of Ecuador.

Exactly one month after his first pro win on the Critérium du Dauphiné, and four days after he narrowly missed out in the Massif Central, Bora-Hansgrohe's Kämna put in an emphatic display of power and finesse in the Vercors Massif to take a maiden Grand Tour stage win from a large group of 23 riders.

Carapaz cut a lonely figure as he crossed the line 1'27" down to take second place for Ineos Grenadiers, who also saw the Russian Pavel Sivakov take fourth place behind Switzerland's Sébastien Reichenbach (Groupama-FDJ).

How to watch on TV and livestream details

Stage 13 will be broadcast live on Eurosport 1 from 10:50 and you can also watch an uninterrupted feed on Eurosport Player and right here on eurosport.co.uk.

Dan Lloyd, Bradley Wiggins, Orla Chennaoui and the team will bring you all the best post-race analysis and reaction on The Breakaway, which will be available to watch on Eurosport Player before 7pm.

And don't forget, we are bringing you daily podcasts from the Bradley Wiggins Show - check in with your podcast platform of choice this evening...

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