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Tour de France wrap after stage 17

Tour de France wrap after stage 17

Wednesday 19 July 2017

Tour de France wrap after stage 17

A former ski jumper won stage 17 and this may not Alberto Contador’s final Tour de France after all.

You could hardly have written it better: a former world junior ski jump champion races down the Tour de France’s highest mountain to win stage 17.

But while Primoz Roglic was celebrating Slovenia’s first ever Tour stage win, the battle for yellow raged on behind.

Chris Froome came to the line alongside rivals Rigoberto Uran and Romain Bardet, ultimately splitting the pair as he finished third on the day. With bonus seconds applied, it saw the three-time Tour winner extend his narrow advantage in yellow, with Uran and Bardet now both 27 seconds behind.

It is still the closest the battle for podium places has ever been in the Tour at this stage in the race – and it should all kick off again on the way to the Col d’Izoard on Thursday.

Breaking down barriers

Sir Dave Brailsford
Team Sky principal Sir Dave Brailsford nearly lost his head during an interview with ITV (Ian Parker/PA)

Much has been made of fact Team Sky have not held press conferences on either rest day during the race – as is custom for most teams and certainly the ones holding the yellow jersey.

But if the metaphorical barriers have perhaps come up a little bit this year given ongoing investigations into alleged wrongdoing within the team, a very real one came down on Sir Dave Brailsford’s head on Wednesday. The Sky team principal was speaking to ITV4 when the car park barrier lowered straight on to him mid-interview, but no damage was done.

Contador fights on

After his Trek-Segafredo team’s sports director Steven de Jongh used a rest day interview with Dutch television to say this would be Alberto Contador’s final Tour de France, the two-time winner sounded less certain. “As of now, nothing is decided about the future,” he said. “Everything is still on the table.”

De Jongh had suggested Contador would be going for stage wins for the rest of the week in a bid to leave the race with a moment of glory, and whatever his future may be, he certainly did that by leading the charge in the breakaway for much of the day, only to be caught in the final metres of the Galibier.

“It’s a shame, the 34-year-old Spaniard said. “We had some riders out in the breakaway and they had more than five minutes. We started the climb and I thought that I would try to do something today. I was feeling strong and my legs were good. It was like doing a time trial and I think that I really paid for my efforts on the Galibier.”

Instagram of the day

It might look painful, but these legs were still strong enough to put Pawel Poljanski in the day’s break.

Quote of the day

“He’s got a good poker face, anyone can crack, anyone can have a bad day. It might be his turn tomorrow” – Dan Martin warns Chris Froome the race is not won yet.

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