Friday, July 19, 2013
Tour de France Glance
L'ALPE D'HUEZ, France -- A brief look at Thursday's 18th stage of the 100th Tour de France:
Stage: The 18th stage was the first of three huge days of climbing in the Alps. The 107-mile trek from Gap to L'Alpe d'Huez featured two huge ascents of the famed Tour climb. Both of the ascents are known as HC (Hors Categorie) because they are so tough they are considered beyond classification.
Winner: Christophe Riblon gave local fans something to cheer about by becoming the first French rider to win a Tour stage this year. American Tejay van Garderen finished 59 seconds behind in second, and Italian Moreno Moser was 1:27 behind in third.
Yellow Jersey: Christopher Froome. The British rider incurred a 20-second penalty but still extended his lead over archrival Alberto Contador to 5 minutes, 11 seconds. Colombian Nairo Quintana moved up to third place and is only 21 seconds behind Contador as the podium battle intensifies.
Stat of the day: 20 seconds. The time penalty given to Froome and his Sky teammate Richie Porte after Porte fetched him an energy bar to eat with 2.5 miles to go. Riders are forbidden to take food within that last roughly four miles of a stage.
Quote of the day: "Tomorrow's possibly the toughest day of the Tour de France. It's really going to be a hard day" -- Froome about Friday's mammoth 19th stage.
What's next: Froome faces two more HC climbs and two Category 1 ascents on Friday.