Nairo Quintana claimed an emphatic win in the 18th stage of the Tour de France.
NAIRO Quintana claimed an emphatic win in the 18th stage of the Tour de France, a 208km mountain trek from Embrun to Valloire, as fellow Colombian Egan Bernal emerged as the strongest of the top contenders yesterday.
Twice Tour runner-up Quintana (pictured), who dropped out of overall contention last week, prevailed from the day’s breakaway thanks to an impressive attack in the ascent to the Col du Galibier.
Frenchman Romain Bardet took second place 1min 35sec behind Quintana, who snatched his third career Tour stage win.
France’s Julian Alaphilippe retained the overall leader’s yellow jersey, but Bernal moved up to second place as he gained 32 seconds after also attacking about two kilometres from the top of the Col du Galibier.
Defending champion Geraint Thomas later jumped away from the favourites’ group, only to be reined in by Frenchman Thibaut Pinot as Alaphilippe cracked in the final part of the climb before coming back on the descent to the finish.