(BBC) – Miguel Angel Lopez won stage 17 of the Tour de France as Primoz Roglic extended his lead in the race.
Astana’s Lopez pulled clear of the other general classification contenders on the final climb of the day, beating Roglic into second by 15 seconds.
The stage victory took Lopez into third overall, while Roglic moved almost a minute clear as his fellow Slovenian Tadej Pogacar came home third.
Rigoberto Uran, who went into the stage in third, was almost two minutes back.
Yesterday’s stage had begun without defending champion Egan Bernal, with the Ineos Grenadiers rider announcing his withdrawal after struggling through stages 15 and 16.
However, his compatriot Lopez produced a superb ride to accelerate away from Sepp Kuss on the Col de la Loze, which is the third-highest finish location of a Tour de France stage.
The Colombian, who is riding in his first Tour de France, is now one minute 26 seconds down on Roglic in the race for the yellow jersey.
“I’m very emotional because of the work done at home with my family, my wife, my son. I dedicate this victory to them,” Lopez said.
“We were confident. I was on my terrain. At 2,000 metres of altitude, I feel like at home.”
Richard Carapaz had looked as though he may cling on for Ineos’ first stage win at the Tour after being part of a five-man break that went clear as the peloton splintered on the Col de la Madeleine.
But the Giro d’Italia champion was reeled in with under 3km left on the final climb after going solo with 9km remaining.
Roglic and Pogacar battle for yellow
While Lopez was riding to his first Tour stage win, all eyes were on the race behind, as Roglic and Pogacar went toe-to-toe on sections of the climb that reared up to a gradient of 24%.
And while Pogacar ended the day leading the King of the Mountains competition, he could not match his fellow Slovenian when it mattered.
Roglic eased his way back to the wheel of Jumbo-Visma team-mate Kuss before distancing the UAE Team Emirates rider in the final 2km.
“I don’t think the job is done,” said Roglic. “There are still some hard stages to come and Tadej Pogacar is a great climber. I felt really good on the climb, but you can’t compare these last four to five kilometres to anything else.
“I’m glad this stage is behind us. I was happy with the position I was in before the stage, and now I’m even happier.”
Britain’s Adam Yates was dropped about 4km from the summit but remains in fifth place overall behind Australia’s Richie Porte in fourth.
“Tough day, but I hung in there as long as I could so we can be happy with that,” said the Mitchelton-Scott rider.
“We’ve got a big stage tomorrow, a lot of altitude metres then all we’ve got after that is the time trial, one day all by myself. So we’ll keep going. Hopefully tomorrow I’ve got good legs and we’ll keep trying.”
Stage 18 tomorrow sees the riders tackle another 4 000m of climbing on the 168km mountain stage from Meribel to La Roche-sur-Foron.
Stage 17 results
- Miguel Angel Lopez (Col/Astana) 4hrs 49mins 08secs
- Primoz Roglic (Slo/Jumbo-Visma) +15secs
- Tadej Pogacar (Slo/UAE Team Emirates) +30secs
- Sepp Kuss (US/Jumbo-Visma) +56secs
- Richie Porte (Aus/Trek-Segafredo) +1mins 01secs
- Enric Mas (Spa/Movistar) +1mins 12secs
- Mikel Landa (Spa/Bahrain McLaren) +1mins 20secs
- Adam Yates (GB/Mitchelton-Scott) Same time
- Rigoberto Uran (Col/EF Pro Cycling) 1mins 59 secs
- Tom Dumoulin (Ned/Jumbo-Visma) +2mins 13secs
General classification after stage 17
- Primoz Roglic (Slo/Jumbo-Visma) 74hrs 56mins 04secs
- Tadej Pogacar (Slo/UAE Team Emirates) +57secs
- Miguel Angel Lopez (Col/Astana) +1mins 26secs
- Richie Porte (Aus/Trek-Segafredo) +3mins 05secs
- Adam Yates (GB/Mitchelton-Scott) +3mins 14secs
- Rigoberto Uran (Col/EF Pro Cycling) +3mins 24secs
- Mikel Landa (Spa/Bahrain McLaren) +3mins 27secs
- Enric Mas (Spa/Movistar) +4mins 18secs
- Tom Dumoulin (Ned/Jumbo-Visma) +7mins 23secs
- Alejandro Valverde (Spa/Movistar) +9mins 31secs