Hello and welcome to live coverage of stage 17 of the 2021 Tour de France, a summit finish to the Col du Portet.
Read the full report from stage 17 here: Tadej Pogačar takes step closer to Tour de France 2021 victory with stage 17 win
Follow live updates below:
Good morning, we're set for a summit finish on today's stage of the Tour de France, with a brutal finish to the top of the steep Col du Portet.
Summit finishes have been few and far between in this Tour, in fact we've had just one so far to Tignes. Now however we have two in two days, with today's finish arguably harder than stage 18's to Luz Ardiden tomorrow.
The profile of today's stage looks quite savage. The opening 114km through the intermediate sprint is slightly uphill before the riders hit the first of two category one climbs, the Col de Peyresourde. The Col du Portet starts with 162km ridden, and averages 8.7% over its 16km.
The summit finish today and tomorrow are the only remaining opportunities for anyone to challenge race leader Tadej Pogačar, who has a very healthy advantage and will be favourite to extend his lead in the time trial on stage 20.
Can we see someone provide a shock and turn the race on its head? Or are those below Pogačar simply fighting for the podium?
Here's the GC as things stand:
1. Tadej Pogačar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates, in 66-23-06
2. Rigberto Urán (Col) EF Education-Nippo, at 5-18
3. Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Team Jumbo-Visma, at 5-32
4. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Ineos Grenadiers, at 5-33
5. Ben O'Connor (Aus) Ag2r-Citroën Team, at 5-58
6. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Bora-Hansgrohe, at 6-16
7. Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana-Premier Tech, at 7-01
8. Enric. Mas (Esp) Movistar Team, at 7-11
9. Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis, at 7-58
10. Pello Bilbao (Esp) Bahrain-Victorious, at 10-59
The start for today's stage is a bit earlier today, 11.50 in France or 10.50 if you're in the UK.
There will surely be a fight for the breakaway early on, however unlike yesterday the stage looks unfavourable to a large break group and we may see the GC contenders going for the stage win.
Read some reaction from the race leader yesterday about the other teams' tactics.
There'll be a lot of hope for a home winner on this stage as it's Bastille Day in France today.
The French riders look quite long shots at this point - the climb is potentially too hard for the likes of Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick-Step), while climber David Gaudu will have to hope he can get in a breakaway and it sticks. There's also Guillaume Martin (Cofidis), though he may be hoping to his ninth place in GC.
🇫🇷🇫🇷🇫🇷🇫🇷🇫🇷🎇 A very happy 14th of July to all of France and all French people!🎇 Belle fête nationale à tous les Français !#BastilleDay #14Juillet pic.twitter.com/MJnAs2ZjXIJuly 14, 2021
We're just a few minutes from the neutral roll out on today's stage
It's not a warm day, it's not a dry day at the start in Muret, but it's currently not raining hard which the peloton will hope holds off. Of course we're going well above 2000m today at the top of the Portet, where it will be a lot colder.
Before that though the riders will be going up and over the Peyresourde and the Col de Val Louron-Azet, which are both over 1500m.
Today's finishing climb has only been used once in the Tour, that was just three years ago in 2018, the year Geraint Thomas won the overall. Nairo Quintana was the stage victor that day while riding for Movistar - the Colombian will be on the attack looking for mountains points no doubt in a very tight polka-dot jersey fight with Wout Poels, Michael Woods, and Wout van Aert.
The riders are off on the départ fictif around five minutes after the scheduled start. They'll ride a 10km neutralised zone before the flag drop
These are the current KoM standings. It's a tight four-way tussle for the polka-dot jersey, currently worn by Poels, and today could prove decisive. There's a total of 60 points on the course today, with 10 at the Col de Peyresourde, 10 at the Col de Val-Louron, and 40 at the finish.
1. Wout Poels (Ned) Bahrain-Victorious, 74pts
2. Michael Woods (Can) Israel Start-Up Nation, 66pts
3. Nairo Quintana (Col) Arkéa-Samsic, 64pts
4. Wout van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma, 64pts
There's some chit chat amongst the peloton on the neutral roll out but you can sense there's some nerves among the bunch on such a hard day. There's rain jackets being donned and some arm warmers with this dreary start. No leg warmers though, with probably few opportunities to take them off once racing is underway
Looks like Cav is expecting to warm-up pretty quickly today
Short-sleeves for the 🇮🇲Manx Missile, no doubt used to the rain!Manches courtes pour le 🇮🇲Manx Missile, pas de doute, il est habitué à cette météo.#TDF2021 pic.twitter.com/KLMQpzU9XaJuly 14, 2021
The intermediate sprint today comes around 110km in to the stage with no climbs between the start and the sprint. It looks like Cavendish is aiming to make it to the sprint point after his lead was slashed yesterday following Michael Matthews and Sonny Colbrelli's stint in the breakaway. Here's the current standings:
1. Mark Cavendish (GBr) Deceuninck-Quick-Step, 279pts
2. Michael Matthews (Aus) Team BikeExchange, 242pts
3. Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain Victorious, 192pts
The flag is waved from the car and here we go, stage 17 is underway
There's attacks immediately but it's fairly cagey with no one completely committing
Pierre Rolland has attacked but is all alone out front for now
Ineos Grenadiers are looking very active at the front so far. They've got absolutely nothing out of this Tour so far, and will be looking for a stage win before the end of the week as well as helping Richard Carapaz on to the podium
Pierre Rolland is still out solo with 24 seconds, but Deceuninck-Quick-Step are currently policing the front of the peloton
Mark Cavendish has followed an attack here but it's another unsuccessful one
170km to go: Rolland is out front alone with 34 seconds with no one else so far allowed to escape the grasp of the peloton
Pierre Rolland has been caught with 163km to go, so the whole race is together again
With 158km to go with we have a four-man group just off the front of the peloton, including Lukas Postlberger, Anthony Perez, Dorion Godon, and Danny van Poppel
This group have 28 seconds now with Deceuninck-Quick-Step once again trying to settle the peloton and slow it down
We have Anthony Turgis (TotalEnergies) and Maxime Chevalier (B&B) between the two groups trying to make it up to the breakaway
There's another attacked from the peloton, Julien Bernard (Trek) has made a move to try and catch the break
Maxime Chevalier riding along trying to catch the break with is gilet open, looking remarkably inefficient in his pursuit
This looks like the breakaway with the gap to the yellow jersey group at 2-12 now.
With 152km to go this is the race situation:
Group 1: Danny van Poppel (Intermarché), Lukas Pöstlberger (Bora), Anthony Perez (Cofidis), Dorian Godon (Ag2r)
Group 2: Maxime Chevalier (B&B), Anthony Turgis (TotalEnergies) - at 48 seconds
Group 3: Julien Bernard (Trek-Segafredo) - at 1-47
Peloton - at 3-43
The breakaway is now a group of six with 147km remaining as Chevalier and Turgis making it to the front. Bernard still trails by 1-18 but the peloton is now slowed up and losing time at 4-08.
Steven Kruijswijk (Jumbo-Visma) has abandoned. He was hanging around the back of the peloton at the start of the stage but has since thrown in the towel.
Jumbo-Visma are now left with just four riders left in their squad.
It's not clear what the problem is with Kruijswijk, but he's abandoned at a point where peloton is not racing along quickly. It leaves Jonas Vingegaard fairly depleted in terms of team-mates, though the Dane has done it by himself quite well so far since Primoz Roglic dropped out.
He still has Mike Teunissen, and stage winners Wout van Aert and Sepp Kuss to support him.
Jumbo-Visma have just explained Kruijswijk's abandonment, saying the Dutchman had been feeling ill during the rest day. He'll now recover and focus on the Vuelta a España in August where he'll try and help Primoz Roglic to a third overall title.
🇫🇷 #TDF2021 @s_kruijswijk abandons @LeTour #DNFSteven started to feel ill during the restday and that feeling didn’t improve unfortunately.He'll now focus on @lavueltaGet well soon Stevie!🍀 pic.twitter.com/pzdn49fQbSJuly 14, 2021
Last time Tour did Col du Portet...The streets won't forget. pic.twitter.com/TkeJtTN6l0July 14, 2021
With 138km to go the breakaway now had 5-10 on the peloton. Unfortunately for Julien Bernard, he's stuck in a bit of no-man's land. He's got a minute to try and close on a flying breakaway group, but is four minutes ahead of the peloton. He's not making many inroads at the moment on this break.
Jonas Vingegaard is expecting a big fight on the Col du Portet today. He so far has looked like the only rider who can threaten the dominance of Tadej Pogacar.
Bradley Wiggins has said seeing Julien Bernard is "like watching a pigeon slowly dying in Leicester Square" as he tries to make his way to the breakaway.
That's one way to phrase it.
It looks like Julien Bernard has given in on this effort with the gap out to almost two minutes now. He might be better off saving his legs at this point for tomorrow.
129km to go:
Group 1: Postlberger, Van Poppel, Turgis, Godon, Chevalier, Perez.
Group 2: Julian Bernard - at 3-13
Peloton - at 6-25
Julian Bernard has had to give up the chase after his formidable effort to try and catch the break.
The Frenchman is now back in the bunch as the break continues to grow its advantage.
Our six-rider break now has 8-22 over the bunch, with UAE Team Emirates controlling the pace in the peloton.
We're inside the final 100km now and the breakaway is still holding it's hap at eight minutes over the peloton.
We're about about 40km out from the start of the first climb, the Col de Peyresourde,
83km left to race
Group one, six-rider breakaway: Lukas Pöstlberger (Bora-Hansgrohe), Anthony Perez (Cofidis), Dorian Godon (Ag2r-Citroën), Anthony Turgis (TotalEnergies), Danny van Poppel (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux), Maxime Chevalier (B&B Hotels p/b KTM).
Group two: Peloton at 7-54, Israel Start-Up Nation leading
We should be getting some action very soon, as the race heads towards the intermediate sprint at the foot of the first climb of the day.
The breakaway are going to sweep up most of the points, but Deceuninck - Quick-Step have tucked themselves in near the front of the bunch for green jersey leader Mark Cavendish, who will want to score at least some points today to help him keep that lead.
About 5km to the sprint.
The break is through the intermediate sprint. Danny van Poppel takes the maximum with 20 points, followed by Turgis on 17 and Godon taking 15.
Maxime Chevalier was last across the line from the break, scoring 10 points.
We now wait for the peloton in the next eight minutes to see how the green jersey competition plays out.
The peloton is through the intermediate sprint.
Michael Matthews sprinted to seventh place after the breakaway to take nine points, followed by Cavendish who took eight.
Cavendish's team-mate Michael Mørkøv was next to push Sonny Colbrelli back one place.
Here's how the points classification looks now:
1. Mark Cavendish, 287pts (scored eight today)
2. Michael Matthews, 251pts (scored nine today)
3. Sonny Colbrelli, 201pts (scored six today)
The breakaway are now on to the first climb of the day the Col de Peyresourde (13.3km at 6.9 per cent).
Here's a reminder of the profile - we're on the first climb of the day, the Col de Peyresourde, one of the Tour's most frequently used climbs in the Pyrenees.
At the moment we have Élie Gesbert pacing Nairo Quintana away from the peloton with Wout Poels in their wheels. This is all about fighting for mountains points.
Pierre Latour has joined Gesbert, Quintana and Poels out front - they have around 20 seconds on the yellow jersey group. The breakaway is at 7-13 with 6.9km to the top of the climb.
Riders are starting to get shelled out the back of the peloton quickly now with 55km to go. We've seen Cavendish dropped but the likes of Froome, Mads Pedersen, Harry Sweeny are all dropping away too
The leading six is still together with 53km to go:
Group 1 - Lukas Pöstlberger (Bora-Hansgrohe), Anthony Perez (Cofidis), Dorian Godon (Ag2r-Citroën), Anthony Turgis (TotalEnergies), Danny van Poppel (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux), Maxime Chevalier (B&B Hotels p/b KTM)
Group 2 - Nairo Quintana and Elie Gesbert (Arkea-Samsic), Wout Poels (Bahrain-Victorious), Pierre Latour (TotalEnergies) - at 5-38
Group 3 - yellow jersey group - at 5-59
Group 4 - green jersey group - at 8-15
There's groups spread out down the mountain here as the break have 3.6km to go to the top. The gruppetto will form soon and these riders will work together to beat the time cut.
One of those riders struggling on the Peyresourde is Simon Clarke... but it's understandable:
Danny van Poppel is the first rider dropped from breakaway.
Meanwhile, with the peloton in sight behind Pierre Latour attacks the chasing group with Gesbert dropping away.
UAE are looking strong here as they pull back Quintana and Poels. Marc Hirschi, who struggled in the opening weeks of the Tour following a crash, is doing a big turn up the climb
It's not been a great start to the climbing for Ineos.
Michal Kwiatkowski was dropped very early on the Peyresourde, and now inside the final 2km of the climb Tao Geoghegan Hart is distanced from the yellow jersey group.
The breakaway has crossed the top of the Peyresourde with Anthony Turgis taking maximum points. The Frenchman isn't really a feature in the KoM competition.
UAE's pace on the front of the peloton has cut this gap down quickly. The break is only at around four minutes ahead, so they could be caught on the next climb.
The next climb, which comes with around 37km remaining (so 8km time) is the Col de Val Louron-Azet, which is 7.4km at 8.3%.
It's a super fast descent down the Peyresourde.
This isn't the side Chris Froome famously soloed away on in 2016 by the way, that was on the side the riders just climbed with the finish in Bagnères-de-Luchon.
The five remaining breakaway riders have 36km to go and are on a short bit of flat road before the next climb. They currently have 4-35 on the yellow jersey group with Latour somewhere in between on his own.
The breakaway hit the Col de Val Louron-Azet
There were actually only four riders remaining in the break ahead of this climb, with Perez, Godon, Turgis and Postlberger all there. The latter pulls over immediately as they start to climb with now just three Frenchman out front on Bastille Day with a four minute advantage.
Pierre Latour is about to be caught by the UAE led peloton. This could be setting things up for Pogacar to really finish the GC race off today with a stage victory.
The breakaway has fallen apart completely now and we have a lone leader in Anthony Perez (Cofidis). He has no chance of holding off this UAE train with 3-56 in hand, but he'll fight for as long as possible to take the combativity prize on Bastille Day.
This penultimate climb is really taking its toll on the main group, with some of the best climbers losing contact.
Marc Hirschi (UAE Team Emirates) is gone, along with Dan Martin (Israel-Start-Up Nation) and Jakob Fuglsang (Astana-Premier Tech).
UAE continue to lead the main green for Tadej Poagačar, with Wout van Aert close behind while working for Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma).
The race has yet to explode, but we should see some action to come.
Anthony Perez leads over the top of the Col de Val Louron-Azet as the lone leader.
The Frenchman is 3-52 ahead of the peloton.
27km left to race for Perez as he descents towards the foot of the Portet.
UAE are still leading the bunch and it looks like Perez will be caught before the finish.
Wout Poels puts in a big attack at the summit of the Val Louron-Azet to scoop the points on offer in the KoM competition.
Nairo Quintana follows him across as those two continue to fight for the polka-dot jersey.
Dorian Godon (Ag2r-Citroën) from the original break is still alone on the road and trying to chose down Perez, but he's one minute behind.
These two are probably battling for pride, as the peloton has been gaining on the break since the climbing started, meaning they will probably be caught on the final climb.
Ooooh! Tense moment in the GC group, as they ran wide on a right-hand turn on the descent, with Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma) forced to leave the road and ride on the grass.
Luckily the American kept the bike upright and was back on the gas with no issues, only losing a few positions in the group.
Godon has been descending brilliantly and has caught Perez on the descent.
This does play into the advantage of the two Frenchmen out front, as they can work together on the final climb, but the gap to the main GC group continues to fall, now down to 3-38.
With a 16km climb still to come, I don't see these two making it to the line as things stand.
Godon and Perez are onto this beast of a final climb, 15km to the summit for them.
The gap to the GC group has gone out again to 3-56. UAE are looking the strongest they haveall race, with three riders still guarding Tadej Pogačar.
Jumbo are right behind for Vingegaard.
Meanwhile Mark Cavendish in the green jersey is a long way back at 16 minutes from the front of the race, but looks like he'll safely be able to make the time cut again today.
At the front of the race Godon is struggling!
Perez has sensed it and kicked on away from his compatriot with 13km to race.
The GC group is closing fast though, the gap is now down to three minutes. It's going to take one hell of a ride for Perez to take this to the line.
Geraint Thomas is going backwards in the GC group. It's a rare occasion but UAE have the same amount of support in the mountains as Ineos Grenadiers now.
Tadej Pogačar in the yellow jersey only has Rafał Majka left for support, while Richard Carapaz has only Jonathan Castroviejo left to help him.
Castroviejo moves up to the front of the race briefly for Carapaz, but quickly slips back as Majka continues to control the pace.
Jumbo-Visma are definitely looking like the most dangerous team right now, with Vingegaard sat comfortably on Pogačar's wheel. He still has Sepp Kuss with him, so can they set up an attack close to the summit?
Perez is suffering badly now and he still has 9.5km to the summit.
The GC group is rapidly knocking down the gap. Perez leads by 49 seconds to the yellow jersey.
Just 16 riders left in the GC group now, with Pogačar's team leading proceedings.
Pogačacar attacks! A long long way to the summit but the yellow jersey is going for it.
Perez is caught already after that big move by Pogačar.
The stage win will go to the GC group. Vingegaard is following, along with Urán and Carapaz. Ben O'Connor clinging on to this group for dear life.
Pogačar attacks again on the 12 per cent gradient. This is unbelievable stuff.
Vingegaard is quickest to react once again, with Urán and Carapaz just about staying in touch but struggling slightly.
Urán is in trouble. He's slowed and lost contact. The Colombian is second overall so it's in the interest of Carapaz and Vingegaard to work together to distance him as much as possible.
Pogačar now leads with Vingegaard and Carapaz on his wheel.
7.2km to the line.
Vingegaard is happy to ride with Pogačar to try and put Uràn even further behind.
The Dane started the day just 14 seconds behind Urán, so if he keeps up this pace he should move into second place.
But Richard Carapaz is just one second behind Vingegaard on GC, so he is in a strong position to move up if he can get the tiniest gap on Vingegaard by the finish.
Pogačar and Vingegaard look rock solid with 6km to the line, barely showing any effort or emotion on their face.
Carapaz however looks to be suffering.
Group one: Pogačar, Vingegaard, Carapaz
Group two: Urán and Higuita, Gaudu, O'Connor, Kerlderman, at 38s
Group three: Mollema, López, Mas, Wout Poels, at 1-24
Gaudu is on the attack from the second group and is trying to get close to the Pogačar group. He's 37 seconds down and isn't likely to catch the trio at the front, but its a respectable effort by the Frenchman on his national holiday.
2.4km to the summit and Pogačar lights it up yet again.
A big attack this time but Vingegaard will not be shaken.
Carapaz is also keeping up but looks like he's having to put in more effort.
This is playing to Vingegaard's advantage as he really needs to extend his advantage to Carapaz.
Carapaz goes on the offensive!
It's a huge attack from the Eduadorian and Pogačar is forced to chase and has caught Carapaz. Vingegaard is dropped for now but is trying to come back.
It's a fight for the stage between Carapaz and Pogačar now.
Inside the final kilometre now and Carapaz is pulling hard, but Pogačar is sitting on his wheel.
As things start Carapaz would move into second place and knock Vingegaard into third.
Vingegaard is getting back onto Carapaz and Pogačar, clinging on to second place overall.
Pogačar is looking like the favourite for the stage here.
Pogačar sprints for the line in the final 100m, Carapaz was looking the wrong way.
Pogačar wins the stage!
Vingegaard sprints to second place, with Carapaz in third.
Remarkable finish to the stage.
David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ) is next across the line, 1-20 behind the winner.
O'Connor is next.
Stage 17 result:
1. Tadej Pogačar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates, in 5-03-31
2. Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma, at 3s
3. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Ineos Grenadiers, at 4s
4. David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ, at 1-19
5. Ben O'Connor (Aus) Ag2r-Citroën, at 1-26
6. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Bora-Hansgrohe, at 1-40
7. Pello Bilbao (Esp) Bahrain Victorious, at 1-44
8. Sergio Higuita (Col) EF Education-Nippo, at 1-49
9. Rigoberto Urán (Col) EF Education-Nippo,
10. Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain Victorious, all at same time
General classification after stage 17
1. Tadej Pogačar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates, in 71-26-27
2. Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma, at 5-39
3. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Ineos Grenadiers, at 5-43
4. Rigoberto Urán (Col) EF Education-Nippo, at 7-17
5. Ben O'Connor (Aus) Ag2r-Citroën, at 7-34
6. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Bora-Hansgrohe, at 8-06
7. Enric Mas (Esp) Movistar, at 9-48
8. Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana-Premier Tech, at 10-04
9. Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis, at 11-51
10. Pello Bilbao (Esp) Bahrain Victorious, at 12-32
Read the full report from today's stage here:
We've had a report from ITV that Mark Cavendish has safely finished the stage inside the time cut, with just one more mountain stage to come on day 18.
Cav watch: he is in within the time limit 🟢#TDF2021July 14, 2021
After today's stage win, Tadej Pogačar is now second in the KoM classification, despite not targeting the polka-dot jersey.
Get the full story here: Tadej Pogačar jumps to second in climber’s classification after stage win
Here's the reaction from Tadej Pogačar after his huge stage win on day 17:
Don't miss these key moments from another thrilling day in the Pyrenees mountains
Read the full story here: Five talking points from stage 17 of the Tour de France 2021
Jonas Vingegaard has been on an absolutely storming Tour de France so far.
Read more about what his fellow pros think about his performance: 'He can be a Tour de France winner pretty soon': Tadej Pogačar leads praise of Jonas Vingegaard
Right that wraps up our live updates from stage 17 of the Tour de France 2021.
Join us again tomorrow as we bring you coverage from the final mountain stage, stage 18, which features the famous Col du Tourmalet.