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