Tour de France 2015 Stage 18: Bardet ‘exceptionnel’ winner

Romain BardetStage 18 features seven cols, including the famous Glandon. Romain Bardet is the first to crest the famous peak and in the descent he powers to an advantage that's big enough for the win. He consolidates at the steep Lacets de Montvernier and soloes to the win. The French party is compete with Rolland finishing second. Bonus for Bardet is he enters the top-10, plus he shares the polka dot jersey with his break away companion Joaquim Rodriguez. (Slideshow route/profile)

Results 18th stage Tour de France

1. Romain Bardet (fra)
2. Pierre Rolland (fra) + 0.33
3. Winnar Anacona (col) + 0.59
4. Bob Jungels (lux) s.t.
5. Jakob Fuglsang (den) s.t.
6. Serge Pauwels (bel) + 1.01
7. Cyril Gautier (fra) + 1.50
8. Damiano Caruso (ita) s.t.
9. Andrew Talansky (usa) + 1.55
10. Warren Barguil (fra) + 3.02

11. Robert Gesink (nld) s.t.
12. Chris Froome (gbr) s.t.
13. Alejandro Valverde (spa) s.t.
14. Geraint Thomas (gbr) s.t.
15. Alberto Contador (spa) s.t.
16. Mathias Frank (swi) s.t.
17. Nairo Quintana (col) s.t.
18. Vincenzo Nibali (ita) s.t.
20. Samuel Sanchez (spa) + 3.21
21. Bauke Mollema (nld) s.t.

GC after stage 18
1. Chris Froome (gbr)
2. Nairo Quintana (col) + 3.10
3. Alejandro Valverde (spa) + 4.09
4. Geraint Thomas (gbr) + 6.34
5. Alberto Contador (spa) + 6.40
6. Robert Gesink (nld) + 7.39
7. Vincenzo Nibali (ita) + 8.04
8. Mathias Frank (swi) + 8.47
9. Bauke Mollema (nld) + 12.06
10. Romain Bardet (fra) + 12.52

Race report
The flag is dropped and the first climb presents itself. At Col Bayard Pierre Rolland attacks and he is followed straight away by Joaquim Rodriguez and Julian Arredondo. With 26 riders bridging the gap, Purito is the first to crest the col and as he takes most points at Rampe du Motty and Côte de La Mure also, he now has as many point as Froome in the KOM classification.

At Col de Malissol Purito becomes the official owner of the polka dot jersey and at the Col de la Morte he cements his lead.

The front group puts 5 minutes into the peloton and when Giant, Trek and LottoNL take control in the pack the gain goes down to under 3 minutes when approaching the Glandon. At the climb itself the front group explodes on the lower flanks and is down to Fuglsang, Bardet, Pinot, Anacona, Caruso, Rodriguez, Rolland, Gautier, Jungels, Talansky and Pauwels, while Pinot is dropped halfway and Hesjedal manages to hook up.

Bardet is first to crest and he takes the lead in the descent. The 24 year old Frenchman arrives at the foot of the steep Lacets the Montvernier with a 0’40” gain over his former companions and the GC men are 3 minutes down. Bardet retains his lead in the climb and it’s all systems go to the end, bringing him the first Tour de France stage-victory in his career. With cresting both the Glandon and Lacets de Montvernier first he joins Purito in the KOM-lead, while simultaneously entering the overall top-10 at the expense of Warren Barguil.

Tour de France 2015 stage 18: Route maps, height profiles, and more

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Romain Bardet

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