Tour de France: Nairo Quintana wins stage 18
Britain's Geraint Thomas drops to third overall but remains 95 seconds behind leader Julian Alaphilippe with two more mountain stages to go
Last Updated: 25/07/19 7:31pm
Nairo Quintana soloed to victory on stage 18 of the Tour de France in Valloire to salvage success from a disappointing race for the Colombian.
Quintana, who arrived as a contender for the yellow jersey, began the day almost 10 minutes down on the general classification and was allowed to go in the breakaway on a brutal day in the Alps, with the riders tackling the Col de Vars, Col d'Izoard and the Galibier in 208 gruelling kilometres.
Quintana attacked from a much-reduced group seven and a half kilometres from the top of the Galibier, cresting it one minute 43 seconds ahead of the chasing Romain Bardet before descending to his third career Tour stage win.
Twice Tour runner-up Quintana, 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 1:35 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 in the descent to the finish.
Thomas now lies third overall but stays 95 seconds behind Alaphilippe, with two more mountain stages to go before Sunday's processional ride into Paris.