Stage 17 of the Tour de France 2016 took the riders from Bern, the capital of Switzerland, to Finaut-Emosson on the Swiss-French border, just around the corner from Chamonix-Mont-Blanc.
Ilnur Zakarin from Team Katusha and IAM Cycling's rider Jarlinson Pantano were first onto the final climb of the day up to the finish line at Barrage d'Emosson. Climbing together some eleven minutes in front of the yellow jersey group of Chris Froome, Zakarin made an impressive break from his companion at around 5km to go and rode to an amazing solo victory on one of the steepest finishes of the 2016 Tour. Around 800 metres from the finish you could see him attempt to zip up his jersey but he failed with a slight smile and a shake of the head..not even enough energy for that after a long day out in the blistering heat. He eventually managed against all odds to zip up his top and broke into a smile as he crossed the line for his first ever stage win in the Tour de France.
Behind him, the race continued as Chris Froome managed to break from his group and take even more time out of his main rivals in the overall classifications. Froome and Ritchie Porte were alone and ahead of their rivals for the final 2km, Niaro Quintana could not keep pace and in fact young Adam Yates (currently 3rd in the overall) passed him and arrived at the summit with Fabio Aru and French favourite, Romain Bardet. Second place rider Bauke Mollema came in just behind Quintana. Froome has now extended his lead over the field going into today's mountain time trial from Sallanches to Megeve.
Here are the current standings going into Stage 18:
1. Chris Froome (Team Sky) 77:25:10”
2. Bauke Mollema (Trek) +2:27”
3. Adam Yates (Orica) +2:53”
4. Nairo Quintana (Movistar) +3:27”
5. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) +4:15”
6. Romain Bardet (AG2R) +4:27”
7. Richie Porte (BMC Racing) +5:19”
8. Fabio Aru (Astana) +5:35”
9. Daniel Martin (Etixx-Quick-Step) +5:50”
10. Louis Meintjes (Lampre-Merida) +6:07”
Today's stage has now begun with the first man leaving the gate at 10:51. The last man out of the start house will be Chris Froome at 16:49. Sallanches has played host to several big moments of cycling history with the French town witnessing Jan Janssen and Bernard Hinault claiming rainbow jerseys at the World Championships in 1964 and 1980.
Friday will see another long stage as the riders tackle the route from Albertville to Saint Gervais, before the penultimate stage on Saturday from Megeve to Morzine. Check out our guides on where and how to watch the Tour from Chamonix and Morzine over the coming days.