Warren Barguil triumphed on the grueling final climb of stage 18, with yellow jersey-holder Chris Froome also finishing at the front. Barguil also secured the 2017 polka-dot jersey, provided he completes the Tour.
Warren Barguil claimed his second stage win of the 2017 tour in the mountains on Thursday, scaling the brutal Col d'Izoard ascent first and mathematically wrapping up the "King of the Mountains" award in the process. So long as the French rider completes the race within the cutoff time, the polka-dot jersey will be his. His closest rival, stage 17 winner Primoz Roglic, can no longer close the gap unless Barguil retires.
The climb at the close of the 179.5-kilometer (111.5-mile) stage is among the Tour's most unforgiving. Riders scale more than 1,000 meters vertically during the last 14 kilometers of the stage.
DW's Joscha Weber was among the crowds waiting for the finishers at the summit.
Yellow jersey contenders Romain Bardet and Rigoberto Uran both tried to break clear from overall leader Chris Froome - on the stage broadly considered the last big chance for a pretender to put a meaningful dent in the British rider's lead. However, Froome was able to keep tabs on his rivals, finishing fourth overall, sandwiched between Bardet and Uran.
Romain Bardet (left) tried to break Froome on the final climb, but only rolled in a few seconds in front
As a result, Froome's lead drops slightly to 23 seconds over Bardet, and extends to 29 seconds over Uran in third overall.
Barguil's teammate Fabio Aru finished well back from this trio, dropping to fifth overall almost 2 minutes off the lead time. As a result, stage 18 appeared to have thinned down the list of realistic candidates for victory to Froome, Bardet and Uran. Froome's Team Sky wingman Mikel Landa is now fourth overall, 96 seconds back from the rider he's providing with covering fire.