Arnaud Démare of Groupama-FDJ won the bunch gallop ahead of Christophe Laporte from Cofidis to deliver a 1-2 for French riders in Pau after several sprinters had quit the Tour. It’s the second Tour de France victory for the former French champion. Geraint Thomas retained the yellow jersey.
146 riders started stage 18 in Trie-sur-Baïse. Five riders went clear after 1.5km: Niki Tersptra (Quick Step), Guillaume van Keirsbulck (Wanty-Groupe Gobert), Luke Durbridge and Matthew Hayman (Mitchelton-Scott) and Thomas Boudat (Direct Energie). At km 25, the peloton stopped chasing and gave them the green light for a long lasting breakaway. It was a very fast first hour of racing with 48.8km covered. UAE Emirates, Groupama-FDJ and Bora-Hansgrohe kept the distance between the leading five and the peloton around 1’30’’ until Michael Gogl and Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo) and Sep Vanmarcke (EF) attacked from the peloton at km 65, just before the crash involving stage 17 winner Nairo Quintana (Movistar). Calm was reinstated after the storm and sprinters’ teams were back in control. The maximum time gap was recorded at km 81: 2’21’’.
Source: Le Tour