Tour de France Stage 20 Report

July 20, Stage 20: Annecy – Annecy-Semnoz 125km

Froome bulletproof in Tour de France final showdown

Article Content from Report By: Peter Cossins Published: July 20

Video Recap from

Quintana wins stage, Rodriguez knocks Contador off podium

Nairo Quintana finished off one of the most sensational Tour de France debuts of recent years when he won the final mountain stage at Annecy Semnoz. Away at the front with just race leader Chris Froome and Joaquim Rodríguez for company, the 23-year-old Colombian responded to an attack from Froome just outside the final kilometre, then produced an acceleration of his own that neither of his rivals could follow.

Approaching the line, Quintana’s poker face finally broke into the widest of smiles. He threw his arms wide to celebrate a victory that not only secured him the white jersey of best young rider, but also moved up him up to second place overall as Alberto Contador finished more than two minutes back, dropping to fourth overall behind his compatriot Rodríguez. Fittingly, Quintana’s summit victory and hugely impressive performance in the Pyrenees and Alps over the past fortnight also earned him the King of the Mountains jersey on what is his country’s national day.

Quintana was overjoyed to have won and taken second place overall. “It’s an incredible win for me. It’s difficult to understand what has happened. I’m very, very happy for what happened today and during all the Tour,” he said.

“We controlled the attacks on the climb and were sure that we’d be able to do what our DS had planned out for us. This is a special day for me and for Colombia. This is for everyone in Colombia: my family and all my friends, who have helped me so much. I want to thank everyone in Colombia.”

The other big winner on the day was yellow jersey Froome. His Team Sky teammates kept the Briton out of trouble all day, then seized the initiative approaching the final climb. Their pace-making thinned out the yellow jersey group very rapidly on the first ramps up towards Semnoz. Froome then produced a surge of his own that proved too much for Contador, and never looked to be in any trouble until well inside the final kilometre. He gave a thumbs-up as he crossed the line, the Tour de France now all but won.

“I can’t quite believe this is happening, that I’m sitting here in this position. It’s amazing. I’m sorry, but I’m lost for words,” said Froome after he stepped down from the podium. “Obviously we’ve still got to roll into Paris, but that’s the GC side of it pretty much sorted. Finishing like this has been very special.”

Asked about his thoughts going into the final few kilometres of the stage, Froome confessed: “It was quite hard to stay on top of it. When we reached 3km to go I knew I had accomplished what I had been aiming for. After that I was just trying to stay in the wheels, although I was struggling a bit to do that.”

Joaquim Rodriguez was disappointed not to win the stage but is going to celebrate his third place overall in Paris. He now has a full set of Grand Tour podium places.

“The podium is a great achievement, I’m very happy: not a lot of riders managed to enter the top-three of all the big stage races,” Rodriguez said.

“I look forward to celebrate tomorrow, with my family and my friends. Today I felt in a great shape: maybe if only Froome helped me in the last climb and leaded us from time to time, I would have saved some energies and I could have fought for the stage victory. But never mind, the podium was the most important thing, so I’m happy like this.”

How it happened

Predictions that the stage would be packed with attacking moves from the GC contenders from the off proved wrong, although one instantly recognisable rider did all he could to pull off the most unlikely of coups. Jens Voigt, 41 years young and riding his 16th and possibly final Tour de France, was in the break that went on the approach to the first climb, the second-category Côte du Puget. With the RadioShack veteran were Marcus Burghardt (BMC), Juan Antonio Flecha (Vacansoleil) and Pierre Rolland (Europcar), who was hoping to take the mountains title by sweeping up points on the five climbs that preceded the final ascent to Semnoz.

Rolland led over that summit. Following it, another small group of riders got across the stage leader. Among them was Euskaltel’s Igor Antón, who challenged the Frenchman for top points on the subsequent third-cats, the Col de Leschaux, Côte d’Aillon-le-Vieux and Col des Prés. Antón led over the first and Rolland the second. Antón looked set to take the points on the third of them until Rolland switched suddenly into his path, forcing the Basque to take evasive action in order to avoid riding into fans at the roadside.

A rematch would have been interesting, but Voigt prevented that by pushing up the pace on the front of the breakaway group, which quickly disintegrated behind the German. He crossed Mont Revard with a lead of 90 seconds and extended that lead by another minute as he dropped into the valley beyond.

Van Garderen has a go

BMC’s world champion Philippe Gilbert and teammate Tejay van Garderen jumped away from the peloton in pursuit of the remnants of the lead group. Once with Rolland, Antón and several others, Gilbert gave all he had to reduce Voigt’s advantage in order to set up van Garderen for an assault on the final climb. However, after Sky took over the pacemaking in the main peloton approaching the foot of the climb to Semnoz, this group was rapidly reeled in.

Voigt’s advantage had been cut to 43 seconds as he led onto the final 10.7km ascent. The German managed to hold off the peloton for a couple of kilometres, but eventually yielded with 8.5km remaining, as Richie Porte led a much-reduced yellow jersey group past him. Moments later, Rodríguez made the first dig from this group. Quintana responded, as did Froome, who went to the front of the group, then set his legs whirring furiously with an attack of his own, which proved too much for Contador.

Rodríguez and Froome did most of the pace making thereafter, the Spaniard determined to wrest at least third place on the podium, the Briton simply wanting to keep his two remaining rivals in check. The trio stayed together until Froome attacked just short of the one-kilometre kite. Quintana eased up to the Briton in an instant. Then he was off, fast and smooth, towards victory and what looks likely to be a very glittering future.

General classification after stage 20
1 Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky Procycling 80:49:33
2 Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar Team 0:05:03
3 Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha 0:05:47
4 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Team Saxo-Tinkoff 0:07:10
5 Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Team Saxo-Tinkoff 0:08:10
6 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team 0:12:25
7 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team 0:13:00
8 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team 0:16:09
9 Daniel Navarro Garcia (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits 0:16:35
10 Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin-Sharp 0:18:22
11 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma-Quick Step 0:19:42
12 Mikel Nieve Ituralde (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 0:20:44
13 Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team 0:22:22
14 Maxime Monfort (Bel) RadioShack Leopard 0:24:21
15 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:27:25
16 Michael Rogers (Aus) Team Saxo-Tinkoff 0:27:34
17 Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Katusha 0:33:17
18 Jan Bakelants (Bel) RadioShack Leopard 0:36:34
19 Richie Porte (Aus) Sky Procycling 0:39:41
20 Andy Schleck (Lux) RadioShack Leopard 0:42:29
21 Jose Rodolfo Serpa Perez (Col) Lampre-Merida 0:45:51
22 John Gadret (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:46:43
23 Igor Anton Hernandez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 0:48:26
24 Pierre Rolland (Fra) Team Europcar 0:52:12
25 Peter Velits (Svk) Omega Pharma-Quick Step 0:54:43
26 Robert Gesink (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team 0:55:08
27 Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa (Por) Movistar Team 0:55:17
28 Wouter Poels (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 0:56:30
29 Arnold Jeannesson (Fra) 0:57:49
30 Andreas Klöden (Ger) RadioShack Leopard 1:03:26
31 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Omega Pharma-Quick Step 1:03:38
32 Cyril Gautier (Fra) Team Europcar 1:13:01
33 Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin-Sharp 1:13:20
34 Hubert Dupont (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 1:15:42
35 Steve Morabito (Swi) BMC Racing Team 1:21:22
36 Haimar Zubeldia Agirre (Spa) RadioShack Leopard 1:25:05
37 Christophe Riblon (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 1:28:46
38 Bart De Clercq (Bel) Lotto Belisol 1:28:49
39 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team 1:30:57
40 Jesus Hernandez Blazquez (Spa) Team Saxo-Tinkoff 1:33:24
41 Nicolas Roche (Irl) Team Saxo-Tinkoff 1:34:29
42 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Argos-Shimano 1:35:13
43 Mikel Astarloza Chaurreau (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 1:37:10
44 Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 1:38:32
45 Alexandre Geniez (Fra) 1:38:49
46 Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra) Sojasun 1:40:48
47 Ruben Plaza Molina (Spa) Movistar Team 1:41:18
48 Eduard Vorganov (Rus) Katusha 1:43:24
49 Davide Malacarne (Ita) Team Europcar 1:45:33
50 Lars Petter Nordhaug (Nor) Belkin Pro Cycling Team 1:50:01
51 Yury Trofimov (Rus) Katusha 1:50:13
52 Maxime Mederel (Fra) Sojasun 1:52:36
53 Laurent Didier (Lux) RadioShack Leopard 1:59:12
54 Andrey Amador Bakkazakova (CRc) Movistar Team 1:59:42
55 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre-Merida 1:59:57
56 Amaël Moinard (Fra) BMC Racing Team 2:00:46
57 Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) Lampre-Merida 2:00:47
58 Tony Gallopin (Fra) RadioShack Leopard 2:03:42
59 Pierrick Fedrigo (Fra) 2:05:02
60 Thomas Danielson (USA) Garmin-Sharp 2:05:47
61 Guillaume Levarlet (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits 2:07:44
62 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC Racing Team 2:08:00
63 Jerome Coppel (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits 2:09:32
64 Bram Tankink (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team 2:10:09
65 Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Team Europcar 2:13:00
66 Arthur Vichot (Fra) 2:13:38
67 Jens Voigt (Ger) RadioShack Leopard 2:15:28
68 Simon Clarke (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge 2:16:58
69 Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin-Sharp 2:22:06
70 Jon Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 2:22:15
71 Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling 2:22:28
72 Adam Hansen (Aus) Lotto Belisol 2:23:58
73 Simon Geschke (Ger) Team Argos-Shimano 2:26:07
74 Rudy Molard (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits 2:26:08
75 Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica-GreenEdge 2:27:30
76 Manuele Mori (Ita) Lampre-Merida 2:28:38
77 Peter Kennaugh (GBr) Sky Procycling 2:33:46
78 Juan Jose Oroz Ugalde (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 2:34:38
79 Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Movistar Team 2:34:54
80 Simon Gerrans (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge 2:35:19
81 Julien El Fares (Fra) Sojasun 2:37:17
82 Sergey Lagutin (Uzb) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 2:39:14
83 Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Astana Pro Team 2:39:27
84 Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale Pro Cycling 2:39:44
85 Manuel Quinziato (Ita) BMC Racing Team
86 Michael Albasini (Swi) Orica-GreenEdge 2:40:43
87 Julien Simon (Fra) Sojasun 2:41:43
88 Luis Angel Mate Mardones (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits 2:43:03
89 Kanstantsin Siutsou (Blr) Sky Procycling 2:44:43
90 Anthony Delaplace (Fra) Sojasun 2:44:56
91 Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC Racing Team 2:45:48
92 Matteo Tosatto (Ita) Team Saxo-Tinkoff 2:47:58
93 Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Spa) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 2:48:46
94 Marcus Burghardt (Ger) BMC Racing Team 2:50:30
95 Jonathan Castroviejo Nicolas (Spa) Movistar Team 2:53:19
96 Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 2:53:38
97 Moreno Moser (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling 2:53:46
98 Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Astana Pro Team 2:54:19
99 Yukiya Arashiro (Jpn) Team Europcar 2:55:36
100 Kristijan Koren (Slo) Cannondale Pro Cycling 2:57:46
101 Johnny Hoogerland (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 2:57:56
102 Rein Taaramae (Est) Cofidis, Solutions Credits 2:58:44
103 Brice Feillu (Fra) Sojasun 2:59:20
104 Markel Irizar Aranburu (Spa) RadioShack Leopard 3:00:22
105 Lars Boom (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team 3:03:35
106 Tony Martin (Ger) Omega Pharma-Quick Step 3:04:17
107 Daniele Bennati (Ita) Team Saxo-Tinkoff 3:06:48
108 Alberto Losada Alguacil (Spa) Katusha 3:07:45
109 Lars Ytting Bak (Den) Lotto Belisol 3:08:01
110 Alan Marangoni (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling 3:10:20
111 Pavel Brutt (Rus) Katusha 3:10:30
112 David Millar (GBr) Garmin-Sharp 3:12:05
113 Cyril Lemoine (Fra) Sojasun
114 Jean-Marc Marino (Fra) Sojasun 3:13:14
115 Maciej Bodnar (Pol) Cannondale Pro Cycling 3:15:58
116 Egoitz Garcia Echeguibel (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits 3:17:17
117 Fabio Sabatini (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling 3:19:23
118 Imanol Erviti Ollo (Spa) Movistar Team 3:19:55
119 Gatis Smukulis (Lat) Katusha 3:21:49
120 John Degenkolb (Ger) Team Argos-Shimano 3:23:44
121 David Veilleux (Can) Team Europcar 3:24:13
122 Romain Sicard (Fra) Euskaltel-Euskadi 3:24:37
123 Sébastien Minard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 3:25:11
124 Jérémy Roy (Fra) 3:27:11
125 Blel Kadri (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 3:27:14
126 David Lopez Garcia (Spa) Sky Procycling 3:28:47
127 Elia Favilli (Ita) Lampre-Merida 3:31:43
128 Cameron Meyer (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge 3:32:57
129 André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Belisol 3:33:00
130 Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Belkin Pro Cycling Team 3:35:22
131 Maarten Wynants (Bel) Belkin Pro Cycling Team 3:35:38
132 Murilo Antonio Fischer (Bra) 3:38:41
133 Ian Stannard (GBr) Sky Procycling 3:38:49
134 Kévin Reza (Fra) Team Europcar 3:39:24
135 Sergio Miguel Moreira Paulinho (Por) Team Saxo-Tinkoff 3:39:41
136 Davide Cimolai (Ita) Lampre-Merida 3:40:50
137 Koen De Kort (Ned) Team Argos-Shimano 3:41:44
138 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Sky Procycling 3:43:34
139 Ruben Perez Moreno (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 3:44:08
140 Aliaksandr Kuchynski (Blr) Katusha 3:44:21
141 Matteo Trentin (Ita) Omega Pharma-Quick Step 3:45:49
142 Johannes Fröhlinger (Ger) Team Argos-Shimano 3:47:27
143 Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 3:48:00
144 Boy van Poppel (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 3:49:04
145 Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 3:49:05
146 Roy Curvers (Ned) Team Argos-Shimano 3:49:13
147 Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha 3:50:45
148 Niki Terpstra (Ned) Omega Pharma-Quick Step 3:51:09
149 Mark Cavendish (GBr) Omega Pharma-Quick Step 3:52:59
150 Thomas Leezer (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team 3:53:43
151 Jonathan Hivert (Fra) Sojasun 3:53:53
152 Matthew Harley Goss (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge 3:58:17
153 Gert Steegmans (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick Step 3:59:57
154 Brian Vandborg (Den) Cannondale Pro Cycling 4:00:40
155 Jerome Cousin (Fra) Team Europcar 4:00:45
156 Brett Lancaster (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge 4:01:02
157 Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Lotto Belisol 4:01:19
158 Jérôme Pineau (Fra) Omega Pharma-Quick Step 4:02:30
159 Roberto Ferrari (Ita) Lampre-Merida 4:03:02
160 Yohann Gene (Fra) Team Europcar 4:03:59
161 Stuart O’Grady (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge 4:04:10
162 Greg Henderson (NZl) Lotto Belisol 4:05:09
163 Frederik Willems (Bel) Lotto Belisol 4:05:15
164 Albert Timmer (Ned) Team Argos-Shimano 4:07:00
165 Juan Jose Lobato Del Valle (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 4:08:48
166 Marcel Kittel (Ger) Team Argos-Shimano 4:11:03
167 Dmitriy Muravyev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team 4:18:30
168 Assan Bazayev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team 4:23:24
169 Svein Tuft (Can) Orica-GreenEdge 4:24:41
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