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Lopez wins as Bennett improves


Miguel Angel Lopez

Miguel Angel Lopez

Miguel Angel Lopez

Miguel Angel Lopez won stage 17 of the Tour de France at the summit of the Col de la Loze above Meribel as Primoz Roglic distanced Tadej Pogacar in the brutal finale to strengthen his grip on yellow.

As the gradients at the top of the 21-kilometre climb hit 24 per cent, the Colombian Lopez was able to ride away from the other contenders for a stage win that moves him up to third overall.

Roglic followed over the line 15 seconds later with Pogacar losing his wheel in the final metres, conceding a further 15 seconds that see his deficit in second place grow to 57 seconds.

Lopez now sits third, one minute and 26 seconds down, after Rigoberto Uran faded late on.

"I'm very emotional," Astana's Lopez said. "We dreamed about it, we did it. I'm thinking about my family."

At the start of the day, Sam Bennett kept himself glued to Peter Sagan's wheel and was able to use the intermediate sprint to add two points to his advantage in the green jersey, which now stands at 47 points.

The 170km stage from Grenoble, featuring two hors categorie climbs with summits about 2,000 metres, would have suited an on-form Egan Bernal, but the day began with news that the defending champion had withdrawn from the race after shipping 18 minutes in two days as a result of a back injury.