Bagnères-de-Luchon – Peyragudes (143.5km) Click for route map
Saint Bertrand de Comminges sounds like a fascinating place steeped in history and well worth a visit. In 72BC the Roman General Pompey founded a Roman colony here and there is an archeological site close to the Cathedral in which it is possible to identify the remains of Roman baths and a theatre. In 1083 Bertrand de l’Isle-Jourdain was nominated bishop of Comminges. He ordered the construction of the cathedral and its Romanesque cloister which came to be used by pilgrims as a stage on the route to Santiago de Compostela. The village is largely medieval with a Romanesque basilica as well as the former cathedral. A complete contrast today was the high altitude finish at Peyragudes, misty today but with the promise of good views on a fine day.
Bradley Wiggins continues in yellow and although Thomas Voeckler started the day with a lead of just four points but now all he has to do to win the polka-dot jersey is to cross the finish line in Paris.
The top five of Stage 17
1. Aljeandro Valverde (ESP) MOV
2. Christopher Froome (GBR) SKY at 19″
3. Bradley Wiggins (GBR) SKY at 19″
4. Thibaut Pinot (FRA) FDJ) at 22″
5. Pierre Rolland (FRA) EUC at 26″
Team placings after Stage 17
1. Team Radioshack
2. Sky Procycling
Jerseys for Stage 18
Yellow – Wiggins (2nd overall Froome)
Green – Sagan
Polka Dot – Voeckler
White – Van Garderen
For more information on the cyclists, their teams and how they were placed see the Tour de France official site.
Read my TDF posts covering this and previous years.