Team Nieve
Data from Garmin

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After much hype and speculation about the gridded start format of the 65km stage 17, the race got off to a surprisingly sedate start (if you can call an immediate C1 climb sedate). With riders lined up according to standings, the idea was supposedly to isolate the GC contenders from their teams with an immediate and tantalizing summit to battle over. But with 16 days of racing under their belts, there were perhaps less fireworks from the riders than the organizers had hoped for. After peloton rolled out, teams organized themselves quickly, and stage 17 began to look like just another brutal day in the mountains.

Nairo Quintana of Movistar won the day with a stellar ride on the misty Col du Portet. Dan Martin had launched the attack, but couldn’t hold off the Colombian and took second.  The day’s biggest winner was Geraint Thomas, who crossed the line in third, nearly a minute ahead of Chris Froome. The rare moment of weakness from the defending champion could mean his teammate will wear yellow all the way to Paris. Tom Dumoulin will also be pleased, having edged Froome off the second step of the podium for now.