Colombian cyclist Nairo Quintana on Thursday captured the 18th stage of the Tour de France with a stunning victory as countryman Egan Bernal moved up to second in the overall classification.
Nairo, who was one of the pre-race favorites had had difficult time in France began the day almost 10 minutes down on the general classification but thrived in the mountains with three grueling climbs on the 18th stage.
In what was a testing day in the Alps, with the riders tackling the Col de Vars, Col d’Izoard and the Galibier in the 208 kilometers stage, Nairo impressed as he romped for home, finishing 1 minute 35 seconds ahead of France’s Romain Bardet.
Fellow Colombian Egan Bernal (Team Ineos) was the big mover of the day climbing from fifth to second overall.
The 22-year-old who is the youngest rider in the race, launched an attack three kilometers from the summit of the 23-kilometre Col du Galibier, overtaking teammate and the defending champion, Geraint Thomas in the standings
Bernal now looks to be the main challenger to leader Julian Alaphilippe as the competitors brace themselves for the next two daunting Alpine stages.
The Tour continues on Friday with stage 19, a 126.5 kilometer circuit from Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne to Tignes.
It comes to a close on Sunday in Paris.