Russia’s Ilnur Zakarin climbed to victory on stage 17 of the Tour de France that took riders over 184.5km between Bern and Finhaut-Emosson in Switzerland today.
The Katusha rider caught and passed Poland’s Rafael Majka and Colombia’s Jarlinson Pantano on the lower slopes of the hors categorie finishing climb and soloed to a comfortable win in 4:36:33.
Pantano hung on for second with king of the mountains leader Majka finishing third.
Yellow jersey Chris Froome (Sky) left the main group of favourites, which included Colombia’s Nairo Quintana (Movistar), behind when he set off in pursuit of Australia’s Richie Porte (BMC) just over a kilometre from the summit. He finished on Porte’s wheel to increase his lead in the overall standings.
“I did my best today, I’m very happy now,” said the 26-year-old Zakarin, who is still waiting to hear whether Russia will be allowed to compete at the Olympic Games in Rio.
He said it wasn’t a big surprise as he had shown his quality in the past, but that it was a dream come true to win a Tour de France stage.
Froome is now 2:27 ahead of Dutchman Bauke Mollema (Trek Factory Racing) and 2:53 in front of Britain’s Adam Yates (Orica-BikeExchange), who increased his lead over South Africa’s Louis Meintjes (Lampre) in the young rider competition.
Meintjes enjoyed another impressive day in the saddle to move into ninth overall.
Stage 17 results
1. Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha) 4:36:33
2. Jarlinson Pantano (IAM Cycling) +55
3. Rafal Majka (Tinkoff) +1:26
4. Kristijan Durasek (Lampre-Merida) +1:32
5. Brice Feillu (Fortuneo-Vital Concept) +2:33
6. Thomas Voeckler (Direct Energie) +2:46
7. Domenico Pozzovivo (AG2R La Mondiale) +2:50
8. Stef Clement (IAM Cycling) +2:57
9. Steve Morabito (FDJ) +4:38
10. Richie Porte (BMC Racing) +7:59
15. Louis Meintjes (Lampre-Merida) +8:18
59. Daryl Impey (Orica-BikeExchange) +26:15
98. Reinardt Janse van Rensburg (Dimension Data) +30:26
1. Christopher Froome (Sky) 77:25:10
2. Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) +2:27
3. Adam Yates (Orica-BikeExchange) +2:53
4. Nairo Quintana (Movistar) +3:27
5. Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale) +4:15
6. Richie Porte (BMC Racing) +4:27
7. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) +5:19
8. Fabio Aru (Astana Pro) +5:35
9. Daniel Martin (Etixx-Quick-Step) +5:50
10. Louis Meintjes (Lampre-Merida) +6:07
42. Daryl Impey (Orica-BikeExchange) +1:29:40
109. Reinardt Janse van Rensburg (Dimension Data) +2:50:25
1. Peter Sagan (Tinkoff) 425 points
2. Marcel Kittel (Etixx-Quick-Step) 228
3. Bryan Coquard (Direct Energie) 156
King of the Mountains
1. Rafal Majka (Tinkoff) 173 points
2. Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal) 90
3. Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha) 78
See Tour de France for more news, results and photos.