Jul 23, 2015 1:44 PM by Ross Field
SAINT-JEAN-DE-MAURIENNE, France (AP) - Romain Bardet has ridden alone down the huge Glandon pass and up the 18 hairpin bends of the previously unclimbed Montvernier Laces to take a stylish solo victory on Stage 18 of the Tour de France.
Bardet rode away at the top of the punishing Glandon climb - the hardest Alpine ascent so far - and built a lead on the long descent. He held it up the Montvernier Laces, where the road spaghettis back and forth in a spectacular series of switchbacks. Cheered on to the finish at Saint-Jean-De-Maurienne, he secured the second win by a French rider at this Tour.
British rider Chris Froome maintained his overall lead and continues to hold the yellow jersey.
The 2013 winner remains 3 minutes and 10 seconds ahead of second-placed Nairo Quintana and 4:09 ahead of the Colombian's Movistar teammate, Alejandro Valverde.
The Tour has now covered 3,000 kilometers (1,865 miles). Just two days of climbing in the Alps remain for Froome's rivals to try to dislodge him. The finish is Sunday in Paris.
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