The Tour de France's 18th stage was expected to be one of the more exciting stages, considering the climb of the Alpe d'Huez. It lived up to expectations, too, as Christophe Riblon was able to take the lead and hold on to win the queen stage in spectacular fashion, giving France its first stage victory in this year's Tour.
The Frenchman trailed Tejay van Garderen by 18 seconds with under three kilometers remaining in the race, but Riblon roared up the last climb to earn the victory. Van Garderen ended up finishing 58 seconds behind Riblon. Moreno Moser finished in third place.
The race was exciting at the end, but there were numerous issues involving fans nearly ruining the result. The Guardian's Barry Glendenning wrote a post about two particularly disappointing events during his liveblog involving a couple of separate incidents that happened within minutes of each other.
Some bullet-headed idiot waving a Union Jack runs alongside Chris Froome, shaking his flag in his face and almost punching him in the chest as he roars "encouragement". Further up the road, Tejay van Garderen is having to deal with different idiots. Some absolute bozo in red and white stripy trousers, a polka dot King of the Mountains shirt and a white sun-hat weaves in front of the American as he runs alongside him. Van Garderen hits him in the stomach as he swerves to avoid him. Nowhere near hard enough, I hasten to add.
A GIF of Van Garderen hitting the fan in the stomach can be found here.
Chris Froome still holds the overall lead in the Tour, but he lost a bit of time on Thursday crossing the finish line three minutes and 18 seconds behind Riblon. Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas finished nearly a minute ahead of Froome to cut into his lead.
Classifications for this stage and the full Tour can be found at the official site.