Thibaut Pinot celebrated in the legendary goal of Col du Tourmalet a punishment stage, in which the rise on the Col du Soulour had already made hopes disappear across the field. Reigning champion Geraint Thomas gave an alarming performance in the closing stages, and after finishing third on the stage, yellow jerrican Julian Alaphilippe has left his British rival more time to lead 2 minutes and 2 seconds ahead.
Three were eight again when the leaders took up the chase group time for the Tourmalet Rise. Romain Sicard (Total Direct Energy) was the first to attack before Gesbert overtook him for his own effort. He was finally wrapped up just before the 10km mark, and Warren Barguil (Arkea-Samsic) kept going.
But it went to the finish. As Barguil slumped, a group of 12 players lined up and fought for the lead 3km from the finish. Yellow tricot owner Alaphilippe (Deceuninck Quick-Step) had started the stage with an 86-second lead over Team Ineos' Thomas and both were initially supported by a great effort by Movistar at the top of the field. and were in contact in the end. Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) showed his strength in the sixteen stripped-down 12 to retire, and in the end there was clear daylight for the pursuers. In the overall standings, he has now advanced from seventh to sixth place.
Alaphilippe's efforts led him to emerge safely at the top of the standings and Thomas struggled hard for the final kilometer. Another huge challenge was ticked for the leader.
• Jeremy Whittle's stage report appears here later …