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Tour de France 2022 LIVE: Stage 18 route updates today as Jack Bauer in motorbike crash

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<p>Jonas Vingegaard wearing the yellow jersey during stage 18</p>

Jonas Vingegaard wearing the yellow jersey during stage 18

(AFP via Getty Images)

The 2022 Tour de France faces a final, crucial day in the mountains as Tadej Pogacar takes what is realistically one final swing at Jonas Vingegaard in an effort to knock the yellow jersey from his grasp.

Vingegaard has led the overall standings by more than two minutes since his sole stage win on stage 11 which saw Pogacar crack under immense pressure from the Dane’s Jumbo-Visma team. But Pogacar’s hard-earned win over Vingegaard at the finish of yesterday’s brutal stage 17 ride to Peyragudes landed a small psychological blog in his bid to become a three-time champion. With a flat sprint stage tomorrow and a closing time trial which offers only limited scope for earning back time before Sunday’s procession to Paris, Pogacar knows he must break Vingegaard’s resolve today.

Behind them Geraint Thomas is in pole position to pick up the remaining podium position, having picked his moments to follow the two standout riders and chosen wisely the right times to hold back and save his legs. Germany’s Simon Geschke remains in the polka dot jersey and is seeking to cement his title as King f the Mountains, while Wout van Aert only needs to make it to Paris to collect the points classification’s green jersey.

Follow all the latest action from stage 18 below.

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Tour de France 2022 – stage 18 LIVE

58km to go: KOM full results at Col d’Aubisque

1. Giulio Ciccone, 20 pts

2. Thibaut Pinot , 15 pts

4. Valentin Madouas, 10 pts

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Tour de France 2022 – stage 18 LIVE

64km to go: Jumbo Visma lead the peloton over the top of the climb and are sticking with Jonas Vingegaard to protect him from any attacks on the descent from Tadej Pogacar.

Two more big climbs to go today.

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Tour de France 2022 – stage 18 LIVE

66.5km to go: Louis Meintjes left the peloton a while ago and has opened up a lead of a minute on the yellow jersey. In the virtual GC standings he’s now up to fourth place.

Up ahead the leaders reach the peak of Col d’Ausbisque, Giulio Ciccone takes the 20 points ahead of Thibaut Pinot and Wout van Aert.

Ciccone is now up to 61 points in the KOM competition, just two behind Simon Geschke.

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Tour de France 2022 – stage 18 LIVE

69km to go: The peloton is being controlled by Jumbo Visma and the yellow jersey holder, Jonas Vingegaard, with Tadej Pogacar just behind them. He’s only got UAE team mate Brandon McNulty with him to help out if he decides to make a move.

Up front Van Aert has been reeled back into the main group but still hovers near the front of the pack. These leaders have opened up a gap of 2’38” on the peloton now.

It’s also bad news for Simon Geschke who is plummeting away. The polka dot jersey wearer is 4’42” off the pace and two minutes behind the peloton.

2.5km of the first classified climb to go.

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Tour de France 2022 – stage 18 LIVE

71km to go: Wout van Aert, wearing the green jersey, pushes on ahead of the leading group and looks to attack the final section of this climb.

There’s 4.2km left. The Belgian is an incredibly unpredictable rider, there’s no telling what he’ll do day by day.

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Tour de France 2022 – stage 18 LIVE

73km to go: Simon Geschke is struggling to get moving on the climb and has fallen over a minute behind. The polka dot jersey seems to be slipping away from him.

With just under 7km of the climb still to go there are five riders leading the way. Van Aert, Mollema, Ciccone, Houle and Verona.

Ciccone is openly targeting the polka dot jersey.

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Geraint Thomas speaks

Talking to ITV before the stage, Thomas said it was a case of simply doing his best to stay with the leaders: “It’s going to be another tough day, we’ll keep doing all the basics. I don’t want to just attack for TV, we’ll keep trying and see what happens. I’ll keep clinging on to Pogacar and maybe he has a a bad day, you never know.”

Asked if he can be proud of a podium finish should he achieve one, Thomas said: “I think so, especially with how last year ended, the Tour wasn’t good. It was a tough time, so it was good to turn it around to this point and prove a few people wrong. But still three more days – well, four.”

Geraint Thomas has had an impressive Tour and stands third overall

(EPA)

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Tour de France 2022 – stage 18 LIVE

76km to go: So, we have three groups on the road as they climb.

The leading pack of around 20 riders led by the green jersey of Van Aert who is keen to offer an option for his teammate, the yellow jersey Jonas Vingegaard, later in the day.

Then a chase pack featuring the polka dot jersey is about 20 seconds behind them – Tom Pidcock is among this small group of around 10 riders, with Thibaut Pinot and Bauke Mollema also among their number.

And another minute and a half down the road, Jumbo-Visma are taking it easy and hoping to preserve Vingegaard’s legs, which UAE Emirates and Tadej Pogacar are happy to play along with for now.

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Tour de France 2022 – stage 18 LIVE

77km to go: Col d’Ausbisque is a long old climb. 16.4km with an average gradient of 7.1% but there are quite a few sections which are more difficult than that.

KOM leader Simon Geschke is 20 seconds behind the leading group. He’ll want to try and close that gap over the next 10km of the climb if he has hopes of securing the polka dot jersey.

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Tour de France 2022 – stage 18 LIVE

Here are a few of the names in the leading group, who are being hunted by Simon Geschke and a secondary chase group.

Van Aert, Mohoric, Politt, Capiot, De Wulf, Kron, Haller, Ciccone, B Thomas, Benoit, Bonnamour, Schachmann, Van Baarle, Jungels, Uran.

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