Ineos Grenadiers celebrate as Kwiatkowski wins stage and Carapaz grabs the Polka Dot Jersey
Primoz Roglic retained his lead on compatriot Tadej Pogacar as British outfit Ineos claimed a one-two finish on Stage 18
Bedevilled by problems that saw them withdraw their captain Egan Bernal, team-mate Michal Kwiatkowski won the stage as Richard Carapaz took the King of the Mountains jersey with the pair crossing the finish line three minutes ahead of the elite pack.
Kwiatkowski said to the press after his stage win, "That was some day. I can’t describe how grateful I am to the whole team and to Richard Carapaz. It was an incredible day for us and I will never forget that. I’ve had some nice moments in cycling but that was something new. I’ve got goose bumps for the last kilometers because I knew that the gap was so big that we would make it. Both of us really enjoyed the last kilometers. It’s incredible. We’re going to celebrate big time tonight because we all deserve it. We put on a show today and we have to enjoy that."
Kwiatkowski movingly dedicated the Ineos 1-2 to the late Nicolas Portal, their former directeur sportif who passed away suddenly in March.
The stage saw a desperate Richie Porte puncture on the gravel roads of the Plateau des Glières and lose over a minute. With a bike change he road like a man posessed to catch up with the Yellow Jersey group. Along the way he teamed up with a distanced Dumoulin and Van Aert.
Up front Roglic was happy to wait for his teammates as Bilbao and Landa set the pace, with Pogacar and Mas following.
Porte made it back into the Yellow jersey group and as a result, Porte hung onto 4th place.
Landa moved up to 5th from 7th with several good days riding with his Bahrain-McLaren team. Mas moved up to 6th from 8th.
Yates dropped to 7th and Uran dropped to 8th, both riders lost contact with the Yellow Jersey group on the ascent of the Plateau de Glières.
Primoz Roglic is still in yellow, "It was two hard days in a row, yesterday and also today. Again the team did a great job - I was there, so one day less, we had a lot of climbs."
Friday's 160 kilometres stage travels from Bourg-en-Bresse to Champagnole and is one for the sprinters or a breakaway.
Saturday's time trial will confirm the overall classifcation before the Tour heads into Paris for the final sprint showdown on the Champs-Élysées on Sunday.
VIDEO: 2020 Tour de France Stage 18 Highlights
2020 Tour de France Stage 18 Top 10
1 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Ineos Grenadiers 04:47:33
2 Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Ineos Grenadiers
3 Wout van Aert (Bel) Team Jumbo-Visma 00:01:51
4 Primoz Roglic (Slo) Team Jumbo-Visma 00:01:53
5 Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates 00:01:53
6 Richie Porte (Aus) Trek-Segafredo 00:01:54
7 Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar Team 00:01:54
8 Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Bahrain McLaren 00:01:54
9 Damiano Caruso (Ita) Bahrain McLaren 00:01:54
10 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma 00:01:54
2020 Tour de France GC after Stage 18
1 Primoz Roglic (Slo) Team Jumbo-Visma 79:45:30
2 Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates 00:00:57
3 Miguel Angel Lopez Moreno (Col) Astana Pro Team 00:01:27
4 Richie Porte (Aus) Trek-Segafredo 00:03:06
5 Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Bahrain McLaren 00:03:28
6 Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar Team 00:04:19
7 Adam Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott 00:05:55
8 Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Pro Cycling 00:06:05
9 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma 00:07:24
10 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 00:12:12