24 Jul 2015

French cyclist claims Tour de France stage win

12:32 pm on 24 July 2015

A French cyclist has won stage 18 on the Tour de France, only the second home victory on this year's Tour.

French cyclist Romain Bardet

French cyclist Romain Bardet Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Romain Bardet celebrated his first stage win on the Tour after a solo breakaway on the second of four alpine stages which took him into the top-10 in the overall standings.

But Britain's Chris Froome retained his overall lead as the top eight riders all came in together at 3 minutes 02 seconds behind the stage winner.

Meanwhile Alberto Contador has admitted that his hopes of a podium finish are slim at the Tour de France after enduring what he called one of the toughest days of his career.

The 32-year-old Spaniard is fifth overall, 6 minutes 40 seconds behind race leader Chris Froome, but crucially also 2:31 behind third-placed Alejandro Valverde.