Christophe Riblon is the first Frenchmen to win a stage in this year’s Tour de France. Riblon (AG2R) battled with American TJ Van Garderen (BMC) in Stage 18’s final climb up Alpe d’Huez, which riders had to climb twice in one day. It was an amazing feat, considering Riblon rode off into a ditch and could have seriously crashed or flatted, but luck was on his side and he was able to balance and get himself back on the road. Van Garderen had trouble with his bike chain and couldn’t hold off Riblon. Van Garderen ended up finishing second on the day.
Meanwhile, three minutes behind Riblon, Richie Porte (Sky) was literally pulling his teammate Chris Froome up to the finish line after Froome bonked on the final climb. Luckily for Froome, his closest GC competitor Alberto Contador (Saxo Tinkoff) could not hold the pace after blowing his wad on an earlier descent. In the last two miles, Contador dropped back and finished a minute behind Froome. Each stage, Porte has shepherded his team leader up the toughest climbs. Le Tour Babe nominates Porte for MVP!