Nairo Quintana (Movistar), the 23-year-old Colombian in his first-ever Tour de France, won the last mountain stage today in Annecy-Semnoz. Quintana, Joaquim Rodriquez (Katusha) and Chris Froome (Sky) were together on the final steep after shredding the peloton into bits. Then with one mile to go, Froome attacked, but Quintana countered and neither Froome nor Rodriquez could respond. Quintana won 18 seconds ahead of Rodriguez, and Froome finished third, another 10 seconds behind. As a result, the petite Colombian moved into second overall behind Froome. Rodriguez slipped into third, knocking Alberto Contador (Saxo Tinkoff) off the podium.
Froome has been in the yellow jersey since winning Stage 8 two weeks ago in Ax 3 Domaines. He won three Tour stages this year (stages 8, 15 and 17), and so far has finished in the least amount of time (80 hours, 49 minutes and 33 seconds). He is certain of being crowned this year’s Tour champion, barring any major accident in Sunday’s final race to Paris.