German Simon Geschke won the first Alpine stage of the Tour de France this year on Wednesday’s 17th stage as Chris Froome maintained his overall lead.

American Andrew Talansky finished the 161km ride from Digne-les-Bains to Pra Loup in second at 30sec with Colombian Rigoberto Uran third at one minute.

Froome was 18th and crossed the line just behind his nearest challenger Nairo Quintana but their gap remains constant at 3min 10sec.

Alberto Contador, who had started the day fifth, crashed on the difficult final descent off the Col d’Allos before the climb to the Pra Loup finish.

He lost around two minutes to the other overall challengers.

American Tejay Van Garderen, who started the day third, quit the race due to illness with 70km left to ride, having been dropped by the peloton.

World champion Michal Kwiatkowski was another to abandon the race.

Also crashing on the final descent was Frenchman Thibaut Pinot, who was chasing Geschke at the time but ended up fourth.

Alejandro Valverde is up to third, although he was distanced by Froome and Quintana in the final 500-metres. – Agence France-Presse

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