Bradley Wiggins moved a step closer to becoming the first Briton to win the Tour de France as Alejandro Valverde won the final mountain stage in Peyragudes, the 17th of this year's race. Wiggins finished third, 19 seconds behind the Movistar rider, and on the wheel of his Sky team-mate Chris Froome. Wiggins still holds a lead of two minutes and five seconds on GC over Froome, who paced the maillot jaune up the final climb and laid aside his own ambitions for the stage victory. Third-placed Vincenzo Nibali lost 18 seconds on the final climb and is now 2:41 behind Wiggins. Nibali had put the leaders under some early pressure after attacking on the descent of the Cat.1 Col de Mente just over 100km from the finish - but the Italian decided to drop back into the peloton after a heated discussion with Valverde in the leading group. The 143.5km 17th stage concluded with a 15.4km ascent of the Col du Peyresourde at an average gradient of 5.1 percent, coming right after the descent from the HC Port de Bales climb, and was considered the last chance to deny Wiggins the yellow jersey.
Video Highlights 19/07/2012: Bagnères de Luchon – Peyragudes (144 km - Stage 17 - Tour de France 2012)
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