July 20, 2016

FINHAUT-EMOSSON, Switzerland (AP) Tour de France riders are back in the mountains for the first of four Alpine stages, a grueling 184.5-kilometer (114.6-mile) ride to the artificial lake of Finhaut-Emosson.

Stage 17, which started in Bern following the second and final rest day, features two major climbs in the final 30 kilometers. First comes the Col de la Forclaz, a 13-kilometer climb with an average gradient of 7.9 percent, before a brutal beyond-category 10.4-kilometer ascent to the finish line.

Defending champion Chris Froome leads closest rival Bauke Mollema by 1 minute, 47 seconds. Two-time Tour runner-up Nairo Quintana sits fourth, 2:59 back, and is expected to attack on Colombia's national holiday.

Quintana's teammate Gorka Izaguirre abandoned the race with a suspected fractured collarbone after getting involved in an early crash.

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