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Roglic retains Tour de France lead, Kwiatkowski takes stage 18

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La Roche-sur-Foron (France) (AFP)

Primoz Roglic retained his lead on compatriot Tadej Pogacar atop the Tour de France standings after stage 18 as British outfit Ineos claimed a one-two finish on Thursday.

Bedevilled by problems that saw them withdraw their captain Egan Bernal on Wednesday, team-mate Michal Kwiatkowski won the stage as Richard Carapaz took the King of the Mountains jersey with the pair crossing the finish line three minutes ahead of the elite pack.

"I had the best legs ever, the way we rode together with Richard was just incredible," said Ineos's Polish rider who is a former world champion.

"When Egan left the race he was very sad but wished us well, and now we have this wonderful day," he said.

"That's the Tour de France," he beamed.

In the race for the overall standings only Saturday's individual time trial presents a chance for the second-placed Pogacar to stage a coup.

Roglic leads Pogacar by 57 seconds with Friday's stage 19 and the culminating run up the Champs-Elysees on Sunday both set to be decided in a mass bunch sprint.

Sage 17 solo winner Miguel Angel Lopez of Colombia is still third 1min 27sec off the lead but is less of a time-trialler than his rivals.

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