Brutal climb blows Tour de France apart
There was terror on the Tourmalet.
The mythical climb has blown the Tour de France apart after a breathless Stage 14 took a body count.
Thibaut Pinot won, while compatriot Julian Alaphilippe will spend a 10th day in the yellow jersey after taking second to give the French a one-two finish.
In a huge shock, defending champion Geraint Thomas cracked with 1km remaining and conceded another 30 seconds to Alaphilippe to send pre-race predictions to the scrap heap.
They say the yellow jersey gives you wings, but Alaphilippe had a jet engine and with a lead of 2min2sec over Thomas, is now a genuine contender for the title.
He was even congratulated by French president Emmanuel Macron at the finish.
Richie Porte cracked with 5km remaining of a gripping final climb, finishing 2 minutes and 4 seconds back.
But by the time the Aussie faded plenty had gone before him.
The shortest stage of the Tour - at 117.5km - was its most brutal, with a frightening pace set by Movistar on the two major climbs of the day putting the peloton on its knees.
Romain Bardet was dropped with 60km to go and, a picture of suffering, lost a staggering 20 minutes in 57km.
Mitchelton-Scott leader Adam Yates checked-out moments later and while he would rejoin the front group in the valley, he was dispatched as soon as they hit the Tourmalet and lost 6min42sec.
Dan Martin then succumbed to Movistar's searing pace a long way from home and conceded 5min35sec before Nairo Quintana fell victim to his own team's power and shipped 3min24sec.
Jakob Fuglsang, Rigoberto Uran and Thomas were all dropped inside the last 2km, with Pinot leading a tiny group of six riders over the line after a war of attrition.
"When you're a climber, all wins at the Tour de France are beautiful. But to win on a monument like this, that's what I love," Pinot said.
Thomas said he "didn't feel great" from the start.
"I was hoping I'd come around a bit and obviously on the last climb it was just a matter of staying there as long as possible," Thomas said.
"I knew they'd kick at the end and I just tried to ride at my own pace and not go with them and die and lose more time.
"It was a tough day out there, and it's disappointing. But it is what it is, and I just tried to limit the damage."
Such was the carnage, Porte actually improved his position on general classification, moving from 15th to 12th, 6min49sec down on Alaphilippe and 4min35sec off the podium.
"Movistar set such a pace on the penultimate climb and that put a lot of guys in the red," Porte said at the finish.
"When FDJ took it up and made such a high pace I just had to let go and ride at my own pace.
"I kind of exploded, but was then able to ride at my own pace to the finish line. I think that there are going to be a lot of guys tomorrow paying for today."
After time losses in the Stage 2 team time trial and the crosswinds of Stage 10, Porte described his latest setback as "decisive".
"To lose two minutes on the line there … but we'll just keep chipping away at it," he said.
OVERALL STANDINGS (Top 15)
1. Julian Alaphilippe (FRA/DQT) 56hr11min29sec
2. Geraint Thomas (WAL/INS) 2:02
3. Steven Kruijswijk (NED/TJV) 2:14
4. Egan Bernal (COL/INS) 3:00
5. Emanuel Buchmann (GER/BOH) 3:12
6. Thibaut Pinot (FRA/GFC) same time
7. Rigoberto Uran (COL/EF1) 4:24
8. Jakob Fuglsang (DEN/AST) 5:22
9. Alejandro Valverde (ESP/MOV) 5:27
10. Enric Mas (ESP/DQT) 5:38
11. Mikel Landa (ESP/MOV) 6:14
12. Richie Porte (AUS/TFS) 6:49
13. Warren Barguil (FRA/PCB) 7:17
14. Nairo Quintana (COL/MOV) 7:19
15. Bauke Mollema (NED/TFS) 9:03
CLASS STANDINGS (Top 5)
Green sprint points jersey:
1. Peter Sagan (SVK/BOR) 284 pts,
2. Sonny Colbrelli (ITA/BAH) 191,
3. Elia Viviani (ITA/DEC) 184,
4. Michael Matthews (AUS/SUN) 167,
5. Caleb Ewan (AUS/LOT) 148
Polka dot 'King of the Mountain' points jersey:
1. Tim Wellens (BEL/LOT) 64 pts,
2. Thibaut Pinot (FRA/FDJ) 42,
3. Thomas De Gendt (BEL/LOT) 37,
4. Julian Alaphilippe (FRA/DEC) 33,
5. Giulio Ciccone (ITA/TRE) 30
1. Movistar 169hr 02min 15 sec,
2. Trek at 11:05,
3. Bora 25:10,
4. Jumbo 27:09,
5. Ineos 31:45
White under-25s jersey:
1. Egan Bernal (COL/INE) 56hr 14min 29 sec,
2. Enric Mas (ESP/DEC) 2:38,
3. David Gaudu (FRA/FDJ) 8:00,
4. Laurens De Plus (BEL/JUM) 31:56,
5. Giulio Ciccone (ITA/TRE) 37:10