Christophe Riblon of France crosses the finish line to win the eighteenth stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 172.5 kilometers (107.8 miles) with start in Gap and finish in Alpe-d'Huez, France, Thursday July 18, 2013.

Peter Dejong, Associated Press - Ap

Riblon wins Stage 18 in Alps, Froome keeps lead

  • Article by: JEROME PUGMIRE
  • AP Sports Writer
  • July 18, 2013 - 6:02 PM

L'ALPE D'HUEZ, France — Frenchman Christophe Riblon caught American Tejay van Garderen near the end of the final climb to win the 18th stage of the Tour de France, while Chris Froome extended his overall lead despite a late struggle.

Riblon gave home fans something to finally cheer about Thursday by becoming the first Frenchman to win a stage on this year's race. He caught Van Garderen with about a mile left on the second climb up L'Alpe d'Huez — one of the Tour's most famed ascents.

Riblon raised his hands in the air and pumped his fists after crossing the line.

Froome extended his comfortable lead over his main rival Alberto Contador with just three stages remaining.

The 107-mile trek from Gap to L'Alpe d'Huez featured two huge ascents.

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