Splendid teamwork from start to finish by the Movistar riders -which keeps them top of the teams' classification and keeps Quintana's white jersey, putting three riders within the top ten overall places- with Valverde into 2nd place GC and takes Richie Porte (SKY) 15 minutes down

Movistar Team leaves behind today the first half of the Tour de France, reinforced as the strongest squad in the race thanks to splendid performances in the Pyrenees, which witnessed its final chapter today over five climbs in the 168km trek between Saint-Girons and Bagnères-de-Bigorre. The telephone squad fought already since the first ascent, the Portet d'Aspet, to break order into Chris Froome's Sky squad, launching into the attacks with Erviti, Castroviejo, Rojas and Iván Gutiérrez, who later had to abandon the race, completely out of energy after a tremendous effort in the opening phase.

Valverde would filter into one of the moves through the Col de Menté, forcing Froome to respond along and breaking the group, with Richie Porte, 2nd in the overall, dropped early into the stage and struggling to complete an unsuccessfull pursuit in the second part of the stage. Movistar Team always kept the race alive, with no less than six riders at the front -Valverde, Costa, Quintana and brilliant Amador, Castroviejo and Plaza- to dominate the pace into the climbs of the Peyresourde and the Val Louron. Nairo Quintana was the man in charge of lighting things up with up to four attacks in the final ascent, the Hourquette d'Ancizan, finding responde from Froome himself, the yellow jersey not conceding a meter's advantage.

A breakaway starting halfway through the last climb, with Jakob Fuglsang (AST) and Dan Martin (GRS), granted the Irishman the stage victory, while the favourites' group, with Valverde, Quintana and Costa, came across the finish just 20 seconds back. The final result sees Alejandro Valverde in 2nd place overall, 1.25 down on Froome, and makes Quintana (7th, still leader of the Young Riders' competition) and Costa (10th) jump a place higher in the GC thanks to Porte's defaillance, losing more than 15 minutes at the finish. The Movistar riders, who lead the Teams' classification by more than four minutes, will travel this very evening to Brittany -riders will get by plane, with the rest of the caravan to cross the country on wheels-, looking for a well-deserved rest day before action restarts on Tuesday.

Article taken from Movistar Team News Blog