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Barguil claims second Tour de France stage win

It was his second of the Tour and a fifth for French riders - one of their most successful returns in recent years.

Warren Barguil celebrates his Tour de France stage win. Picture: @LeTour/Twitter

IZOARD - Warren Barguil of Sunweb surged to victory on stage 18 of the Tour de France that ended with a mountain top finish in Izoard, in the Southern Alps.

It was his second of the Tour and a fifth for French riders - one of their most successful returns in recent years.

Chris Froome finished 20 seconds back in fourth spot and still retains the overall leaders jersey by 23 seconds over Romain Bardet.

South Africa's Louis Meintjes was seventh and is eighth on the general classification.

Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka had a solid day but are now primed for the two sprints and the time trial to come.

Bernie Eisel explains the approach to Wednesday's tough climb.

"Over the last two or three days it was all about survival and save as much as you can for the upcoming days. Tomorrow is a big day for us. We're ready for tomorrow, let's pull it off and not wait for Sunday. It's better to get the win tomorrow and then hopefully get another one on Sunday."

Eisel says they're looking to put their lack of luck in the previous sprints now firmly behind them.

"For us it was actually a good day to recover a little bit for what's coming up tomorrow. Let's hope for a bunch sprint, one paper now we have the fastest sprinter of the group."

And Eisel - a former teammate of Chris Froome - is backing the Briton to retain his title.

"Froomey was the most relaxed guy up the mountain. On paper, he is definitely the strongest at the moment and if nothing goes wrong everything can happen. On paper, he should win this and the podium is going to be close."