While all eyes were on the battle for the general classification, the sprinters worked their way through the Alps with humour in tact. In this wrap up we check in with green jersey contenders, Andre Greipel and Peter Sagan, the bruised, battered, and fast-recovering Orica-GreenEDGE team, and learn how to corner like a pro.
Friday 24 Jul 2015

Content with three stage wins already this Tour, and hungry for a final hurrah in Paris, Andre Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) has been enjoying every chance he can to get some rest.

He crammed some hammock time on the rest day before Stage 17 and curled up early before last night's monster mountain stage. The 'Gorilla' was pretty excited to reach the first rest day of the Tour in winning condition too.

@andregreipel Rest days are best days!!!!! 

@andregreipel Rest days are best days... 

Slovakia's Peter Sagan has finished in the top five in 11 stages in this year's Tour de France. He's ridden in the breakaways, sprinted up the shorter mountain finishes and done all this while looking out for Tinkoff-Saxo team leader, Alberto Contador. 

He tried to rest his legs over the mountainous Stage 18, but his fast amassing fan club made it so easy to keep hurting.

“I wanted a day of a little more rest but still we did a lot of climbing and gained a lot of altitude metres so it was a very hard day. I actually tried one time today to go in the breakaway but it was too late because the group was too far away already. But after that I was actually happy because I was able to take it a little bit easier.

“From the first climb to the finish we kept a high tempo and I could feel that I had been in the breakaway for four stages in a row. Today I also got some energy from all these great and crazy Slovakian supporters. Many of them are old friends from my cycling club back home and they are really crazy, which I like and it’s definitely cool to see so many Slovakian flags.

We will see how the next days in the Alps go and how I am in Paris.” - Peter Sagan.

Sagan leads the points classification by 104 points over Griepel. Despite his consistent finishes, he hasn't had a stage win yet.

The Champs-Élysées offer one last opportunity on Sunday night. With Mark Cavendish's Etixx-QuickStep lead-out man, Australian Mark Renshaw, retiring from the Tour overnight, will Sagan get the win he is looking for? Or will Greipel's recovery strategy provide the kick he needs for the final assault?

Jakob Fuglsang was fined overnight for holding onto a biddon, despite the fact that he'd just been knocked off his bike by one of the press motos, while in the leading breakaway, and left bleeding from his elbow and his hip. He was not a happy man after the stage.

This seven and a half minute video, from the Global Cycling Network, explains 10 of the more quirky rules and regulations at the Tour. How many did you already know about?

Do you find the descents on the mountain stages as gripping as the climbs? Or do you feel tense as you watch the speed of riders like Peter Sagan as they corner so fast the rest of the bunch holds back rather than holding on?

Also from the Global Cycling Network is this handy video on how to corner like a pro. Get this right, and you'll have much more control next time you crest the top of a climb and channel your inner Sagan on the way back down.

Last of all, catch up with the Orica-GreenEDGE team in the Stage 18 Backstage Pass. Find out what the riders do with their race numbers, the staff do with their lunches and wonder what on earth a pong cake might contain.