Michal Kwiatkowski, the unsung hero of Team Sky/INEOS during its dominant years, claimed his maiden Tour de France victory when he won the 18th stage from a breakaway duo with teammate Richard Carapaz on Thursday.
Carapaz, who took the lead in the mountains classification, gave former world champion Kwiatkowski a pat on the back before they crossed the line together, which ensured that the Polish rider would take first place.
The victory is a sweet reward for Kwiatkowski, whose role as a domestique on the Tour has helped Chris Froome, Geraint Thomas and Egan Bernal win Tour de France titles since 2016.
It also gave INEOS-Grenadiers something to cheer about one day after defending champion Bernal abandoned the race because of back pains.
"I'm going to celebrate big time tonight," said Kwiatkowski.
Primoz Roglic retained the overall leaders' yellow jersey after the last mountain stage, a 175-km effort from Meribel, as he controlled his closest rival and fellow Slovenian Tadej Pogacar.
Pogacar lags 57 seconds behind with Colombian Miguel Angel Lopez in third place, 1:26 off the pace.
Friday's 19th stage is a 166.5-km undulating ride between Bourg en Bresse and Champagnole.
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