Chris Froome made his mark in Tour de France’s first mountain test.
For spectators, the 167-km trek from Tarbes to La Pierre St Martin had a festival feel as France celebrated Bastille Day.
Fittingly, perhaps, it culminated in a battle royal among the top riders with Froome destroying his rivals in devastating fashion.
Alberto Contador, Tejay van Garderen and defending champion Vincenzo Nibali all fell by the wayside when Froome attacked.
Only Colombian Nairo Quintana looked to make a challenge but he could not keep up as Froome forged ahead alongside his team-mate, Richie Porte of Australia.
The overall leader produced a brutal acceleration with just over six kilometres left to claim his fifth stage win of a Tour de France.
That result means he has stretched his lead by a massive 2.52 minutes over the American Tejay van Garderen with Quintana third.
Contador is sixth, 4.04 behind while Astana’s Nibali is 10th nearly 7 minutes behind with six mountain stages remaining.