Jonas Vingegaard has developed a colossal lead in the Tour de France general classification ©Getty Images

Jonas Vingegaard of Denmark has developed a chasmic lead in the Tour de France general classification after stage 17 which was ultimately won by Austrian Felix Gall.

The Team Jumbo-Visma man and reigning champion Vingegaard looks all but assured of retaining the yellow jersey as he finished the 166-kilometre mountain ride from Saint-Gervais-les-Bains to Courchevel in fourth.

He clocked in 1:52 after Gall's 4hour 49min 8sec performance on the stage which featured the highest point of the Tour at 2,304 metres.

Slovenian Tadej Pogačar of UAE Team Emirates had been neck-and-neck with Vingegaard in the general classification until yesterday's stage when the gap was extended from 10 seconds to 1:48.

Today was likely the nail in the two-time champion's coffin as the distance now stands at a colossal 7:35 following what Pogačar described as one of his "worst days on the bike".

He radioed to his team car saying "I'm gone, I'm dead" 7.6km from the top of the Col de la Loze.

"I just couldn't go today," Pogačar said after the race.

"It was not a good day.

"I hope to recover and we can go for another stage on stage 20.

"I think if we can aim for a stage win inside the team and keep the podium with me and Adam [Yates], that's a good finish."

Tadej Pogačar described the stage as one of his
Tadej Pogačar described the stage as one of his "worst days on the bike" ©Getty Images

Ahead of Vingegaard and Pogačar was AG2R Citroën Team's Gall who soloed to victory after attacking alone at the foot of the Loze and maintaining a lead on chaser Simon Yates of Britain and Team Jayco–AlUla.

In-race vehicles caused controversy on the stage as Vingegaard's progress was blocked on a steep bend towards the top of the Loze that had no barriers.

A melee of fans, race vehicles, and media motorbikes forced him to stop and pause while a path was cleared. 

The race is set to continue tomorrow with a 185km ride from Moûtiers to Bourg-en-Bresse.