Stage Report: Stage 19 of the Tour de France has been neutralised by hail on the route. The times were taken at the top of the Col de l’Iseran. “Tell the riders that they have to stop,” said Tour race radio. Egan Bernal and Simon Yates were in the lead on the descent of the Col de l’Iseran. At that time they still had 30 kilometres to go to the finish in Tignes. The next group behind with Geraint Thomas, Steven Kruijswijk and Emanuel Buchmann, were more than a minute down. The yellow jersey, Julian Alaphilippe, was at more than two minutes.

Christian Prudhomme, directeur of the Tour de France, explains to Geraint Thomas

“The riders are invited to gather in a tunnel in (ski resort) Val d’Isère to find cover from the bad weather conditions, before they go to Tignes where they will spend the night,” the organisation reported. “The race is over because of hail and mudslides on the route.”

Not a great Tour for Roman Bardet, but if he can hold the KOM…

Stage 19 Route:
Five categorised climbs in a comparatively short 126.5 kilometre stage. The first climbs will serve to soften up the competition, but the Cat.HC Col de l’Izeran (12.9km at 7.5%) starting after 75 kilometres of racing should thin the peloton. The main action of the day for the GC favourites will come on the final climb on the Cat.1 Montée de Tignes (7.4km at 7%) with summit finish in Tignes. Or not!

Nikias Arndt took a video of the start

Everyone wants a bit of Sagan

The first break of four
Michael Woods and Rui Costa were the first to try and escape, but they failed and Pello Bilbao, Jesus Herrada, Dan Martin and Vincenzo Nibali took their place up front. Martin was first to the summit of the Côte de Saint-André – the first climb of the day. Several riders tried to cross to the leading group, who already had 30 seconds. On the roads to Montée d’Aussois, the second climb, the foursome was caught, but then a large group managed to split off the front. Again Bilbao, Herrada, Martin and Nibali were involved along with Rigoberto Uran at 5:33 overall and Alejandro Valverde at 5:58.

Thomas De Gendt tried for the break again today

The climb of the Montée d’Aussois also saw the end of Thibaut Pinot’s 2019 Tour de France. The Frenchman, 5th in the rankings and stage winner on the Tourmalet, sustained an injury on his left leg yesterday, but started today. Early in the stage he was attended by the medical car, but they could not do much as he could hardly pedal. In the end he had to stop and climb into the team car in tears.

Vincenzo Nibali tried more than once

At the front, Nibali’s teammate Damiano Caruso was the first at the top of the second and third climbs of the day. He was part of that large leading group, which lacked KOM Romain Bardet. The Italian Bahrain-Merida rider was in third place for the mountain classification. The escape had two minutes on the peloton around the halfway point.

Bauke Mollema was also keen

Ineos took control of the peloton. Jonathan Castroviejo took the lead for Egan Bernal and Geraint Thomas to the Col de l’Iseran, where Dylan van Baarle was the work-horse. Ten kilometres from the summit of the l’Iseran, the yellow jersey group consisted of just 20 riders. At 7.5 kilometres from the top, Van Baarle handed over to Wout Poels, who pulled in more and more men from the leading group. Six kilometres from the top, Geraint Thomas made his first move, but Gregor Mühlberger closed the gap for his leader Emanuel Buchmann. Then it was Steven Kruijswijk who put in his effort.

The peloton didn’t want anyone up the road

Guillaume Martin (Wanty-Gobert) and Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) also had a plan

Egan Bernal – The new Tour de France leader

It could have been stage win No.3 for Simon Yates

Steven Kruijswijk (Jumbo-Visma) and Geraint Thomas (Ineos) were chasing hard behind with Emanuel Buchmann (Bora-Hansgrohe)

Bernal attacks next
The attacks put the yellow jersey Alaphilippe in trouble. Bernal then made his attack to cross to Warren Barguil, Vincenzo Nibali, Simon Yates and Rigoberto Uran. Kruijswijk and Buchmann rode after him, while Thomas sat on their wheel. Two kilometres below the summit, Bernal took over the “virtual” lead on the overall. Alaphilippe lost more and more time, while he also saw Thomas, Kruijswijk and Buchmann getting closer on GC. Bernal continued his effort, leaving Barguil, Nibali, Yates and Uran behind. The Colombian was the first to cross the top with a minute lead on the group with Thomas, Kruijswijk and Buchmann and two on Alaphilippe.

Snow in July!

Due to extreme weather conditions, part of the route was no longer rideable, so the organisation was forced to stop the race. The times on the Col de l’Iseran were taken for the overall classification.

Julian Alaphilippe lost the yellow jersey, but not in the way he would like

Bernal takes yellow from Alaphilippe
As a result, Egan Bernal, who was already riding “virtually” in yellow, took over the lead from Julian Alaphilippe. Alaphilippe is now at 0:45 in second place. Geraint Thomas is third at 1:03, Steven Kruijswijk at 1:15 and Emanuel Buchmann at 1:42.

The stage couldn’t go on

The stage finish

Tour de France Overall After Stage 19:
1. Egan Bernal (Col) Ineos
2. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:45
3. Geraint Thomas (GB) Ineos at 1:03
4. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 1:15
5. Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe at 1:42
6. Mikel Landa (Spa) Movistar
7. Rigoberto Urán (Col) EF Education First
8. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar
9. Warren Barguil (Fra) Arkéa Samsic
10. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar.

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