Tour de France 2015

July 4-26, 2015, Utrecht (ITT), France, Road - WorldTour

Complete Live Report

Live commentary by:
Patrick Fletcher

Hello and welcome to Cyclingnews' live coverage of the 102nd Tour de France. Stage 19 sees the riders travel 138km from Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne to La Toussuire - Les Sybelles with racing getting underway at 13:20 local time.

 

Tour de France Stage 18 report
The Cyclingnews Tour de France Podcast episode 21
Tour de France 2015 stage 19 forum
Tour de France 2015 race home
Tour de France 2015 - stage-by-stage guide
Tour de France 2015 start list

 

  1. 12:49:06 CEST

    We’re halfway through the four Alpine stages at the back end of this Tour de France, and Chris Froome has come through so far relatively untroubled, yellow jersey still intact. Things ramp up another notch today, though, with a brutal stage that concludes atop the Category 1 climb of La Toussuire. There’s a Cat-1 climb right at the start of the day, too, and if ever there was a parcours offering full-on racing throughout, this is it.

     

  2. 12:51:37 CEST

     

  3. 12:56:51 CEST

    A reminder of how the general classification looks after 18 stages

     

    1. Christopher Froome (Team Sky) 74:13:31
    2. Nairo Quintana (Movistar) 0:03:10
    3. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) 0:04:09
    4. Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) 0:06:34
    5. Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) 0:06:40
    6. Robert Gesink (LottoNL-Jumbo) 0:07:39
    7. Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) 0:08:04
    8. Mathias Frank (IAM Cycling) 0:08:47
    9. Bauke Mollema (Trek Factory Racing) 0:12:06
    10. Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale) 0:12:52

     

  4. 13:02:09 CEST

    • Red Polka Dot Jersey

    And here's how the race for the polka dot jersey is shaping up. Plenty more mountains points on offer today. 

     

    1 Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Team Katusha 68 pts
    2 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 68
    3 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team 64
    4 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 61
    5 Serge Pauwels (Bel) MTN - Qhubeka 55

     

  5. 13:13:12 CEST

    • Climb

    The numbers tell the story

     

    61.5km of climbing - more than any other stage in this year's Tour.

    4,106m of vertical gain - than any other stage.

    18km - La Toussuire is the longest summit finish of the race - 2.2km longer than Plateau de Beille.

     

  6. 13:14:14 CEST

    • Climb

    The numbers tell the story

     

    61.5km of climbing - more than any other stage in this year's Tour.

    4,106m of vertical gain - more than any other stage.

    18km - La Toussuire is the longest summit finish of the race - 2.2km longer than Plateau de Beille.

     

  7. 13:20:05 CEST

    Have you listened to the latest instalment of the Cyclingnews Tour de France podcast? On the agenda is Romain Bardet’s stage victory, the GC battle with two stages to come in the Alps before Paris, and the bike checks for hidden motors that were carried out yesterday. 

     

    Tour de France podcast episode 21

     

  8. 13:25:08 CEST

    The riders have taken to the start line in Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne and are currently rolling through the neutralised zone ahead of the stage start proper. 

     

     

  9. 13:28:25 CEST

    • Movistar Team 2015 team jersey

    Will Movistar gamble?

     

    Quintana has the most realistic chance of taking the yellow jersey from the shoulders of Froome. But with Valverde right behind, there are fears the Movistar team is happy to protect its two-three on GC. However, DS José Luis Arrieta had this to say to letour.com this morning.

     

    "Second and third, it looks good on paper. But it's not enough for us. We came for winning and the whole has been working for three weeks to make Nairo a winner. Unfortunately, there was this special stage in Zealand where Nairo lost one and half minute. Three minutes deficit is a lot, but in the two coming stages, failures can happen. We've seen it in the past. Those two hard stages are made to create differences. We have no choice but attack. However we have to do it smartly. Nairo is motivated. We keep the hope."

     

  10. 13:29:08 CEST

    • Start

    And we're off! Christian Prudhomme waves the flag and we are racing.

     

  11. 13:34:30 CEST

    The riders are immediately climbing as they are plunged straight onto the Category 1 Col du Chaussy, which is making its debut in the Tour. As expected, there's lots of action off the front. 

  12. 13:36:31 CEST

    Joaquim Rodríguez, in the polka dot jersey, is at the front of the race as we speak and has been joined by five riders, including Jean-Christophe Péraud. There's also a small group now looking to go clear of the Sky men controlling things for Froome. 

     

  13. 13:37:19 CEST

    This is what the riders are facing at the moment:

     

     

  14. 13:41:06 CEST

    There's now a group of 10 together up front but others want to get involved and Andrew Talansky and Daniel Teklehaimanot both set off in pursuit.

     

  15. 13:44:53 CEST

    The counterattackers have linked up with the leaders and there's now a group of 25 riders who have a 40-second lead on the peloton led by Richie Porte. Peter Sagan has also got himself into the move. 

     

  16. 13:49:43 CEST

    More men go off the front of peloton while Sagan drops back. We'll bring you the identities of those out in front shortly. 
     

     

  17. 13:51:19 CEST

    It's wet out there. The rain is coming down pretty hard on the riders at the moment. We have a lengthy descent off this mountain still to come. 

     

  18. 13:54:22 CEST

    Here are the 24 riders in the breakaway: Michele Scarponi and Lieuwe Westra (Astana), Péraud (AG2R-La Mondiale), Alexandre Geniez (FDJ), Michael Rogers (Tinkoff-Saxo), José Herrada and Adriano Malori (Movistar), Tony Gallopin (Lotto-Soudal), Joaquim Rodriguez, Damiano Caruso and Alberto Losada (Katusha), Pierre Rolland, Cyril Gautier and Romain Sicard (Europcar), Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo), Ruben Plaza (Lampre-Merida), Andrew Talansky, Dan Martin and Dylan van Baarle (Cannondale-Garmin), Nicolas Edet (Cofidis), Jarlinson Pantano (IAM Cycling), Emmanuel Buchmann and Bartosz Huzarski (Bora-Argon 18) and Daniel Teklehaimanot (MTN-Qhubeka).

     

  19. 13:55:50 CEST

    • Attack

    Contador attacks! We knew this could be on from the start and we have our first slice of GC action. The Spaniard, who attacked yesterday before being pegged back, has set off up the road. 

     

  20. 13:57:10 CEST

    Valverde accelerates and now Nibali goes! It's well and truly on today. Sky will have to be careful.

     

  21. 13:59:01 CEST

    Sky peg back Contador but he and Valverde then link up to open a small gap once more. Meanwhile Nibali is almost 30 seconds up the road and has linked up with the breakaway men. 

     

  22. 13:59:58 CEST

    As a result of this early action lots of riders are being shelled out the back of the yellow jersey group. What a brutal start to the day. 

     

  23. 14:03:50 CEST

    Contador and Valverde have made it up to the leading group, which has 17 seconds over Froome. 

     

  24. 14:05:49 CEST

    • Team Sky 2015 team jersey

    This isn't looking ideal for Sky. Froome is down to two men already as Roche and and Porte are dropped. He has Poels leading the race at the moment and Thomas tucked in just behind. The other teams needed to expose him, and they might just be going the right way about it. 

     

  25. 14:09:39 CEST

    Froome has linked up with Contador and Valverde in the lead group but Thomas and Konig are straggling off the back. Worrying signs for the race leader. 

  26. 14:12:25 CEST

     Rodriguez took maximum points on the top if the climb to extend his lead in that KOM competition. The rest of the GC contenders are formed into one solid group although Geraint Thomas has lost 32 seconds. He should be able to come back on the long descent. 

  27. 14:13:44 CEST

    The roads are wet on this descent though so it's leading to a cautious descent. Uran is currently in second wheel. We've not even covered 25km and already Team Sky are under huge pressure. Froome had just one teammate, Poels, on the top of the last climb. 

     

  28. 14:15:03 CEST

    It's Uran who is now leading on the descent with Bardet going after him. The roads are a little dryer on this section and now Froome leads Nibali through the corners as Uran and Bardet link up at the  head of the race. 

     

  29. 14:16:30 CEST

    We hear that Barguil is in the Thomas group, still around 30 seconds back on the GC contenders. They should be able to make contact, either on the descent or the long valley section between there and the next climb. 

     

  30. 14:16:59 CEST

    Dry roads and sun and Bardet, who won yesterday, is riding away from Uran. 

     

  31. 14:19:05 CEST

    There are roughly 30 riders in the Froome group, as we see Thomas just about to make contact. Not a great sign for the Welshman that he was distanced on the first climb of the stage. There's around 30km of flat roads between the bottom of this descent and the start of the next climb. That will offer some time to recover for Thomas and Team Sky. They need it.

     

  32. 14:24:04 CEST

    Still on the descent and Bardet and Uran are together and have 22 seconds on the Froome/Quintana group. A few more riders have joined onto the back of the peloton. 

     

  33. 14:25:49 CEST

    There is a group between the break and the maillot jaune and it contains Rodgriuez and Rolland. Konig has just made contact with Froome, so that's three Team Sky men to help the yellow jersey on the next climb. 

     

  34. 14:27:41 CEST

    Saxo and Movistar are keeping the pace high in the yellow jersey group though and they want to keep Froome as isolated as possible. We now have four riders in the lead with Uran, Bardet, Rodriguez and Rolland linking up. 

     

  35. 14:28:35 CEST

    The riders on the road are only separated by around 9 seconds so it could still all come back together. Rolland though has decided to push on as Rodriguez and Bardet fail to work together. 

     

  36. 14:29:23 CEST

    Bardet and co are caught so we just have Rolland up the road. The gap is less than ten seconds, however. 

     

  37. 14:35:16 CEST

    Froome has three men now and he's put them to work on the front. Sagan has made it back to the yellow jersey group too as Astana launch a rider up the road. 

     

  38. 14:36:22 CEST

    A larger group that contains Rogers and Rodriguez has moved clear. They have 31 seconds on the yellow jersey group. 

     

  39. 14:39:08 CEST

    There are 19 riders in the lead group now with Katusha on the front. Sagan has missed that split so will not pick up points today. 

     

  40. 14:42:30 CEST

    The GC group has slowed there pace, with Konig on the front eating his lunch. At the back of the group there's a crash with Geniez down. The FDJ man is back on his feet though. 

     

  41. 14:43:22 CEST

    The main peloton that includes Porte, Stannard and Rowe is around a minute down on the yellow jersey. The next climb starts in 18km.

     

  42. 14:45:29 CEST

    Sky are slowing down the Froome group in order for the rest of their number to make contact in the valley before the next climb. 

     

  43. 89km remaining from 138km

    14:51:23 CEST

    Teklehaimanot has just made contact with the lead group, so we now have 22 riders in the lead group and they have 2'48 over the peloton with 89km to go. 

     

  44. 14:53:25 CEST

    Gallopin is in the break, along with Cummings, Bardet, Rodriguez, Rogers and Rolland. 

    This is interesting, back in the yellow jersey group Mollema is starting to go backwards. And that's helped to bring Lotto NL to the front of the peloton. Chris Froome now has his complete team around him. 

     

  45. 14:53:55 CEST

    Courtesy of le.tour.com here are the leaders in the main break:

     

    Tanel Kangert (Astana), Romain Bardet (AG2R-La Mondiale), Roman Kreuziger and Michael Rogers (Tinkoff-Saxo), José Herrada and Malori (Movistar), Tony Gallopin and Tim Wellens (Lotto-Soudal), Joaquim Rodriguez and Alberto Losada (Katusha), Rigoberto Uran (Etixx), Pierre Rolland, Cyril Gautier and Romain Sicard (Europcar), Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo), Ruben Plaza (Lampre-Merida), Dylan van Baarle (Cannondale-Garmin), Nicolas Edet (Cofidis), Stef Clement and Jarlinson Pantano (IAM), Stephen Cummings (MTN-Qhubeka)

     

  46. 14:56:02 CEST

    Bardet's move is also threatening Gesink's position in GC, another reason why the Dutch team are on the front of the peloton. 

     

  47. 14:57:20 CEST

    The Col du Glandon is on the horizon, the gap between the break and the peloton at 2;11. 

     

  48. 15:00:17 CEST

     Jumbo have brought the group back to 1'56 with 82km to go.

  49. 15:01:45 CEST

    And there's a crash in the break. Tim Wellens picks up his musette but it takes him off balance and he's down. 


    A few moments later Marc Sergeant is out of the car and helps his rider back on his bike. Wellens is riding and is with the race doctor. 

     

  50. 15:10:07 CEST

    The break hit the climb with the gap at around 1'30. Rolland hits the front with Rogers and Kreuziger holding court just behind him. 

  51. 15:11:45 CEST

    This is such a punishingly long climb at around 22km, with the break lined up as a few riders start to struggle on the lower slopes. The main field are also on the climb now too. 

     

  52. 75km remaining from 138km

    15:14:50 CEST

    75km to go, much of it uphill with three categorized climbs remaining. The break have settled and found another few seconds, drawing their lead out to 2'05. It's still LottoNL on the front, which is giving Team Sky some respite. 

     

  53. 15:21:18 CEST

    1'42" at start. Bardet (10th GC) has made the large break again, a threat for @BaukeMollema's 9th GC.

    @TrekFactory Fri, 24th Jul 2015 13:13:55

  54. 15:22:56 CEST

    Cavendish, Greipel, and Matthews have been dropped by the main field with LottoNL still setting the pace. Astana are just behind them, followed by Team Sky. 

     

  55. 71km remaining from 138km

    15:24:15 CEST

    Profile image for Cyclingnewsfeed

    Nibali: I've never seen Valverde so strong | http://t.co/rxkrWW4qDc #TDF2015 http://t.co/aRZi8WD5Ug

    @Cyclingnewsfeed Fri, 24th Jul 2015 13:23:39

  56. 15:25:17 CEST

    Pantano has been dropped from the break. 

     

  57. 15:25:49 CEST

    Now Gallopin has been dropped by the break and he's just one minute ahead of the peloton. He's fallen apart in this third week of racing. 

     

  58. 15:26:39 CEST

    It's ten Dam though now who sets the field for the main field as he tries to match Sicard.

     

  59. 15:27:27 CEST

    Once they hit the top of the climb, they'll turn left and climb towards the summit of the Croix de Fer.

     

  60. 15:30:17 CEST

    That's not a great situation with both Gallopin dropped and Wellens crashing out of the break. 

     

  61. 15:31:11 CEST

    Sicard is doing a huge shift for Rolland on the front of the group, even though we still have 9 miles until we reach the sumimit. The gap to the peloton is now at 2'37.

     

  62. 15:37:52 CEST

    Gallopin is about to be caught by the main field, and Sky are about to take over the pace duties as there'e just one LotttoNL men left. 

     

  63. 66km remaining from 138km

    15:38:46 CEST

    Rolland has attacked from the break and he's alone. He's won on the finishing climb before and he's on the big ring and pulling away after Sicard did all that work for him. 

     

  64. 15:41:18 CEST

    That move has brought Tinkoff Saxo to the front of the break as they set the pace with the gap to the main field at 2'53. 

     

  65. 15:43:09 CEST

    There's no time check to Rolland just yet but he's determined to push on alone. He was second yesterday so clearly in form but this is an immense effort to go on the attack once again.

     

  66. 15:44:09 CEST

    And with 65km to go Astana launch an attack from the peloton with Nibali moving up with Valverde on his wheel 

     

  67. 15:44:48 CEST

    A number of riders are dropped straight away, including Gallopin. And now Nibali moves into second wheel and Contador is close to the front too. Porte is trying to mark the moves. 

     

  68. 15:45:34 CEST

    So it's Astana on the front and already the peloton is down to less than 40 riders. Froome is there but he's already lost a few teammates. 

     

  69. 15:46:52 CEST

    Meanwhile Rolland has 1'25 over the break with the peloton back at 3'13. 

     

  70. 15:47:44 CEST

    Roche has been dropped once more and so has Sagan. Rowe has been let go as well. 

     

  71. 15:49:19 CEST

    So it's Scarponi, Nibali, Contador, Quintana and then Froome at the front of the peloton and now Porte and Roche have been dropped. 

     

  72. 15:50:05 CEST

    Thomas is in trouble here because there's still such a long way to go on the climb. The Welshman almost looks resigned to his fate. Konig has been dropped and Barguil too. We still have 62km to go. 

     

  73. 15:51:31 CEST

    Mollema is at the back of the group with less then 10 riders left in the yellow jersey group. What a complete shake-up. 

     

  74. 15:51:50 CEST

    Pinot is also losing ground on the main field and Frank too. All the damage is being done by Astana and principally Scarponi. Rogers has dropped back and has joined Contador. Poels is now in trouble at the back of the group. 

     

  75. 15:52:04 CEST

    Rogers didn't lost long. He's dropped and so is Poels. 

     

  76. 15:52:39 CEST

    62km to go and Nibali has attacked. 

     

  77. 15:52:51 CEST

    Froome, Contador, Quintana, Valverde can match him but Gesink and Mollema have been dropped. 

     

  78. 15:53:24 CEST

    The GC men have now caught Krueziger. 

     

  79. 15:54:24 CEST

    Kangert is caught and he now sets the pace for Niblai. 

     

  80. 15:56:01 CEST

    Contador out of the saddle is just behind Froome and Valverde but it's Froome who is under some pressure because his entire team have been dropped, including Geraint Thomas. 

     

  81. 15:56:55 CEST

    Gesink is dragging his way back to the favourites, along with Mollema. Riders are all over the road at the moment, groups everywhere as up the road Uran chases down Rolland. Rodriguez has been caught and passed by the bunch, he's totally blown up.

     

  82. 15:57:55 CEST

    Astana have two men setting the pace for Nibali. Froome though is sitting tight at the moment. He looks in control at the moment but so does Quintana. 

     

  83. 15:58:52 CEST

    Plaza has linked up with Uran but just behind them are the yellow jersey group. So we'll just have Rolland clear soon at 2'23.

     

  84. 16:00:22 CEST

    Mollema and Gesink have come back but we still have 5km to go until the summit of the climb. Poels has made it back. 

     

  85. 16:00:37 CEST

    Kangert and Scarponi on the front for Nibali and Thomas is now over two minutes down. And now Valverde attacks with 4km to go until the summit

     

  86. 16:01:28 CEST

    Poels comes up and sets the pace for Froome. 

     

  87. 16:02:41 CEST

    The Spaniard has around 5 seconds as he waits for someone else perhaps Contador to come across. Valverde cuts by Plaza so now just Rolland is left up the road. 

     

  88. 16:04:26 CEST

    Poels is just keep Valverde in his sights but Froome's cadence seems a little slower than usual. Is that the gradient or is the race leader feeling the pace and the pressure. 

     

  89. 16:05:19 CEST

    Valverde is just trying to crack Poels at the moment. Contador still has two men with him, Nibali one. The Italian give it a little dig but it's coming back together and Poels is pulling Valverde back into the group. 

     

  90. 16:05:59 CEST

    Valverde is caught. but the big question is whether Poels has anything left in the tank.

     

  91. 16:06:53 CEST

    Rolland is close to the summit but his lead is down to 2'00. 

  92. 16:07:23 CEST

    And Nibali has attacked. And Froome has a mechanical. 

     

  93. 16:07:50 CEST

    A problem with his chain but Nibali is clear. Froome is back with the GC men but that was a massive scare for the race leader. 

     

  94. 16:08:26 CEST

    Actually Froome still needs to close a gap to some of the rivals.

     

  95. 16:09:35 CEST

    Froome is in a bit of trouble here because he has no teammates as Movistar set the pace to try and distance him. 

     

  96. 16:10:59 CEST

    It's a slog for the race leader but he makes contact with Contador, Quintana, Valverde , Bardet and what's left of the group. Gesink and Mollema were dropped.

     

  97. 16:11:59 CEST

    Froome seemed to drop his chain. He had to stop and correct the problem.

     

    Nibali now has 14 seconds as the GC group reform with Poels, Gesink, Mollema all coming back. 

     

  98. 16:13:06 CEST

    56km to go Nibali is 1'22 on Rolland but has put 30 seconds into Froome. Rolland, meanwhile, has 1km to go until the summit. 

  99. 16:13:49 CEST

    Kruijswijk is leading the yellow jersey group for his leader Gesink, who will move up today assuming that Thomas continues to lose significant time. At the last time check he was well over two minutes down. 

     

  100. 16:15:29 CEST

    For the first time in this race Nibali is alone and has created a gap on his rivals. It's a 12km descent once we hit the summit of this climb. 

     

  101. 16:16:38 CEST

    Over the top of the climb for Rolland as Nibali closes in on the summit as Tinkoff Saxo now set the pace for the yellow jersey group. Do they sense that Froome is in trouble?

     

  102. 51km remaining from 138km

    16:18:18 CEST

    Bardet is going to be third on the climb and that will move him into the KOM lead. Froome pushed and took fourth. Not sure he needed to use up that energy. 

     

  103. 16:18:53 CEST

    Nibali is racing down the descent and looking for every second he can take. He has Rolland at one minute, the bunch another 49 seconds back.

     

  104. 16:19:34 CEST

    And Valverde attacks on the descent and Poels and Froome try and close the gap. 

     

  105. 16:20:44 CEST

    We have 50km left and the stage, and the overall are still all to play for. 

     

  106. 16:21:19 CEST

    A few bad lines from Rolland on the descent and that's only going to help Nibali at this point who is taking risks and taking time off the Frenchman. 

     

  107. 16:22:20 CEST

    And Rolland almost lost it on a left hand corner, and so does Nibali but they both manage to hold it together. 

     

  108. 16:22:59 CEST

    Nibali almost comes down on the same corner that Rolland struggled on. 

     

  109. 16:23:31 CEST

    Valverde has the same problem, and Plaza but everyone makes it through the corner. 

     

  110. 16:25:01 CEST

    Rolland has a bit of a straight section of road and a bit of a chance to at least hold Nibali's charge at bay. 

     

  111. 16:26:21 CEST

    The yellow jersey group have sat up for a moment and Froome and Poels are in conversation, the race leader looking down at his gears once more. 

     

  112. 16:31:24 CEST

    Rolland's aero position looks extreme to say the least but if it works for him.... He still has around 45 seconds Nibali, with the main field at 1'46.

     

  113. 16:32:24 CEST

    PLaza has jumped clear of the main field, which is led by Movistar. The Froome group is up to around 20 men on the descent. 

     

  114. 16:34:06 CEST

    Rolland is now climbing the Col du Mollard and he looks to be struggling. Nibali is at 53 seconds. 

     

  115. 16:34:33 CEST

    Talansky has also made it back to the yellow jersey group. We have 39km to go as Frank, Barguil also make it back to the leaders. 

     

  116. 16:35:24 CEST

    It's Movistar though who are doing the work on this penultimate climb and Kangert has cracked. 

     

  117. 16:36:06 CEST

    Frank made it back but he's losing ground and so is Plaza who was caught on the lower slopes of the ascent. 

     

  118. 16:38:35 CEST

    Nibali is 50 seconds back on Rolland, the peloton are at 2'20.

     

  119. 16:44:17 CEST

    Nibali is failing to gain time on Rolland at the moment as Barguil is dropped once more. 

     

  120. 16:44:45 CEST

    Rolland is near the summit of the climb but it looks like Nibali is closing in on him. The gap is just 12 seconds with 35km to go. 

     

  121. 16:46:19 CEST

    Still no attacks from the yellow jersey group as Movistar continue to set the pace for that group. 

     

  122. 16:47:06 CEST

    Rolland is starting to crack perhaps as Nibali is within touching distance. The Frenchman is first over the summit. 

     

  123. 16:48:01 CEST

    Bardet goes again. He's after the KOM points. He should take third as Pinot goes after him.

     

  124. 16:49:13 CEST

    Bardet and Pinot have linked up as Nibali catches Rolland on the descent. There's a quick chat and it looks like they're going to work together. 

     

  125. 16:49:42 CEST

    The two leaders have a gap of 1'50 over Froome and co. They're on the descent but they almost both come down on a right hand corner. 

     

  126. 16:51:15 CEST

    Nibali though will do most of the work on the descent, however, expecting Rolland to cooperate on the finishing climb. 

     

  127. 16:51:58 CEST

    Talansky jumps from the Froome group but only gains a small gap as Poels looks to drag him back. Bardet though has made a decent gap on the descent, having dropped Pinot. He's third on the road right now but he has a small problem with his chain. 

     

  128. 16:52:59 CEST

    Bardet, just screaming down the descent, reaches down and gives his chain a thump. It's not working though, so he just kicks it instead. 

     

  129. 26km remaining from 138km

    16:55:08 CEST

    He can't change gear or the chain is rubbing. The peloton should catch him as we see Kreuziger has a flat. 

     

  130. 16:55:42 CEST

    Bardet is about to be caught by the yellow jersey group. He surely needs a bike change as we enter the final 26km of the stage. 

     

  131. 16:57:20 CEST

    At the moment Nibali is moving up the GC and he could move into fourth today or even third if Valverde cracks. That would be a big ask at this stage. 

     

  132. 16:59:45 CEST

    Nibali and Rolland have 1'47 over the yellow jersey group of Froome, Quintana, Contador and Valverde. Thomas was dropped earlier in the stage. 

     

  133. 17:00:35 CEST

    Bardet still has around 15 seconds on the yellow jersey group but he can't extend that gap because of the problems with his gears. Poels is now leading the chase group with Froome just behind him. Poels has been immense today for Team Sky. 

     

  134. 17:05:53 CEST

    The two leaders, meanwhile have 1'52 over the yellow jersey. 

     

  135. 17:06:43 CEST

    Bardet finally has his bike change but he's been caught by the GC group. Up ahead and the two leaders are on the final climb to the summit. And there's now a bike change for Contador. 

     

  136. 17:07:30 CEST

    The Spaniard is around 100m down on the Froome group. The leaders though have 1'53.

     

  137. 17:08:33 CEST

    Nibali spins up the climb and he's looking strong as Contador starts to make contact as Franks is dropped. 

     

  138. 17:08:58 CEST

    In this group we have Froome, Contador, Quintana, Poels, Valverde, Bardet, Gesink, Plaza, Mollema, Talansky, Kreuziger, and Majka. 

     

  139. 17:09:34 CEST

    Poels moves forward and Froome, is he struggling?

     

  140. 16km remaining from 138km

    17:10:38 CEST

    The race leader is in second wheel, behind Poels. The gap to Rolland and Nibali at 1'45.

     

  141. 17:11:35 CEST

    Herrada is setting the pace for Movistar but with 16km to go Nibali has dropped Rolland. Contador will he react?

     

  142. 17:13:17 CEST

    Rolland has blown but Nibali really looks in fine form right now. Last year's Tour winner is showing his stripes and has put ten seconds into the Frenchman. 

     

  143. 17:14:11 CEST

    Nibali is out of the saddle and stretching his lead as well as his legs. He now has 2'02 on yellow. 

     

  144. 17:15:53 CEST

    There's no panic from the likes of Contador and Quintana, as they're waiting for the real finale before making their moves. It's now LottoNL who are setting the pace. 

     

  145. 17:17:39 CEST

    Kreuziger has pulled up, his job done for the day. Contador still has Majka with him as go have less less than 15km to go.

     

  146. 17:18:20 CEST

    Froome can just sit in for now as the group head towards the summit. Kruijswijk sets the pace for Gesink at the moment but Nibali has pushed his lead out to 2'09. 

     

  147. 17:18:54 CEST

    Valverde, ever the fox, sits on Contador's wheel. He's waiting for an attack.

     

    Christopher Froome (Team Sky), Wout Poels (Team Sky), Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Movistar Team), Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Movistar Team), José Herrada Lopez (Movistar Team), Alberto Contador Velasco (Tinkoff-Saxo), Rafal Majka (Tinkoff-Saxo), Robert Gesink (Team LottoNL-Jumbo), Steven Kruijswijk (Team LottoNL-Jumbo), Bauke Mollema (Trek Factory Racing), Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale), Andrew Talansky (Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team), Samuel Sánchez Gonzalez (BMC Racing Team), Thibaut Pinot (FDJ.fr), Mathias Frank (IAM Cycling), Ruben Plaza Molina (Lampre-Merida), Michele Scarponi (Astana Pro Team), Cyril Gautier (Team Europcar),

     

  148. 17:20:03 CEST

    Nibali now has 2'20 as we see Majka come to the front, as he tries to set something up for Contador. 

     

  149. 17:20:53 CEST

    Froome looks comfortable with the pace but he has Quintana on his wheel, then Contador and then Valverde. 

     

  150. 17:22:08 CEST

    Majka is just holding Nibali at around 2'21 as the Italian heads towards a possible stage win with 12km to go.

     

  151. 17:23:49 CEST

    Scarponi is dropped but gives Talansky a hand in order to help the American move up. Frank is there too, just about hanging on. 

     

  152. 17:24:51 CEST

    Majka has everyone lined out but have the GC men cancelled each other out with their earlier efforts? Talansky has just lost contact with 11km to go.

     

  153. 17:25:16 CEST

    And Frank again is slipping back. He's giving it everything as we hear that Thomas is over ten minutes down now. 

     

  154. 17:26:12 CEST

    Froome's cadence is not as smooth as it was earlier in the race but can anyone really test him?

     

  155. 17:26:53 CEST

    IAM impressed. Frank comes back to the yellow jersey group with another turn of speed. Nibali though is holding his lead at 2'16.

     

  156. 10km remaining from 138km

    17:28:11 CEST

    Nibali is on for fourth overall at this point with what's happening out on the road. 

     

  157. 17:29:48 CEST

    Under 10km to go for the Italian out in front who is looking for his first stage win of this year's race. Majka is still at the front at the moment and setting the pace to protect Contador's position in GC. 

     

  158. 17:31:21 CEST

    Now 10km to go for the leaders and the road will flatten out briefly before kicking back up again. Sanchez for BMC is at the back of the GC group with Pinot just ahead of him. 

     

  159. 17:33:29 CEST

    Rolland will be caught by the Majka led group in the next few minutes as Froome appears to have found that quick cadence. 

     

  160. 17:34:32 CEST

    8km to go and Rolland is caught. A brave attack from the Frenchman but is day is over. There are now 12 men in the group chasing Nibali who is at 2'22.

     

  161. 17:36:15 CEST

    Nibali is on a small descent section but the road is about to rise once more. He moves out the saddle as Majka still does all the work for the Froome group. 

     

  162. 17:37:49 CEST

    Majka tries to lift the pace again but he can't eat into Nibali's lead. Has Contador, Quintana or Valverde got anything left in the tank?

     

  163. 17:38:36 CEST

    Nibali has lost a few seconds but he still looks strong as he grinds his way to the top of the climb. And with 5k to go Poels has been dropped. What an important ride.

     

  164. 17:39:21 CEST

    And Quintana has gone and Froome has to chase this one. Contador is on his wheel.

     

  165. 17:39:53 CEST

    Quintana with a small gap, Froome then leading Contador and Valverde, and Nibali is two minutes clear. 

     

  166. 17:41:27 CEST

    Everyone else has been dropped and Quintana, still with a gap, kicks once more as Froome now drops Contador and Valverde. 

     

  167. 17:42:05 CEST

    Froome is trying to hold Quintana as Contador is caught by Bardet and others. Nibali has 1'50 now as Quintana gets out of the saddle once more as he looks to put more time into the race leader. There are still no time gaps but Nibali has 4km to go. 

     

  168. 17:42:55 CEST

    14 seconds between Froome and Quintana as Gesink , further back, leads the rest of the GC men. 

     

  169. 17:44:06 CEST

    Nibali still has enough time to move into fourth on GC at this point as Froome holds Quintana at 14 seconds. 

     

  170. 17:45:56 CEST

    Quintana has pushed on again and Froome is just trying to limit his losses as the gap moves out to 15 seconds. Nibali has 1'23 on the Movistar man, who could win the stage. 

     

  171. 17:47:28 CEST

    Quintana can't extend the gap to more than 15 seconds as Gesink continues to set the pace for the Valverde and Contador group. Quintana is now just 1'15 down on Nibali but sure the Italian can hold on with 2.3km to go. 

     

  172. 17:47:54 CEST

    16 seconds between Froome and Quintana as the race leader digs deeper and deeper. Up ahead Nibali is giving it everything to try and hold Quintana as Valverde takes over on the front of the Contador group. 

     

  173. 1km remaining from 138km

    17:48:58 CEST

    1.5km to go for Nibali and he has 1'01 on Quintana who now has 22 seconds on Froome. 

     

  174. 17:50:36 CEST

    1km to go for Nibali now as he checks over his left shoulder to see if Quintana is closing but he should have enough to win the stage. 

     

  175. 17:51:07 CEST

    Vincenzo Nibali takes stage 19 of the Tour de France, and that's a huge response from the Astana leader. 

     

  176. 17:51:43 CEST

    Here comes Quintana, who comes over the line at 44 seconds. 

     

  177. 17:53:27 CEST

    And Froome is over the line around 30 seconds later. 

     

  178. 17:54:26 CEST

    Pinot takes fourth on the line and that should mean that Nibali is fourth overall. He won't be thinking about that too much though having taking a huge win in the Alps today.

     

  179. 17:56:15 CEST

    That win meant so much to Nibali and you could see that when he came over the line. A huge ride from the Italian who well and truly saves his Tour de France. 

  180. 17:57:30 CEST

    1 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team 4:22:53
    2 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 0:00:44
    3 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 0:01:14
    4 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ.fr 0:02:26
    5 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:02:26
    6 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 0:02:26
    7 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek Factory Racing 0:02:26
    8 Robert Gesink (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo 0:02:26
    9 Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:02:26
    10 Samuel Sanchez (Spa) BMC Racing Team 0:02:26

     

  181. 17:59:36 CEST

    1 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 78:37:34
    2 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 0:02:38
    3 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 0:05:25
    4 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:06:44
    5 Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:07:56

     

  182. 18:00:49 CEST

    General classification after stage 19

    1 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 78:37:34
    2 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 0:02:38
    3 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 0:05:25
    4 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:06:44
    5 Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:07:56
    6 Robert Gesink (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo 0:08:55
    7 Mathias Frank (Swi) IAM Cycling 0:12:39
    8 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek Factory Racing 0:13:22
    9 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:14:08
    10 Pierre Rolland (Fra) Team Europcar 0:17:27
    [24/07/2015 16:59:34] Daniel Benson: ta

     

  183. 18:01:03 CEST

    General classification after stage 19

    1 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 78:37:34
    2 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 0:02:38
    3 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 0:05:25
    4 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:06:44
    5 Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:07:56
    6 Robert Gesink (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo 0:08:55
    7 Mathias Frank (Swi) IAM Cycling 0:12:39
    8 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek Factory Racing 0:13:22
    9 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:14:08
    10 Pierre Rolland (Fra) Team Europcar 0:17:27
     

     

  184. 18:01:25 CEST

     

    General classification after stage 19

    1 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 78:37:34
    2 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 0:02:38
    3 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 0:05:25
    4 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:06:44
    5 Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:07:56
    6 Robert Gesink (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo 0:08:55
    7 Mathias Frank (Swi) IAM Cycling 0:12:39
    8 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek Factory Racing 0:13:22
    9 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:14:08
    10 Pierre Rolland (Fra) Team Europcar 0:17:27

     

  185. 18:03:34 CEST

     

    General classification after stage 19

    1 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 78:37:34
    2 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 0:02:38
    3 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 0:05:25
    4 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:06:44
    5 Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:07:56
    6 Robert Gesink (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo 0:08:55
    7 Mathias Frank (Swi) IAM Cycling 0:12:39
    8 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek Factory Racing 0:13:22
    9 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:14:08
    10 Pierre Rolland (Fra) Team Europcar 0:17:27

     

  186. 18:03:50 CEST

    So Nibali moves into fourth on GC while Thomas drops out of the top ten all together. We now have two Frenchman in the top ten after Rolland's brave ride while Gesink and Frank move up too. Nibali has a decent chance of reaching the podium with one more stage in the mountains to come. 

  187. 18:06:26 CEST

    1 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 78:37:34
    2 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 0:02:38
    3 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 0:05:25
    4 (+3) Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:06:44
    5 Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:07:56
    6 Robert Gesink (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo 0:08:55
    7 (+1) Mathias Frank (Swi) IAM Cycling 0:12:39
    8 (+1) Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek Factory Racing 0:13:22
    9 (+1) Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:14:08
    10 (+3) Pierre Rolland (Fra) Team Europcar 0:17:27

     

  188. 18:10:42 CEST

    Quintana meanwhile has cut Froome's lead but it's still well over two minutes with one more day in the mountains. He had the better of the Team Sky rider today but there's probably not enough road for him between now and Paris.

     

  189. 18:11:24 CEST

    You can sense the relief around Nibali right now as he steps onto the podium and lets out a sigh. He shakes Hinault's hand and waves to the crowds.

  190. 18:14:53 CEST

    Barguil is only just coming to the finish after a really draining day in the saddle for the young Frenchman. 

     

  191. 18:15:56 CEST

    Froome now onto the podium having survived everything his rivals could throw at him. He's lost some time to Quintana but he still has a healthy lead in GC. Bardet is on the podium next, pulling on the KOM jersey. He has three points over Froome. 

  192. 18:24:53 CEST

    Mollema: It was really hard. With the start uphill like this, it was really hard, up and down all day, it was a big fight for everyone, not just us but for the guys trying to get inside the time limit. I was glad I was feeling better than the last few days, I moved up on GC so it was a good day. There was a good pace on the climb, the Croix de Fer was a big war and I was happy to be there, I kept fighting to the finish. It was just one of those days if you don’t have the legs it’s a really really hard day and I was glad I was feeling ok.

     

  193. 18:27:59 CEST

    Thomas with a sense of humour at the finish as he talks about his ride. He's lost significant time and says he had nothing left in the tank. 

     

  194. 18:33:13 CEST

    A reminder of how things stand after today's memorable stage.

     

    1 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 78:37:34
    2 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 0:02:38
    3 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 0:05:25
    4 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:06:44
    5 Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:07:56
    6 Robert Gesink (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo 0:08:55
    7 Mathias Frank (Swi) IAM Cycling 0:12:39
    8 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek Factory Racing 0:13:22
    9 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:14:08
    10 Pierre Rolland (Fra) Team Europcar 0:17:27

     

  195. 18:34:24 CEST

    Froome: It was just a massive day out there, from the word go the racing was on. All in all a pretty good day for us to be able to tick it off, one day closer onw, one day of real racing left now. Oviously Quintana put in a real big attack there, I chose to ride my own tempo and try and limit my losses stay within myself and keep a bit of energy for tomorrow. It was a tough day for the team, a tough day for G, losing quite a bit of time today, he was feeling quite empty today, he’s done such a great job until now, been there every single day, poor guy, its so sad that at this point he’s lost his 4th place.

    It was up the Col du Glandon, pretty close to the summit, I suddently felt like my back wheel locked up, a bit of tar or a small stone had locked itself between my brake caliper and back wheel so I had to stop and take the wheel backwards to get the stone out. Unfortunately that was the moment that Nibali decided to make his move. He did see what he was doing, I’m pretty sure he looked around, saw I was in trouble and attacked. In my opinion you don’t do that to the race leader, it’s not sportmanlike.

    It’s going to be very full on [tomorrow], I’m actually quite looking forward to it, the most iconic stage of this year’s Tour - it’s going to be epic out there. It would be an absolute dream [to win on the Alpe] but I’ve got to keep up with a little Colombian first.

     

  196. 18:36:30 CEST

    Quintana: I had waited for Sky to neutralise Nibali, they didn’t do that so we went steadily up the climb instead and then I attacked, where I’d planned to. I was hoping to get a bigger gap on Froome, and to be honest it wasn’t as much as I wanted, he fought back harder than I thought was likely. I’ll go on fighting and see what we can do. It was so fast on the climb, there’s no way I could get away before. I’ll keep on fighting though.

    We did what we could and Froome is very strong. At least we’ve tried. I’ll try again tomorrow from further out, let’s see how strong he is then. We’ll try for the stage win at least. NIbali got away today, but I’m sure Alejandro Valverde will be able to handle him in the battle for the podium.

     

  197. 18:52:32 CEST

    Some choice words there from both Froome and Quintana, and the battle between the pair is far from over, especially with more more mountain stage to come. 

     

  198. km remaining from 138km

    <p>That's all from us today. Thanks for joining us throughout our coverage from today's stage. You can find our report, results and photos <a href="http://www.cyclingnews.com/tour-de-france/stage-19/results">right here</a>. And remember you can check back for news and reactions throughout the rest of the day.</p><p>&nbsp;</p>
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