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Bardet moved by Tour de France mountains jersey

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Romain Bardet earned polka dots during stage 19

Romain Bardet earned polka dots during stage 19
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale)

Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale)
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Contador, Valverde and Bardet were left chasing

Contador, Valverde and Bardet were left chasing
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Romain Bardet makes his way to the finish.

Romain Bardet makes his way to the finish.
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Romain Bardet (Ag2r-La Mondiale) wins after a trying start to his Tour de France.

Romain Bardet (Ag2r-La Mondiale) wins after a trying start to his Tour de France.
(Image credit: Courtesy of Polartec-Kometa)

Romain Bardet (AG2R-La Mondiale) had already made himself a home hero at this year’s Tour de France with his victory to Saint-Jean-De-Maurienne. Huge cheers followed him wherever he went on Friday morning but those will only be louder now that the 22-year-old heads into the last mountain stage with the polka-dot jersey on his back.

“This jersey is very unexpected. I welcome it with great joy,” Bardet said after the stage. “I did not think I would be wearing it. To have it so close to the arrival at Paris, it's something big. This is all the more moving. Nothing is done but I will enjoy it whatever happens.”

Bardet began the day second in the classification but equal on points with Joaquim Rodriguez. It was clear from the word go that the young Frenchman was interested in taking polka dots. With 60 points available throughout the stage, Bardet and Rodríguez were intent on making it into the break. Rodríguez hit out first and took the full complement of 10 points on the Col de Chaussy.

“This is the first day that I did everything for the mountain classification. I was left by Joaquim Rodriguez tired alone on the first climb, the Col de Chaussy,” Bardet explained. “Anyway, I did not have the legs to do better. Then I made the descent to the bottom and Rodriguez marked me well. I wanted to score points in the hors category (Col de la Croix de Fer) and rely on my consistency for a good result in La Toussuire, where points were doubled.”