Hello and welcome to live coverage of stage 19 of the Tour de France.
Bonjour once again from the Tour de France. Today's stage in the Alps is short at 146km but very intense, with four major climbs. One at the very start of the stage and other at the end, providing only the third mountain finish in this year's race.
From the Cyclingnews blimp we can see several riders warming up on rollers for the stage, ready for the fast start to the racing.
The Movistar riders, including Nairo Quintana have opted for a different warm up and are out riding the lower parts of the first climb of the stage.
The race kicks off with the Collet de Tamie -t is not a categorised climb but will hurt. It is 8.1km long at 7%.
Many riders opted to sign on early today and then head back to their team bus for the warm-up and final prep for the stage.
Some riders are now gathering at the start line. They face 6.5km neutralised section before the 146km of racing begins.
Rain and thunder storms passed through the Alps during the night. The skies are still grey and cloudy but the risk of rain is lessening.
This is the profile of today's stage, confirming the tough start and tougher finale.
Team Sky was amongst those on the rollers before the start. Sky will have to try control the attacks and check who is in the moves and if they can be a threat to Froome's yellow jersey.
Froome and the other jerseys wearers are lined up at the start. We're about to start!
Froome is in yellow, Sagan is in green, Majka has the climber's polka-dot jersey and Adam Yates is in the white jersey as best young rider.
The riders are away, riding through Albertville to the real start, 6.5km out of town.
This is the general classification after stage 18:
1 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 77:55:53
2 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo 0:03:52
3 Adam Yates (GBr) Orica-BikeExchange 0:04:16
4 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 0:04:37
5 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:04:57
6 Richie Porte (Aus) BMC Racing Team 0:05:00
7 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:06:08
8 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 0:06:37
9 Louis Meintjes (RSA) Lampre - Merida 0:07:15
10 Daniel Martin (Irl) Etixx - Quick-Step 0:07:18
Thanks to winning the time trial to Megeve, Froome extended his lead. He has 3:52 on Mollema and Yates is third at 4:16.
Froome seems on track to win the Tour de France once again but the fight for the podium and spots in the top ten overall is wide open.
There is only 3:26 separating the riders from second to tenth.
Those placing will fought for today and tomorrow and then celebrated in Paris on Sunday.
Purito Rodriguez has a flat in the neutralised zone but quickly gets going again. Better now than later on the climbs.
Froome is tucked in behind the red race official's car as the ride steady. There are three Lotto riders on the front, trying to edge in front of the car, including De Gendt. Is he ready to attack straight away?
This is today's stage map, showing how the 146km head north to Lake Annecy to climb the Col de la Forclaz -9.8% at 6.9%.
A section in the valley hosts the fedd zone today before the second Forclaz climb of the day. This second one is the Col de la Forclaz de Queige -5.6km at 7.8%.
The toughest climbs come in the second part of the stage. The Montee de Bisanne comes after 96km and is 12.4km long and climbs at 8.2%.
The stage ends with a 9.8km climb at 8% up to the finish at Saint-Gervais Mont Blanc Le Bettex.
@inrng Fri, 22nd Jul 2016 11:10:43
Race director Christian Prudhomme drops the flag and the race is on!
Ten riders have immediately jumped away in two different groups. The Froome peloton seems happy to let them go.
Froome and Sagan are on the front of the peloton, stopping other attacks.
De Gendt (Lotto) is driving the break away. His teammate Greg Henderson revealed that the Belgian rarely has a massage during races so he can some how 'feel' the tension or fatigue in his legs. De Gent also pushes out 500w for a sustained spell of several minutes to shake out the attack. Whoever can hold that pace usually manages to form the break with De Gendt.
The break already has 2:00 on the peloton. They've gone!
The two groups of attackers has combined to create a strong break of 20 or so riders. Well have the names very soon and set up our situation section on the right of the live comments.
The situation lists the riders in the action and attacks and gives updated timings of the gaps in the race.
Rafal Majka (Tinkoff) is in the break, marking De Gendt and so protecting his polka-dot jersey.
@BoraArgon18 Fri, 22nd Jul 2016 11:20:27
The early climb out of Albertville is snaking up the hillside, helping the break open a bigger gap, They lead by 4:30 now.
As usual when he is not focused on a stage victory, Steve Cummings (Dimension Data) is at the back of the peloton, avoiding any crashes and saving his energy.
The break is nearing the top of the Collet de Tamie.
At the head of the peloton three Astana riders are upping the pace. It seems to be part of a planned stage strategy.
Is Fabio Aru going to try to win the stage today? Or at least try to move up further in the GC?
The riders in the break are:
Alexey Lutsenko (Astana), Robert Kiserlovski and Rafal Majka (Tinkoff), Alexis Vuillermoz (AG2R-La Mondiale), George Bennett (LottoNL-Jumbo), Pierre Rolland (Cannondale-Drapac), Markus Burghardt and Amaël Moinard (BMC), Natnael Berhane (Dimension Data), Laurens ten Dam (Giant-Alpecin), Emmanuel Buchman (Bora-Argon 18), Rui Costa (Lampre-Merida), Thomas De Gendt and Tony Gallopin (Lotto-Soudal), Tony Martin (Etixx-Quick Step), Daniel Navarro (Cofidis), Michael Matthews (Orica-BikeExchange), Eduardo Sepulveda and Vegard Breen (Fortuneo-Vital Concept).
The three Astana riders have been joined by two others but they have gone clear of the peloton. Astana seems to be flexing its collective muscles.
The peloton is on the descent and Astana has help from Winner Anaconda (Movistar) to set a pace that could bring the attack back and allow the GC riders to fight for stage victory.
The road has flattened but Astana is still driving the pace. It could be an fascinating stage.
@IAM_Cycling Fri, 22nd Jul 2016 11:36:15
The peloton is cutting into the break;s lead but the 20 riders are also working smoothly as they approach the intermediate sprint of the day.
Michael Matthews (Orica) wins the intermediate sprint but the peloton is still in hot pursuit. Astana is lined out on the front with Team Sky behind them.
@radiotour_fr Fri, 22nd Jul 2016 11:53:02
The riders are on the shores of Lake Annecy at the moment but lined out with little time to enjoy the stunning views.
110km remaining from 146km
The attackers are on the Col de la Forclaz de Montmin now. This could spark a few splits in the break of 20.
The break is gradually being pulled back by the Astana lead peloton. The Katusha team is also near the front with Astana. Perhaps they are looking for a stage victory too.
Katusha does not have any riders in the break of the day.
This is an aggressive start to the stage by Astana. They are using their horse power early but seem determined to try to move Aru up the GC.
@Lotto_Soudal Fri, 22nd Jul 2016 12:07:58
The break includes some strong riders who could go on to fight for the stage victory.
Majka is one, as he works to defend and extend his lead in the polka-dot jersey.
Other names to watch for include Cannondale's Rolland, Rui Costa of Lampre, Laurens ten Dam (Giant) and Dani Navarro (Cofidis).
With Robert Kiserlovski (Tinkoff) setting a hard pace for teammate Majka, several riders are spat out of the back of the break on the climb.
Thomas De Gendt (Lotto) sprints to the summit of the Forclaz but Majka is not far behind him and so also task some climber's points.
The peloton crosses the summit 3:30 down on the break.
@TeamDiData Fri, 22nd Jul 2016 12:30:28
@tinkoff_team Fri, 22nd Jul 2016 12:28:49
Majka and De Gendt have continued to push on the descent.
They have been joined by Vuillermoz and the trio have gained 30 seconds on the rest of the 20-rider attack.
At the back of the race the sprinters are using the descent to get back up to the peloton.
With a short stage and so a short time limit, the gruppetto has to ride a smart race today and so pull back time whenever possible.
Several groups are chasing on the flat roads after the Forclaz, as Astana continues to drag the peloton along.
Astana DS hinted that the team had some plans for today when speaking to Italian television at the start.
"The stage starts with a climb and so a break will go. But I think today will be different. Porte and Bardet want to move up onto the podium and so do well," the experienced Italian said.
upfront the break has compacted and is all together again. The pursuit match between the 20 and the Astana lead peloton is still ongoing. But Astana is struggling to being the gap below 3:00.
The speeds eases but only slightly as the break passes through the feed zone and grabs their musettes.
The Astana team quickly grabs their musette and begin to load their food and drinks into their pockets.
Team Sky also takes on food, with Wout Poels taking two musettes, one for hi and for his team leader Froome.
@Etixx_QuickStep Fri, 22nd Jul 2016 12:51:10
Froome still has his musette around his neck as he chases to get back on a wheel.
Team Sky is lined out behind Astana, who has six riders doing a lot of work on the front.
78km remaining from 146km
As riders squeeze a gel into their mouths or change their bidons, the peloton is approaching the Col de la Forclaz de Queige.
This is a different climb to the earlier Forclaz and takes the riders towards the big HC climb of the day -the Montee de Bisanne.
The Astana seems doubtful about what to do, to drag the peloton along or ease up. Rosa has told Grivko to ease back on the pace slightly.
Grivko and Rosa seemed to exchange a few words there, with Rosa reacting badly and waving Grivko away.
Astana and Katusha continue to share the pace with the break holding at 3'42 as they go over the summit. After the early fast pace Astana have called somewhat of a truce at the front of the peloton.
Froome and Team Sky are just sitting in and keeping safe as they watch on as Katusha and Astana set a quick enough pace to drop Kittel and a few other sprinters.
Over the climb and Astana continue to drive the pace. The break have four minutes with 67km to go.
The race now descents for around 10 kilometres before a long false flat section, and then the next climb of Montee de Bisanne.
Astana have upped the pace significantly and they have the entire peloton strung out in the valley
Adam Yates has been forced to change bikes and he has a tough chase ahead of him as he comes back through the cars with a number of teammates. Riders are starting to drop off the back as the break start the HC climb.
And Dumoulin has crashed. A touch of wheels and he's on the deck. He's quickly on his feet but there are groups all over the road due to Astana and then the crash.
AG2R are aware of the danger and start to move up alongside Astana. We're going to have fireworks on this next climb as a number of teams look to position their leaders before the climb. The gap is down to 2'30.
@LottoJumbo_road Fri, 22nd Jul 2016 13:31:45
Rui Costa comes to the front of the break but the gap continues to come down. It's now at 2'27.
It's a 12km climb with an 8 per cent average. Van Gardenen has slipped off the back of the bunch and Stannard is about to lose contact too.
There's another Sky rider at at the back of the peloton. It looks to be Rowe but up front Froome is well protected by the rest of the Team Sky climbers.
The yellow jersey group is already down to less than 50 riders. Sky, Astana and AG2R are well represented as up the road De Gendt is dropped by the break.
Rolland is in the break and he's just sitting in the middle and waiting for an opportunity. Meanwhile the entire Astana team are setting the pace at the front of the peloton.
Reports that Dumoulin has pulled out of the Tour de France.
It seems Dumoulin hurt his hand when he crashed. Television replays show his right foot remained stuck in his pedal and so he fell hard.
He is reportedly crying at the side of the road as he abandons the Tour. his crash could also have consequences for his participation at the Rio Olympics.
@SadhbhOS Fri, 22nd Jul 2016 13:41:52
It seems the race doctor said Dumoulin has suffered a severe wrist trauma.
Dumoulin has climbed into a Giant-Alpecin team car. He will no doubt undergo x-rays or a scan on his wrist.
The climb has reduced the break down to 14 riders. The Astana team's high tempo has also broken up the peloton into several groups.
Buchmann and Matthews have been caught by the peloton after being in the break.
@TrekSegafredo Fri, 22nd Jul 2016 13:55:07
Adam Yates is at the back of the Froome peloton. He has two teammates but seems happy to ride on the wheels at the back for now.
There are 30 or so riders in the Froome group.
The skies are darkening over the race now. There is no real win but we could see some rain showers.
50km remaining from 146km
The break is only s1.5km from the summit of the Montee de Bisanne climb.
Robert Kiserlovski (Tinkoff) is pushing out a steady but fast pace for Majka.
It seems Tom Dumoulin hurt his left wrist as he fell. The race doctor told French television he is in severe pain and so a fracture is a suspected. X-rays will confirm his injuries.
@Vaughters Fri, 22nd Jul 2016 14:05:07
Majka accelerates up front to take maximum points at the summit.
With the 25 points he scores now and the 11 points he scored earlier in the stage, Majka is mathematically the winner of the polka-dot jersey climber's competition.
The peloton is also close to the summit but strangely Chis Froome is at the back of the peloton.
His teammates are all up front behind Astana but Froome is near the back of the 30-rider group.
@inrng Fri, 22nd Jul 2016 14:09:40
The peloton begins the gradual descent as drops of rain begin to fall. Wet roads will add an extra factor to the race.
The stage route after the summit of the Bisanne includes several false flats and rolling roads as they head towards Megeve and then the final climb to Saint-Gervais.
Froome is now up front with his teammates. It seems he just dropped back to the team car.
Rolland and Costa have carved out a small lead from the break. They re taking turns even on the descent.
Crash! rolland goes off the road!
Rolland's wheel slipped out and he slid across the road and into a field. He went down hard, sliding on his back.
Rolland is on his feet and sets off again, despite being in pain. A race doctor on a motorbike ensured he was okay.
The Cannondale team car is alongside Rolland and seems to be asking him if he wants to continue.
Rolland has fight back from a nasty crash in the Pyrenees, an infection and a suspected fractured finger. However he has faught on, chasing a stage victory until now.
Rolland suffered road rash on his back and shoulder. He also has a cut on his left knee.
@letourdata Fri, 22nd Jul 2016 14:22:44
Rui Costa (Lampre-Merida) is alone up front as the rain falls hard and soaks the road.
The peloton is also in the rain. Could the wet roads change race in some way? We will find out in the final 30km of racing.
The rain has turned into a storm with the riders and roads soaked in the rain.
Two FDJ riders crashed on a curve and it seems that Porte also went don or lost contact.
@inrng Fri, 22nd Jul 2016 14:29:02
Porte is in the team cars and trying to mov back up to the peloton.
Astana still has five riders on the front of the Froome group, with the yellow jersey near the front to avoid any problems and crashes. There are only 20 or so riders in the Froome group.
Porte is being helped back to the front by three BMC teammates.
Porte is stuck in the team cars as he fights to get back on.
He's staying cool and focused for now but the Froome peloton is not awaiting for him. It's race on!
The remains of the break have eased and are about to be caught. Only Navarro is trying to chase Costa.
Greg van Avermaet is also helping Porte get back up to the tail of the peloton.
Up front Orica's Darryl Impey is helping Astana to set the pace.
Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha) is also with Porte and so was forced to chase back to the peloton.
Before today's stage Team Sky manager Dave Brailsford insisted that the race was not over.
"You know as well as I do, there’s still two days to go," he argued.
"He (Froome) has put himself in a strong position but it’s not won. I’d say at this point in the race physically he looks as good as anybody as strong as anybody. In cycling anything can happen."
"It looks like the weather’s going to turn and we know in this sport that when the weather turns, anything can happen. It’s a question of managing that in the next couple of days."
"You don’t know what’s going to happen. With fatigue and so on. That’s a very violent effort (in the time trial) and you just don’t how everybody is going to back up now with the level of fatigue we’ve got. We’ll see how we go on Friday and try to close it out the next day, but we’ve got to go out and race as if it’s the first stage."
20km remaining from 146km
Porte is back up to the front of the Froome group. It was a long chase but he will be relieved to have made it before the climb to the finish.
Zakarin is stick at the back of the group as Orica and AG2R keep the pace high up front.
The sun is out but the wet roads has caused some problems on the fast descent. Mollema is also at the back and fighting to move back up.
Mollema also crashed at a roundabout hence his chase.
These crashes could have a serious impact on the climb to the finish.
Another crash takes out Bennett, Sepulveda and others. Mollema was lucky to miss it.
Crash for Froome!
He takes a teammates bike ands gets going.
Froome slipped out on a right curve, with Nibali sliding into him.
10km remaining from 146km
Froome seems to have taken Thomas' bike but is riding carefully behind two teammates.
Up front Costa is fighting on alone.
Froome has some road rash on his right knee and right shoulder.
Froome is closing on the rest of the front group. He may soon change back to his own bike in tine for the climb.
Romain Bardet has joined his teammate Mickael Cherel, who dragged him clear on the descent.
The two lead Froome by almost a minute now as they chase Costa.
Bardet now sets off alone in pursuit of Costa. The Frenchman clearly wants the stage victory and move up in the GC.
Froome is still at the back of the group. Poels is calling for the Team Sky team car but it is stuck behind other riders.
Astana is still leading the group as they try to make Aru's rivals suffer.
Costa has been given the most aggressive rider prize but he is about to be caught by Bardet.
Behind Mollema has been distanced from the Froome group. He crashed earlier and is suffering as he fights to limit his losses.
Bardet is going to move up the GC today if he can hold this 1:20 lead on his rivals.
7km remaining from 146km
The speed kicks up in the Froome group as Rosa goes on the front again. Porte is close by with BMC teammate Caruso.
Dan Martin and Rodriguez are also there, as Poels drags Froome up to the front.
The Team Sky car is now behind the group. Froome could be tempted to change bikes and return to his own with oval chainrings and his usual position. He is now on Thomas' bike.
Froome has some nasty wounds, with blood coming through his yellow jersey on his right shoulder.
There are 15 riders lined out in the Froome group. Mollema is further back and losing his second place overall.
Bardet and Costa are losing time up front. Their lead is down to 30 seconds.
Mollema is 1:00 back.
Mollema is only 24 and 45 seconds ahead of Yates and Quintana in the GC. He's slipped off the podium.
Caruso is setting a high pace with Porte on his wheel. It spits other riders out of the back, including Barguil and Kreuziger.
Froome has Poels and Henao with him as he tries to protect his lead, despite an earlier crash.
Yates is at the back of the group as Dan Martin kicks away.
Porte surges ahead too. He's followed by Quintana.
Badet has finally dropped Costa and is trying to win the stage.
Froome does not look good and Yates is also suffering down the back.
Martin is stomping on the pedals as behind Yates cracks and is dropped by the Froome group.
The GC will change massively tonight!
Who will be the next to be dropped? Aru is last man now.
Martin is pulled back and Poels goes on the front to steady the pace for Froome.
1km remaining from 146km
But Porte kicks again!
Quintana goes with him but Aru closes the gap to the two and then accelerates himself.
@Etixx_QuickStep Fri, 22nd Jul 2016 15:17:51
Yates is back on the group and fighting for his podium spot.
Mollema is timed at 2:50. He's going to tumble down the GC.
1km remaining from 146km
Last KM for Bardet.
Aru and Valverde accelerate again and Froome and Porte are gapped!
Meintjes is still there and Aru closes the gap as Poels helps Froome close the gap.
But Porte has cracked and paid for his efforts earlier.
up front Bardet is about to win he stage.
He is suffering but is smiling. He gets out of the saddle and then throws his arms in the air!
What will the gaps be behind.
Purito takes second place but Froome is ten or so seconds further back.
Porte is a further 20 seconds back, with Yates a few more behind him. We're waiting Mollema to see how the GC changes.
Bardet lets out a shout of celebration and then smiles, knowing its been a super day for him. He's now in the top three overall.
Mollema is fighting to the finish now. He's going to slop down, with Bardet set to move up to second in the GC.
The Tour de France is such a cruel race. One crash can ruin the hard work of three weeks.
Mollema finished almost 4:00 down on Bardet and 3:30 on most of his GC rivals.
Quel panache by Bardet! He gives France its first stage victory.
What a finale! Bardet attacked on the descent with teammate Cherel as behind him others crashed, including Froome -who raced to the finish on a teammates bike.
Mollema also crashed and that wrecked his podium hopes.
Froome went deep and was in pain as he finished. He touched Poels on the back as a sign of gratitude. The Dutchman deserved it yet again.
This is the provisional top ten of the stage.
1 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 04:14:09
2 Joaquin Rodriguez (Spa) Team Katusha 00:00:23
3 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 00:00:23
4 Louis Meintjes (RSA) Lampre - Merida
5 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 00:00:26
6 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team 00:00:28
7 Daniel Martin (Irl) Etixx - Quick-Step
8 Wouter Poels (Ned) Team Sky 00:00:36
9 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky
10 Richie Porte (Aus) BMC Racing Team 00:00:53
French riders often suffer under the expectations and pressure but Bardet seems able to fight to the end and win.
Riders are still finishing after the hectic finale.
The provisional GC shows that Bardet is now second overall at 4:11. Quintana is third overall at 4:27 and Yates, who was distanced in the finale, slipped to fourth at 4:26.
Bardet is on the podium and gets a huge cheer from the largely French crowd.
Bardet turns 26 in November and so has huge margins of improvement ahead of him.
Geraint Thomas explained how he gave Froome his bike after the race leader crashed.
"I could see Froome on the front and he was saying chill on the radio but he doesn’t do chill, does he," Thomas said.
"All of a sudden he’s on the floor and going ‘I need a bike, I need a bike,’ so I gave him mine. Then I waited for the team car although they did drive passed me."
"I wasn’t going to run to the finish but luckily they stopped a few hundred meters laters and I got on this, and that was that."
After today, who knows what will happen. Could the race turn on its head yet again?
Chris is on the podium to take another yellow jersey -his 41st of is career.
He gives a thumbs up but has some ice and bandages on his right knee.
@BenKing89 Fri, 22nd Jul 2016 15:46:34
@Lotto_Soudal Fri, 22nd Jul 2016 15:45:37
Richie Porte (BMC) spoke briefly after the finish.
"It was such a hard day. It was a mess in the final. Everyone kind of came down," he said.
"It worked out well, we fought hard and tomorrow is another day. Today on the uphills and the corners it was slippery too. We will see what happens tomorrow and how it pans out. I gave it my all today."
Froome signs autographs on a number of yellow jerseys as usual. He seems fine but will no doubt be stiff later after his crash and riding the final 10km on a different bike.
Roman Bardet (AG2R) was happy to talk about his big day to front.
"It was just my bike rider’s instinct. It wasn’t planned at all," he revealed.
"The whole team put in an incredible performance. Mikael Cherel just pushed and pushed and pushed me to do it. At first I thought about GC but when I caught Rui Costa I knew I was going to go for the stage in. That was all that mattered at that point. I have no more words."
"I had no idea what was going on out there. I knew that if Mikael Cherel and I did a good descent together then we had a chance before the penultimate climb. I knew I that I could maintain my pace but you’re never 100 per cent sure. I’ve now won two stages in two years. I just hope can keep this going for two more days."
Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) explained how he crashed and his fight to limit his losses.
"I slid out and was on the ground. I was fast to get back on the bike but there were tricky parts with a lot of corners and crashes in front of me," he said.
"At the bottom there were little groups. I started the climb with gaps, 20 seconds back and I couldn't close it. At the bottom, I tried to come back, I had to try and close it there as fast as I could, otherwise it would have been difficult."
"Pete Stetina pulled on the flat part, but when you start 20 seconds down, I couldn't close it and I just exploded."
"I'm not too badly injured, just a hip and elbow. The classification is gone. I'm tenth now, but that was not the goal."
@inCycleTV Fri, 22nd Jul 2016 15:51:53
Chris Froome (Team Sky) talked about his crash and his chase.
"I think that I hit one of the white lines on the road and lost my front wheel," he said.
"I’m okay, I’m lucky that nothing is seriously injured. I just lost a bit of skin but today is a day when I’m grateful for that four minute advantage to fall back on a bit. It was great for me to have teammates all the way up until the finish there with Wout in particular and all the guys. It was a great team effort and it feels great to be one day closer to Paris."
"Today showed exactly why. A crash like that could have gone either way and I’m grateful that nothing is injured. You never a quiet day at the Tour."
"I knew that the car was far back and my bike, I could see it wasn’t useable about the crash. Thanks to Geraint for his bike. I rode that to the finish, and it was alright."
"Tomorrow is going to be hard, it’s going to be really hard and I’m sure that I’m going to be a bit stiff after today. Hopefully I can rely on my teammates and it’s just one last push."
Diego Rosa (Astana) talked about the team's tactics to set up Fabio Aru.
The young Sardinian finished up front but stayed in sixth place as the podium shuffled ahead of him. However Aru is only 43 seconds behind Porte now and could even have Adam Yates and fourth place within his grasp. Yates is 1:24 ahead of Aru.
“We knew that something was going to happen because everyone is at their limit,"Rosa said.
"Aru showed he was feeling well yesterday in the time trial and so we decided to attack the stage today. We were proven right. And it also helped on the descent in the rain. We were safer up front.”
“We kept saying that we’d take things day by day and try to pull something back. We’ve done it. It’s just a pity the Tour is almost over. But Tomorrow is another tough day and we gave a lot today. Tomorrow we’ll see who has recovered and who hasn’t.”
Cyclingnews reporter Patrick Fletcher was at the race medical truck when Tom Dumoulin emerged.
The Dutchman confirmed that he's suffered a fracture in his radius bone in his wrist.
A full recovery would take a long time but he will evaluate if he can some how train and race in Rio.
He is going to hospital now for a full evaluation.
@Cyclingnewsfeed Fri, 22nd Jul 2016 16:17:39
One of the revelation if this year's Tour de France is South Africa's Louis Meintjes (Lampre-Merida).
He finished fourth on the stage and is eighth overall, 7:02 down on Froome.
“It was a really hard stage. I was struggling a bit after the efforts of the time trial yesterday but I felt good on the last climb and was able to stay there,” he said.
"I actually felt pretty good on the descent too but it was really slippery. Riders were going slow but they were still crashing.”
"I’ve not see the full results yet but I think it’ll be hard for me to take the white jersey from Adam Yates. We’ll see what happens tomorrow now."
We have the first images of the stage, showing the moment Chris Froome reached the finished. He was grateful to teammate Wout Poels.
This image shows Froome's pain as he crossed the finish line.
Romain Bardet celebrates his stage win. He also moved up to second overall behind Froome.
This image arguably sums up today's stage. Froome and others crashed on the wet roads in the finale. Foome managed to avoid losing time despite riding Geraint Thomas' bike but others lots big chunks of time, including Bauke Mollema, who dropped from second to tenth overall.
To see our full photo gallery and results from the stage, and understand what happened during the 146km of racing in the Alps, read our full report.
Vincenzo Nibali assures his Twitter followers that he was not injured when he crashed with Froome.
"My friends I'v only suffered a few blows in the crash today. My lower right back and guts hurt a little but there things that happen!
To read more about Chris Froome's crash and his fight back to defend his yellow jersey, click here to read the full story.
@LeTour Fri, 22nd Jul 2016 16:52:39
British sprinter Dan Mclay was one of the sprinters to suffer in the Alps today but he made it to the finish inside the time limit and lives to race another day.
To read about and see the moment Tom Dumoulin (Giant) crashed out of today's stage, click on the link below.
The Dutch fractured his radius bone in his wrist and so could miss the Rio Olympics, where he was a favourite for the road race and time trial.
To read the reaction from riders at the finish of the rain-soaked stage, check out our special page.
Click here to read what Froome, Porte, Rosa, Mollema and Thomas said at the finish.
Geraint Thomas' bike also deserves a special mention today. Without it, who knows how Chris Froome's stage would have ended.
Click here to see a gallery of photos.
That's it for today's live coverage of the Tour de France.
What a day! Check Cyclingnews.com for all our coverage, news, interviews and photo galleries.
Join us on Saturday for full live coverage of stage 20 -yet another day in the Alps, with the terrible Col de Joux Plane climb in the finale and then a descent to the finish in Morzine.
What happens if it rains again? We will find out tomorrow.
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