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Tour de France 2018: Stage 19


The riders are currently signing on in Lourdes as the minutes count down to the start of the final mountain stage.

There is tension in the peloton, for the final GC battle and amongst the tired riders who are just hoping to make it to Paris.

The long stage includes some of the legendary climbs in the Pyrenees. The Tourmalet could be a good place to attack early and try to crack Thomas and Team Sky. 

It's another hot day in Lourdes, but there's a risk of rain in the mountains and especially during Saturday's time trial. 

Geraint Thomas has already signed-on and was concerned about making it through today's stage rather than thinking about the time trial and any celebrations in Paris.

Thomas has become more assured with every day in yellow.

Several of Thomas' rivals have warmed up on the rollers before the stage, for the expected fast start. 

Nairo Quintana signs on.

This is the general classification after stage 18. 

Stay with us throughout the day to find out and to follow all the attacks.

To get ready for the big day, read Barry Ryan's excellent preview. 

The riders are gathering on the start line, with Thomas up front in yellow, alongside Julian Alaphilippe in the climber's polka-dot jersey.

Peter Sagan rolls up to the front, Chris Froome too. We're about to roll out for the final mountain stage of the 2018 Tour de France. 

One minute to the roll out! 

They're off! C'est Parti!

As the riders roll out of Lourdes, some riders are perhaps hoping for a miracle.  

The riders are tucked behind the red race director's car.

These are the categorised climbs of the day: 

The riders are smiling and laughing but the flag will drop soon. It will get very serious soon.

Christian Prudhomme is standing out of the race car. Here we go! 

We have the first attacks. 

Two riders jump away but others are following them.

Guess who is up front? 

194km remaining from 200km

192km remaining from 200km

The trio lead by 25 seconds as the chasers hesitate.

The trio now lead by 45 seconds. It would be very surprising if the peloton let them go. 

We have a reaction from the peloton. The riders are lined out in pursuit of the break.

Adam Yates is on the attack, as is Bob Jungels. This could be interesting.

Tanel Kangert (Astana) is with Yates and Jungels. They've opened a gap and are trying to join up with the three ahead. 

180km remaining from 200km

The six up front have come together but there are other attacks behind. 

175km remaining from 200km

The riders have covered exactly 3000km at this point. 

Chavanel is giving it big licks to try to get up to the break. 

172km remaining from 200km

We now have six up front, six chasers, including Alaphilippe, and then the peloton.

In the second sextet are Barguil, Gorka Izagirre, Alaphilippe, Chavanel, Vichot and Amador of Movistar.

From the CN blimp we can see the peloton chasing the Alaphilippe sextet. They are not letting them get away.

The peloton seems to have slowed, with Team Sky's Luke Rowe now at the front. 

Up front we have three sextets, after Mollema and five others set off in pursuit of Alaphilippe. 

The peloton has slowed massively. The leading six are 4:00 ahead.

The 12 chasers are at 1:00, with the peloton at 3:00.

160km remaining from 200km

This is an interesting attack. Jungels is 13th overall, 14:20 down on Thomas. 

Also in the move and potential stage winners are Adam Yates (Mitchelton), Mollema (Trek), Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors), Warren Barguil (Fortuneo), Gorka Izagirre (Bahrain) and Mikel Nieve (Mitchelton). 

Jungels suffers a flat on the top of the climb but quickly starts to chase. He has the group of 12 chasers behind him too, if needed.  

154km remaining from 200km

They have no doubt been send to work by the Katusha directeur sportif.

The peloton is lined out behind the Katusha trio, with the GC teams riding in convoy to protect their lead leaders.

145km remaining from 200km

The five has eased slightly to allow the regroupment behind with the chasers. That will create an attack of 18 riders.


Those last few meters until they come together sometimes seem to take forever....

But with 142 km to go, they all get together, and have a gap of 3.3 on the field.

The 18 are: Jungels (Quick Step), Barguil (Fortuneo), Yates (Mitchelton-Scott), Vichot (Groupama), Dillier (AG2R), Hardy (Fortuneo), Mollema (Trek), Nieve (Mitchelton-Scott), Alaphillipe (Quick Step), Amador (Movistar), Burghardt (Bora-hansgrohe), Pöstlberger (Bora-hansgrohe), Kangert (Astana), Gorka Izagirre (Bahrain Merida), Chavanel (Direct Energie), Slagter (Dimension Data), Bennati (Movistar) and Gauden (Direct Energie).

We just had an intermediate sprint, with Gaudin taking top points ahead of Bennati and Slagter. 

We have a Bahrain rider at the head of the peloton, followed by Katusha-Alpecin. The peloton is now starting up the cat. 1 climb Col d'Aspin, only 3:11 behind the lead group.

With some serious climbing now going on, the gap is at 3:10. Still Katusha at the head of the peloton, no doubt trying to protect Ilnur Zakarin's 12th place in GC, as 13th placed Bob Jungels is in the break group. 

At the very tail of hte peloton we have Peter Sagan, who looks very much as if he is not having fun at all. We can certainly understand that, after that nasty crash he had the other day.

129km remaining from 200km

Still a grinding 4.5km for the lead group to the top of the Aspin.

Unsurprisingly, the group around Sagan is getting larger. And we hate to admit it but he does not look good at all.

The lead group is falling apart too, as it has just shed Pöstlberger and Vichot.

Barguil has moved to the front of the lead group and ups the pace. He has said that his goal is to win this stage.

Only 12 in the led group now, as the peloton is also getting smaller.

Sagan dumps a bottle of water over his head. He doesn't look good, but keeps on steadily riding.

A small group sprints to the top of the Aspin, with Alaphilippe jumping to assure himself of the points.

Barguil is second through.

115km remaining from 200km tells us that Bora DS Patxi Villa said about Sagna: “He told me that he suffers a lot. After a crash, the hardest time is always 48 hours later. Peter is having the hardest day of his cycling life ever so far. He wants to make it across to the grupetto but it all depends on the reaction of his body.”

A relatively short descent and then -- Tourmalet!

Barry Ryan's excellent stage preview tells us: the 2,115m-high Col du Tourmalet – the second highest point of the 2018 Tour. The hors categorie monster is tackled via La Mongie and climbs for 17.1 kilometres. The gentle opening kilometres mean that the average gradient of 7.3% rather understates its difficulty. For much of the upper portion of the climb, the slopes flit between 9 and 10%.

And now the lead group has started its way up.

AS the peloton approaches the climb, we have in this order: Katusha, Sky, Sunweb.

Here is some exciting news: The UCI has asked the African federations to bid for the 2025 World Championships! 

The gap from the front to the peloton has dropped to 3:55.  Sagan is at 8:30.

The peloton passes through the feed zone. 

Cofidis' Laporte at the back of the field and fighting to not be dropped.

Bennati drops from the lead group. Waiting for Quintana, Valverde or Landa at some point, we suspect.

Zakarin has attacked out of the field, with a helper. Landa has attached himself to them. They have only minimal gap at the moment.

AG2R now has 2 men at the head of the peloton, ahead of Sky and Sunweb. Meanwhile, a large group is fading off the back.

Bauke MOllema is dropping from the lead group, as Bardet takes off from the peloton to join Zakarin and Landa..

Fuglsang and Majka are the next to jump. But we still have 100 km to go in this stage.

10 minutes now for Sagan, which is more than 7 off the yellow jersey group.

Thomas still has 4 teammates with him. Dumoulin has at least one

Sagan as a new companion in his group: yesterday's winner, Arnaud Demare.

Fuglsang and Majka have caught the Landa group, and they now have 1 minute on the peloton.

Landa picks up the pace and Zakarin and Bardet have trouble staying with him..

Yates is dropping from the lead group,w hich is now only five, with 3.6 km to go to the top of Tourmalet. 

Landa, Fuglsang and Mjjka are getting closer to th efront, only 1:01 down. Baret and Zakarin are at 1:15, and the favourites' group at 2:58.

Bardet asks Zakarin to take over the lead work, and the Katusha rider refuses. 

Fuglsang has dropped from the chasers. 

Barguil has difficulties with 2 km to go to the top.

ZAkarin has now moved to the front and scurries up to join the Landa group. Bardet hs his problems joining them.

At the back of things, the Sagan group now has 19 riders and is at 14:20 behind the leaders. If they can keep this pace up, they will have no trouble with the time limit.

Yates attaches himself to the Landa group. Landa has now moved into virtual third in GC, ahead of Froome.

Good crowds here at the top of the Tourmalet, with who else but Alaphilippe taking the summit first (and taking the points too, of course).

Majka has jumped from this little group and is across the line.

And now a long and not so un-dangerous descent.....

The favourites' group is still not at the top of the climb. There are maybe 30 riders in the group now.

Now they peloton as well heads downwards, flying along in single file.

Yates lags a bit on this high-speed descent.

Yates dropped from the  Landa group.

The Landa group is getting closer to the front, only 25 seconds. The yellow jersey group is losing time, now at 2:50.

Remember Luis Leon Sanchez crashing early in the race and breaking his elbow? Astana has released a video showing him back on his bike on the road again already!

Sky still keeping control of its group. There are 5 Sky riders, 3 Sunwebs, and a good handful of yellow Jumbos near the front of this group.

Yates is dangling between the Landa group and the yellow jersey group, much closer to the latter. 

Everyone is nearing the bottom of the descent now. They will have a few minutes of flat to catch their breath before the penultimate climb, the cat.2 Col des Borderes

65km remaining from 200km



The riders face the Col des Borderes (8.6km at 5.8%), the non-categorised Col du Soulor, which is the first part of the Col d'Aubisque (16.6km at 4.9%). 

The two groups have formed an 11-strong break now. 

58km remaining from 200km

Team Sky are driving the GC peloton on the valley road. 

Up front Amador is driving the break along for Landa. The gap is up to 3:20 and so Movistar's strategy is looking good so far.

54km remaining from 200km

This is the big finale in the Pyrenees. The Aubisque goes up to 1709m before a fast, technical descent to the finish.

52km remaining from 200km

The speed has also cracked Adam Yates who was in the break early on. 

Attack Bardet!

The French rider is also in the attack and so could move up in the GC before Saturday's time trial. 

Gesink's speed is spitting riders out of the back of the GC group. 

Is Gesink riding to set up an attack or to defend Roglic's fourth place overall? 

47km remaining from 200km

The gradient is also hurting the breakaway. 

Barguil is hanging on with his finger nails as Zakarin sets the pace.

Thomas and Froome have Kwiatkowski and Bernal to help them in the final 45km of the stage.

Left in the break are Bardet, Landa, Jungels, Tangert, Zakarin, Majka, Nieve, G. Izaguirre and Barguil.

Peter Sagan is timed some 20:00 back. He's suffered today due to his crash on stage 17 and his injuries. 

Gesink moves off the front and comes almost to a stop after his big effort.

He did a huge job of closing the gap to the break up front. The gap is just 1:40 as they near the top of the Col de s Borderes. 

42km remaining from 200km

Simon Geschke (Sunweb) is distanced from the GC group, leaving Dumoulin solo.  

The GC group reach the top of the Col des Borderes 1:40 down on the break. 

The road is narrow and so descending skills are vital. 

Michal Kwiatkowski is still riding tempo for Team Sky. 


For now Team Sky let him go. They know he's 4:19 back on GC. 

34km remaining from 200km

There only 11 or so riders in the GC peloton. They include Latour, Pozzovivo, I. Izaguirre, Quintana, Martin, Thomas, Froome, Bernal, Dumoulin, Kwiatkowski. 

Attack by Dumoulin!!

Thomas responds quickly and closes the gap. So do the other big names. 

Bernal takes over setting the pace.

As the road kicks up, Froome loses a few bike lengths.

The attacks mean only Thomas, Dumoulin, Roglic, Bernal, Froome and Thomas are there now. 

Froome was fortunate the gradient eased and got help from Bernal.

Martin and Pozzovivo get back on the GC group. 

32km remaining from 200km

No Roglic goes! 

31km remaining from 200km

Froome is gapped! 

Thomas Roglic and Dumoulin join Kruijswijk. 

30km remaining from 200km

The altitude will also play a part now. The riders are already at 1700m.

The break reach the top of the Col du Soulor and the riders grab a gel and bidon.

Zakarin joins Landa, Majka and Bardet as the road descends in the mist. 

One of the big losers today in Nairo Quintana. He is 3:00 back and was distanced on the final climb.

The riders are about to face the final climb of this year's Tour de France.

25km remaining from 200km

Kruijswijk clips off the front of the Thomas group and so Bernal again leads the chase.

Kruijswijk is closing in on the four attackers. So is the Thomas group. 

The riders emerge from the mist and can see the break just 100m up the road.

This TV screen grab shows the beauty of the peak of the Aubisque.

Roglic attacks again! 

21km remaining from 200km

Roglic goes again! 

Dumoulin goes deep to go after him. 

20km remaining from 200km

Majka makes it to the summit first but the GC riders are just behind him. 

As the descent starts, Froome tucks low over his bike to catch the Thomas group.

They descend into the mist. 

The Tour de France podium is being fought out on the final, testing descent of the Aubisque.  

Zakarin locks up his brakes and then wobbles. He's descending on the tops of his brake levers instead of the drops.

Roglic is testing his rivals but they're all with him for now.

Froome is slightly off the pace, with Zakarin further back. 

Zakarin needs some lessons on descending.

10km remaining from 200km

8km remaining from 200km

There are also time bonuses of 10-6-4 seconds to fight for at the finish.

Roglic has a 100m gap. He's given them the slip.

Here comes Froome. He goes on the front, ticks over his top tube and pedals in a tuck.  

4km remaining from 200km

2km remaining from 200km

Roglic leads by 17 seconds. This is good steal by the LottoNL rider.

1km remaining from 200km

Here comes Roglic!

He wins the stage solo! 

The others sprint to the line.

Thomas takes 2nd and Bardet 3rd, at 18 seconds.

Dan Martin took fourth, with the others in the same time.

Roglic is timed as finishing 19 seconds ahead of Thomas.

Pozzovivo and Izagirre finish together, Bahrain is fighting with Movistar for the team classification. 

This is the stage result

Roglic’s effort on the descent paid off, moving him up over Froome into third in the general classification at 2:24.

Froome slipped to fourth at 2:37 before Saturday's decisive time trial.

Nairo Quintana finishes more than seven minutes back.

Team Sky published this photo of a happy Thomas. He needs to just defend his lead in Saturday's time trial to set up victory in the Tour de France.

Roglic spoke briefly before climbing on the podium to celebrate his stage victory.

Our reporters on the ground have told us that that Tom Dumoulin was angry that Roglic got some help from a motorbike slipstream.  

We'll have a full report on Dumoulin's post-stage comments.

As the clock ticks, Peter Sagan is still on the descent, fighting to finish the stage despite his crash injuries.

We'll have a full update on Sagan later. 

This is the new GC after Roglic gained time.

This is the moment that Roglic won the stage. 

Roglic rarely shows his emotions but seems genuinely happy to have won the stage.

Roglic does his ski jumpers pose as he steps on the podium. He's enjoying himself after three weeks of suffering.

Thomas is next on the podium. This is his 11th day in yellow. 

Thomas has stayed focused and played it day by day so far. He is one day away from victory now.

We've grabbed Tom Dumoulin's comments after the stage. He was very angry.

Procycling magazine editor Ed Pickering has pointed out on Twitter than Geraint Thomas has gained time on Tom Dumoulin on seven different stages so far in this Tour and that Dumoulin has yet to gain any time on Thomas.

Thomas has built his lead by avoiding the crashes and splits, and by being rock solid on every mountain stage. He also won two stages and so took 20 seconds in time bonuses, plus other lesser time bonuses.

Thomas took another six seconds today, extending his lead to 2:05.

Peter Sagan finishes at the back of the groupetto, around 38:20 back on Roglic. 

Mikel Landa (Movistar) won the most aggressive rider award for going on the attack today. He is sixth overall at 4:40 but stayed upbeat about his Tour de France.

Here is Landa post-stage.

The USA's Taylor Phinney was one of the last to finish the stage. 

Phinney finished s4:33 down on Roglic but inside the 45:57 time limit.

What a stage that was.

Stay with our live coverage for all the post-stage reaction and the best photographs from the day.  

We've compiled some of the post-race comments from the riders involved into today's exciting stage. You can read them all HERE

Mikel Landa won the 'most combative' prize today. It must have been a close decision between Movistar rider and Bora-Hansgrohe's Rafla Majka

Chris Froome's Tour de France reign effectively came to an end today on the road to Laruns. Read Daniel Benson's report HERE

You can catch today's Tour de France action via the race's video highlights

Peter Sagan spoke to the press briefly at the finish line today, saying finishing stage 19 after crashing on Thursday was his hardest-ever day on the bike. Sadhbh O'Shea has the story HERE

Barry Ryan has the story on Tom Dumoulin's post-race comments about interference from a TV moto.

Stage winner Primoz Roglic has dismissed suggestions that a TV moto aided his escape. Read our report HERE.

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