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Tour de France 2019: Stage 20

Hello and welcome to our full live coverage of stage 20.   

 

We're kicking off our live coverage early today to bring you all the news from the race.

 

 

Unfortunately it is not good news. There are more rainstorms in the Alps today and there are serious concerns that even the shortened stage may not go ahead. 

We will have all the latest news here on our live coverage.

 

The conditions have worsened since this photo was taken at the finish in Val Thorens.

 

 

It is actually dry in Albertville for the start of the stage but raining hard in the valley and on the long stage to Val Thorens. 

 

According to latest reports, technical director Thierry Gouvenou has said the stage will go ahead. 

 

Meanwhile the Jumbo-Visma team have confirmed that the UCI race judges have corrected the times and GC for stage 19 after an appeal by the Dutch team.

They claimed the times were wrong by five seconds and so Kruijswijk was five seconds further away from a podium place.

Egan Bernal leads Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-QuickStep) by 45 seconds., with Ineos teammate Geraint Thomas at 1:03.  

Kruijswijk is 4th at 1:23.

 

 

 

From the CN blimp we can see the publicity caravan move through the start but race organisers have confirmed that the many publicity vehicles will go on to Val Thorens due to the risk of bad weather. 

They will no doubt be back in Paris for the final stage on Sunday.

 

The Tour de France technical staff at the start have explained that the stage will go ahead despite concerns of storms later on the 33km climb to Val Thorens.  

 

It seems that a window of better weather could help the riders avoid the worst of the storms. 

However local authorities are out on the climb in case of bad weather, with ploughs and diggers ready to clear any land slides and other problems. 

 

We're just over an hour to start of the stage and riders will soon start to sign on.

 

First to sign on is Richie Porte of Trek.

 

"It's a crazy Tour de France, something we've never sen but it was the right decision to stop the stage yesterday," the Australian said. 

 

To better understand why and how today's stage will change due to a load slide and the risk of storms, click here for the full story.   

 

 

Steven Kruijswijk (Jumbo) signs on early and talks briefly.

 

"It was quite a surprise yesterday bit it was still a hard race,"  he said.

 

"Now there's one more day to to give it all,  one more climb till Paris. I'll give it my best try to try to move up." 

 

Before the hectic final yesterday, the stage saw the dramatic and emotional abandon of Thibaut Pinot due to a thigh muscle injury. 

He bravely spoke about it all late yesterday. Today he tweeted that he will be back at the Tour de France in 2020.

Click here to read our full story on Thibaut's pain and suffering.    

 

 

More and more riders are signing on.

 

Technical director Thierry Gouvenou is also on stage, talking about the storms and struggles to keep the race on.

 

The roads are dry in Albertville as the riders sign on and the roads are drying out on the way to Val Thorens.

 

We will have a stage! And a fight for the stage victory and for the final podium places in Paris. 

 

Around 80 of the 155 left in the Tour are still to sign on.

 

Here comes the new yellow jersey as Ineos sign on. 

 

Bernal spoke briefly on the podium. 

 

"Yesterday was really crazy and it's still difficult to take in. But I'm happy to have the yellow jersey and now we'll see what happens. But I know I've got the support of a strong team," the 22-year-old Colombian said.  

 

Cyclingnews has three reporters on the ground at the Tour de France: Editor in chief Daniel Benson, Features Editor Patrick Fletcher and Tour de France veteran and Spanish expert Alasdair Fotheringham. 

Yet again and despite the crazy events of Saturday's stage, they produced some of the best content and stories about Bernal, Alaphilippe and what it all means. 

They also recorded a special podcast and spoke to Bernal, Thomas and Peter Sagan. 

 

Click here to listen to the CN podcast.

 

Peter Sagan signs on and talks about yesterday's stage. He is now mathematically the winner of a record-breaking seventh green jersey if he makes it to the finish in Paris. 

 

"It wasn't good news for Tour de France but for me it was pretty good," Sagan joked.

 

"Today is going to be very fast, more like a TT.  Then I hope to see everyone in Paris." 

 

 

Here comes Alaphilippe, today no longer in yellow.

 

Asked if he is dreaming of taking back yellow by going on the attack, Loulou said: 

 

"I've always fought day after day. Yesterday was a very difficult day and today will be 'a bloc' to give it everything, all the way to the finish." 

 

We're just 12 minutes away from the stage start!

 

59km remaining from 59km

Three minutes to the start. The riders are lined-up, including Egan Bernal in yellow, on the front of the grid.  

 

The riders face 3.1km of neutralised riding.

 

Here's Egan Bernal in yellow. 

 

 

This was the shot of the riders lined up at the start in Albertville. 

 

 

 

59km remaining from 59km

They're off! The flag has dropped. We have some attacks.

 

Magnus Cort Nielsen is on the move.

 

He's made a 'faggianata' attack as Italian TV commentator says. He's sneaked away like a pheasant.

 

 

 

The Italian TV commentator in question is Riccardo 'Magro' Magrini. 

 

Other riders are going after him.

 

53km remaining from 59km

Nibali has joined the move too. But the peloton is chasing them down.

 

From the rear of the peloton, TV spot a sporting handshake between Julian Alaphilippe and new race leader Egan Bernal.

 

51km remaining from 59km

Ineos is leading the peloton for Bernal but the elastic seems to have snapped. 

 

47km remaining from 59km

There are 23 rider in the front group, with the peloton at 1:30. 

 

Race on! 

 

Other riders are trying to come across.

 

 

The riders are in the valley road that heads from Albertville to Moutiers. From there they face the 33km climb up to the finish.   

 

This screen grab shows the Alaphilippe-Bernal hand shake.

 

 

38km remaining from 59km

We're just 4km from the start of the climb. It's going to be a fast day.  

 

The two attacks have come together to make a big group. 

 

The 29 riders are:

Elia Viviani (Deceuninck-Quick Step), Tony Gallopin (AG2R-La Mondiale), Vincenzo Nibali and Dylan Teuns (Bahrain-Merida), Sébastien Reichenbach (Groupama-FDJ), Nelson Oliveira (Movistar), Omar Fraile, Magnus Cort and Gorka Izagirre (Astana), Alberto Bettiol and Michael Woods (EF Education First), Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-Scott), Joey Rosskopf (CCC), Rui Costa and Vegard Stake Laengen (UAE Team Emirates), Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo), Nicolas Roche (Sunweb), Pierre-Luc Périchon (Cofidis), Jens Keukeleire (Lotto-Soudal), Lilian Calmejane, Niccolo Bonifazio and Anthony Turgis (Total Direct Energie), Ilnur Zakarin and Nils Politt (Katusha-Alpecin), Frederik Backaert and Kevin Van Melsen (Wanty-Groupe Gobert), Stephen Cummings and Ben King (Dimension Data) and Maxime Bouet (Arkéa-Samsic).

 

35km remaining from 59km

The peloton is at 2:30.

 

33km remaining from 59km

Here we go! The climb to Val Thorens starts now.

 

Wellens and De Gendt are trying to get across to go for the KOM polka-dot jersey.

This is the current standing: 


1. Bardet 86 p.
2. Wellens 74 p.
3. Caruso 67 p.
4. S.Yates 59 p.
5. Bernal 58 p.
N.Quintana 58 p.

 

 

40-30-24-20-16-12-8-4 will be awarded at the finish at Val Thorens.

 

As the climb to Val Thorens kicks in, the break has split.

 

Périchon and Turgis attacked and now Nibali and Zakarin join them. 

 

30km remaining from 59km

Behind Jumbo has upped the pace, they're riding to get Kruijswijk on the podium.

 

30km remaining from 59km

The high pace means that Ineos have already lost Moscon and Kwiatkowski.  

 

George Bennett is covered in bandages but still riding hard for Jumbo. 

 

The sun is out now and so the TV helicopters are flying and sending out great images.

 

The lower slopes are fast and so Nibali, Gallopin, Zakarin and Woods have formed up front. 

 

Behind Peter Sagan has been distanced.

 

The climb is a constant series of snaking hairpins.

 

236km remaining from 59km

Thomas De Gendt is swept up by the GC peloton. Other riders are being spat out the back. 

 

Daniel Benson sent us this shot from the finish. The risk of bad weather seems to be gone.

 

 

24km remaining from 59km

After a easier section, the gradient kicks up again but Bennett is smashing it on the front.

 

The break leads by just 2:00 now.

 

Nibali, Gallopin, Zakarin, Pichon and Woods are driving hard but the speed is high behind.   

 

This is today's finish line. Whoever leads the Tour de France here will surely be crowned the winner on Sunday in Paris. 

 

 

There are 40 or so riders left in the GC peloton as Van Baarle takes over from Jumbo and Bennett. 

 

 

 

Alaphilippe is still there. 

 

20km remaining from 59km

This shot shows how Jumbo lined out the peloton.

 

19km remaining from 59km

The riders now face a 4km sector at 7.5%. This will hurt. 

 

This is the full 33.4km climb. 

 

 

Bennett does one last surge and moves off. His work is done even if 18km of the climb remain.

 

17km remaining from 59km

Van Baarle drops out the back. The selection is happening one rider at a time as Laurens de Plus  sets a high pace.

 

Mollema is out, Porte is going out too. Aru is fighting to hang on.

 

The GC peloton is lined-out due to the high speed. 

 

15km remaining from 59km

The break's lead is down to 1:10. The GC riders want to fight for the stage win too and the 10-6-4 time bonuses on the line. 

 

There are hundreds of Colombian fans at the finish today.

 

 

Perichon is dropped from the attack.  

 

13km remaining from 59km

Boom! Alaphilippe is distanced!

 

He could lose his podium spot now.

 

The road is not steep and so the gaps will come if riders are isolated and have to ride to the finish alone.  

 

12km remaining from 59km

Up front the break has exploded too. 

 

Nibali is alone off the front. 

 

Enric Mas is trying to pace Alaphilippe but he is losing time 

 

Bardet is with him and so he could also lose the polka-dot KOM jersey.

 

It could be another tragic day for the French riders.

 

11km remaining from 59km

De Plus is still driving the GC group for teammate Kruijswijk. 

 

This is Egan Bernal, he's gone for a full yellow look. 

 

 

9km remaining from 59km

Alaphilippe is 50 seconds down on Bernal & Co.

 

He's off the podium in the virtual GC.  

 

This screen grab shows the huge effort De Plus is making. 

 

 

8km remaining from 59km

Dan Martin is also fighting to hang on to the 20-rider GC group.   

 

7km remaining from 59km

Ouch! Alaphilippe is dropping like a stone in the GC. He could drop to as low as sixth overall.

 

6km remaining from 59km

He's already  down to fifth overall after losing 1:20.

 

6km remaining from 59km

Nibali is still put front, chasing the stage victory. He leads the GC guys by 55 seconds. 

 

He faces another 4km at 7.5% then the road eases.  

 

Simon Yates accelerates from the group. Barguil too. The GC guys will let them go to chase a stage victory. 

 

Simon Yates is chasing the stage victory and the polka-dot jersey.

 

Quintana accelerates too. He's chasing another win.

 

5km remaining from 59km

Nibali has his hands on the tops, trying to push hard with every pedal stroke. 

 

his lead is down to 45 seconds.

 

4km remaining from 59km

There are just 13 riders in the GC group. Alaphilippe is 2:00 back. 

 

Quintana is pulled back bu now Marc Soler tries to go clear of the GC group.

 

The fans along the road are cheering Alaphilippe along but he's losing time. 

 

3km remaining from 59km

Nibali is in the final 3km, on the final hairpins through the ski resort.

 

The GC group is at 45 seconds.

 

Soler is pulled back. It's Nibali versus the GC group. 

 

2km remaining from 59km

The crowds are screaming Nibali along. 

 

Gregor Mühlberger is leading the GC group, to help Bora teammate Buchmann moved past Alaphilippe on the GC. 

 

1km remaining from 59km

Nibali dives down a short descent. He's 1km from victory.

 

Landa kicks from the GC group. Where's he going? 

 

250m for Nibali.

 

Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain) hits the line and wins the stage in Val Thorens.

 

This was his fifth attack of this year's Tour. 

 

 

 

He points to the sky. 

 

Valverde brings home the chasers.

 

Just behind Thomas pats Bernal on the back as they cross the line. 

 

It's a sign of victory and respect from one teammate to another.  

 

Bernal has extended his race lead and will ride into Paris on Sunday to be crowned the winner of the 2019 Tour de France.

 

Here comes Alaphilippe. He finishes 3:17 down on Nibali and so drops to sixth overall. 

 

Bardet also finishes but his KOM polka-dot jersey is probably safe.

 

The new GC shows Alaphilippe down to fifth, at 3:45 on Bernal.  

 

Thomas grabbed Bernal's hand as they approached the finish and then patted him on the back. Bernal clenched his first and celebrated his moment.

 

This is the stage result. 

 

1 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida 1:51:53
2 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:10
3 Mikel Landa (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:14
4 Egan Bernal (Col) Team Ineos 0:00:17
5 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Ineos
6 Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education First 0:00:23
7 Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
8 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma 0:00:25
9 Wout Poels (Ned) Team Ineos 0:00:30
10 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team.

 

This is the new General Classification after stage 20:

 

        
1 Egan Bernal (Col) Team Ineos 79:52:52
2 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Ineos 0:01:11
3 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma 0:01:31
4 Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:01:56
5 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck-QuickStep 0:03:45
6 Mikel Landa (Spa) Movistar Team 0:04:23
7 Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education First 0:05:15
8 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 0:05:30
9 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 0:06:12
10 Warren Barguil (Fra) Arkéa Samsic 0:07:32. 

 

Peter Sagan finishes 15 down but secures his seventh green jersey. He waves to the crowd ad of course, pulls a wheelie.   

 

Before the podium ceremony, Bernal hugs and celebrates with his partner and his father. 

 

Here's Bernal in yellow.

 

 

Bernal waves to the crowd from the podium. no tears today  but he's emotional and happy.  

 

Bernal also pulls on the white jersey as best Under 25 rider. 

 

 

Bernal also finished second in KOM competition. Bardet lost time but held onto the jersey.

 

He scored 86 points, Bernal 78 and Wellens, who wore it for so long, 74 points.

 

Vincenzo Nibali spoke about his stage win.

 

“I suffered but it’s great to win,” he said.

“It wasn’t easy for me after the fatigue of the Giro d’Italia. I tried to do the GC but exploded. There was a lot of criticism and I thought about going home but I fought to honour the Tour de France."


“It wasn’t easy but in the last few days I felt better and so even after fatigue of yesterday I went for it."

 

"The climb never seemed to end, even if the stage was short, it was like mountain time trial. I was alone up front and the stage never seemed to end."
 

 

Nibali crashed out of last year's Tour, suffering a vertebrae fracture but fought to return. He finished second at the Giro d'Italia but still rode the Tour. 

 

“It wasn’t easy after last year and my crash on L’Alpe d’Huez, I hadn’t won a race since, so this is huge," he said.

 

"This is for my grandfather who passed away recently. It’s also for all my team and staff who helped me to get back to my best.”  

 

This is the moment Nibali won the stage.

 

 

Bernal has given Ineos their first Tour victory. with Thomas finishing second.

 

Love or hate the way the British team rides and focuses on the Tour but they have won again.

 

This is the moment that Thomas and Bernal celebrated together.

 

 

This shot is from behind the podium.

 

 

Bernal spoke after pulling on his second yellow jersey. 

 

"It’s incredible, I’m still struggling to understand things. I can’t wait to cross the finish line in Paris and understand what I’ve achieved," he said

 

"Now we can say were really close to securing victory. There’s a stage to go and it I hope it all goes okay, but I can almost say I‘ve won my first Tour de France."

 

 

Bernal added: "The last climb was very hard. Jumbo-Visma made the race hard because they wanted to finish on the podium but I felt good and was well placed."

 

"I imagine everyone is going crazy in Colombia. This is a historic moment for our country, so I’m happy. This is a dream come true. I watched the Tour on television and dreamt about winning it. Now my dream has come true, so I’m feeling so many different emotions."

 

Here's a different shot of the moment  Thomas and Bernal celebrated together.

 

 

Thomas had promised to help Berlan and kept his word, celebrating a 1-2 for Team Ineos. 

 

"To get first and second, doesn’t get any better," Thomas said. 

 

"The fact that Egan is one step above me is the best person to be riding in front of me. It’s been a crazy year for me, but I can be happy and proud that I’ve given it everything I can to be in the best shape here.

 

"I think we rode really well as a team, the whole team from day one has been amazing. We’ve taken a lot of flack as always but we proved that we are a real strong unit, and we know how to ride well and perform in this race. It was a pleasure to be a part of."

 

 

 

Thomas also spoke about the stage.

 

"I think this was a good day, an amazing day; to defend the jersey with Egan, and the way we fought through it, both of us. It feels like it’s been one thing after another with me, but it was great that Egan took the jersey yesterday," Thomas said.

 

"I was a bit frustrated at the end. I wanted to chase Nibali but at the same time Kruijswijk was so close to me [on GC].

 

"If we brought Nibali back and Kruijswijk won the stage and put three seconds into me, I would have lost second spot on the GC. As it turns out, I was good and he wasn’t quite so good, but hindsight’s a wonderful thing, isn’t it?"

 

 

 

On what's next, he said: 

 

"A burger tonight, not too many beer because Paris is always hard. I’m looking forward to going home with my wife and chilling, and getting out of this bubble because it’s intense … a big crazy circus."

 

 

 

While Bernal, Thomas and Kruijswijk celebraated their podium places, this was the pain Alaphilippe endured as he fought to limit his losses. 

 

 

Alaphilippe has still to speak about missing out on a podium place but he will no doubt be gutted after all the fihgting and racing. Of course he can be very proud of what he has done in the last three weeks. 

 

Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) was happy to secure a seventh green jersey.

"It was really a surprise, and thank God that he gave us Christmas is July, yesterday and today," he joked of the changes to the stages.

 

On the green jersey: "It’s very special. There is still tomorrow and so barring injury, everything should be fine. I’m very happy."

 

As the dust settles on the stage and the Alps, the Colombian fans are celebrating. They're here with Xiomy Guerrero - Bernal's girlfriend.

 

 

Dave Brailsford of Team Ineos was understandably happy to see Bernal and Thomas finish 1-2 in the Tour de France.

  

"This is brilliant. Everyone has been questioning the team a bit. It was a brilliant race, probably the most exciting Tour de France that we’ve taken part in," he said at the finish.

 

"And credit to Julian Alaphilippe. He died for that [yellow] jersey everyday and he made a lot of people second think what they thought they knew about him. Thibaut Pinot did the same in the Pyrenees; he was extremely strong, brave, and they took the race to us."

"In the end, strategy played out over chaos and teamwork played out over individuals. You’ve got to wait until the end of the race to make a judgement, and that’s what happened."

 

 

Regarding Egan Bernal Brailsford said:

 

"We looked very hard [for Egan Bernal]. We knew we had some older guys who were performing very well but we looked long and hard to find a new-generation rider, and we decided that was going to be Egan, and we signed him," he said.

 

"Not for very much really, anyone else could have signed him, it wasn’t a money issue. We worked really hard to get him and he has developed fantastically well."

 

On Geraint Thomas, he said: "The advice that he gave, the words and calmness in a race, he knows what he’s doing and he’s generous with his advice. He’s a generous person, in that sense.

 

"It was all about our team winning in the end. People questioned having two leaders and how it would work, hedging bets, but it’s worked to perfection. You can’t get any better than first and second." 

 

For more reaction from riders and managers, click here for our finish line quotes page. 

 

 

To read out full stage report and to see a huge photo gallery and full results, click here. 

 

 

Our reporters in Val Thorens will have more exclusive interviews, features and analysis later on before the Tour heads to Paris on Sunday.

This includes Bernal's press conference after the Val Thorens stage.

Join us on Sunday, at 5pm local time CET, for full live coverage of the final stage in the French capital, to follow the celebrations, the final sprint on the Champs Elysees and Bernal's moment as the Tour de France winner.     

 

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