Tour de France: Bernal one stage from overall victory, Nibali wins atop Val Thorens

Egan Bernal (Team Ineos) is one stage away from sealing the overall victory at the Tour de France, crossing the stage 20 finish line at Val Thorens hand-in-hand with teammate and reigning champion Geraint Thomas as the pair finished safely among the lead group on the shortened stage 20.

Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) took the stage win as the last man standing from the early break, holding off the peloton and redeeming what has been a tough campaign for the 2014 Tour champion. Movistar duo Alejandro Valverde and Mikel Landa launched late bids for victory, but had to settle for second and third, 10 and 14 seconds down.

Bernal and Thomas rolled in three seconds after Landa, while Steven Kruijswijk (Jumbo-Visma) moved up into third overall after former race leader Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-QuickStep) was dropped 13km from the finish of the micro-stage.

For the most part, the 33-kilometre climb to Val Thorens was a whittling-down process, with Jumbo-Visma pushing a tough pace to distance Alaphilippe. The Dutch squad succeeded in their goal midway up the climb and kept pushing on to ensure Kruijswijk made it onto the final podium.

Few attacks were attempted on the long, steady climb to the finish, though a flurry of action came in the final kilometre as Movistar sprung belatedly into action. Emanuel Buchmann (Bora-Hansgrohe) also gave it a go, but would only make two seconds on Kruijswijk, and would have to settle for fourth overall.

"I suffered, but it's great to win," said Nibali after the stage. "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. In the last few days I felt better, and so, even after the fatigue of yesterday, I went for it.

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

Bernal becomes the first rider since Alberto Contador in 2007 to win both the yellow and white jerseys at the Tour de France, and also becomes the youngest race winner since François Faber in 1909.

"Now we can say we are really close to securing victory," said Bernal after the finish., "There's one stage to go and I hope it all goes OK, but I can almost say I've won my first Tour de France.

"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 dreamed about winning it. Now my dream has come true, so I'm feeling so many different emotions."

Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale), though dropped with Alaphilippe, retains the polka dot jersey by eight points from Bernal, while Movistar win the team classification for the fourth time in five years.

How it unfolded

After stage 19 was dramatically halted at the top of the Col de l'Iseran due to dangerous conditions – which included ice and mudslides – on the descent into Val d'Isere, race organisers were forced to truncate stage 20 from Albertville to the summit of Val Thorens.

The peloton raced less than half of the original parcours, which was shortened and partially re-routed to just 59km. Organisers were able to salvage the decisive part of the race, however, so that the peloton could race to the summit finish on Val Thorens despite stormy conditions at the top. The ascent measured in at 33.5km, averaging 5.5 per cent, and climbed to 2,365m in altitude.

Egan Bernal started the day in the yellow jersey, awarded to him after he attacked over the previous day's Col de I'Iseran, building his lead out to a minute on a chase group that included his teammate Geraint Thomas, Steven Kruijswijk, Emanuel Buchmann, Vincenzo Nibali, Mikel Landa and Rigoberto Urán (EF Education First).

Previous yellow jersey Julian Alaphilippe had been distanced by more than two minutes and so lost the overall lead for the first time since regaining it in Saint-Étienne on stage 8.

Attacks flew during the opening kilometres of stage 20, and a breakaway of six men was quick to form, though it would expand to 29 riders as a large chase group connected at the front.

The group, that gained 2:30 on the Team Ineos-led peloton through the valley to Moûtiers, included a number of strong climbers – decent bets for the stage win if the break would be allowed to last – such as Nibali and Bahrain-Merida teammate Dylan Teuns, Tony Gallopin (AG2R-La Mondiale), Sébastien Reichenbach (Groupama-FDJ), Pierre-Luc Périchon (Cofidis) Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha-Alpecin), Michael Woods (EF Education First) and the Astana pair of Omar Fraile and Gorka Izagirre.

Other men, who didn't last long out front once the climbing started, included Elia Viviani (Deceuninck-QuickStep), Nelson Oliveira (Movistar), Magnus Cort (Astana), Alberto Bettiol (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), Jens Keukeleire (Lotto-Soudal), Lilian Calmejane, Niccolo Bonifazio and Anthony Turgis (Total Direct Energie), 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).

In what seemed like a blink of an eye, the race hit the base of the final climb of Val Thorens. Lotto Soudal teammates Tim Wellens and Thomas De Gendt tried to bridge across to the breakaway in pursuit of mountain points, though the attempt to retake the mountains jersey on behalf of Wellens would ultimately prove fruitless.

As the road snaked its way through sharp hairpins at the bottom of Val Thorens, Nibali, Gallopin, Zakarin and Woods formed a small group, while the remaining breakaway riders split apart. Périchon and Fraile soon joined up with them at the head of the race to make a six-man lead group.

On the climb, Jumbo-Visma took over from Ineos at the head of the peloton, keen to push a high pace for Kruijswijk, who had ambitions of moving up onto the podium.

As was expected on such a long climb, the peloton saw a gradual whittling-down process rather than any long-range kamikaze attacks. Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo) was the first big name to pop as the riders joined the main road to the summit in Saint-Martin-de-Belleville with 16.5km to go.

Three kilometres later, with the six-man break now less than a minute up the road, it was Alaphiliippe's turn to drop, along with mountain classification leader Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale). Days of defending his race lead through the Pyrenees and Alps looked to have decisively taken their toll on the QuickStep man as he gritted his teeth …

Shortly afterwards, Nibali went on the attack at the front of the race, going solo 12km out. He held a one-minute gap to the peloton as Jumbo continued their work with Laurens De Plus leading the GC favourites.

A brief move from double stage winner Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott), Warren Barguil (Arkéa-Samsic) and the Movistar duo of Marc Soler and Nairo Quintana came 6km from the line, but was quickly snuffed out as Gregor Mühlberger took it up at the front of the GC group for Bora teammate Buchmann.

Meanwhile, two minutes down the mountain, Alaphilippe was plunging down the rankings, off the podium and potentially out of the top five. The final 2km saw Ineos take to the front, looking to safely guide Bernal to the finish.

Up the road, Nibali was 30 seconds clear heading into the final kilometre, saving Bahrain's Tour with a stage win. Buchmann's brief attempt to dislodge Kruijswijk for third place came to nought, while late attacks from Landa and then Valverde came too late to catch Nibali for the stage honours.

Three minutes behind Bernal and Thomas, who celebrated together as they finished, Alaphilippe crossed the line, having dropped from second to fifth on the general classification on a cruel final day in the mountains for the Frenchman.

Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida1:51:53
2Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team0:00:10
3Mikel Landa (Spa) Movistar Team0:00:14
4Egan Bernal (Col) Team Ineos0:00:17
5Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team IneosRow 4 - Cell 2
6Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education First0:00:23
7Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-HansgroheRow 6 - Cell 2
8Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma0:00:25
9Wout Poels (Ned) Team Ineos0:00:30
10Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar TeamRow 9 - Cell 2
11Warren Barguil (Fra) Arkéa Samsic0:00:46
12Gregor Mühlberger (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe0:01:09
13Lennard Kämna (Ger) Team Sunweb0:01:30
14Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar Team0:01:33
15Adam Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott0:01:49
16Simon Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott0:01:52
17Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin0:01:56
18Elie Gesbert (Fra) Arkéa Samsic0:02:07
19Daniel Martin (Irl) UAE Team Emirates0:02:10
20Daryl Impey (RSA) Mitchelton-ScottRow 19 - Cell 2
21Omar Fraile (Spa) Astana Pro Team0:02:26
22David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ0:03:01
23Jesus Herrada (Spa) Cofidis Solutions CreditsRow 22 - Cell 2
24Sébastien Reichenbach (Swi) Groupama-FDJ0:03:13
25Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain-MeridaRow 24 - Cell 2
26Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck-QuickStep0:03:17
27Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:03:45
28Andrey Amador (CRc) Movistar TeamRow 27 - Cell 2
29Magnus Cort Nielsen (Den) Astana Pro TeamRow 28 - Cell 2
30Tony Gallopin (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 29 - Cell 2
31Fabio Aru (Ita) UAE Team Emirates0:04:10
32Carlos Verona (Spa) Movistar Team0:04:25
33Laurens De Plus (Bel) Team Jumbo-Visma0:04:59
34Enric Mas (Spa) Deceuninck-QuickStepRow 33 - Cell 2
35Joseph Rosskopf (USA) CCC Team0:05:06
36Michael Woods (Can) EF Education FirstRow 35 - Cell 2
37Romain Sicard (Fra) Total Direct Energie0:05:20
38Richie Porte (Aus) Trek-Segafredo0:05:54
39Guillaume Martin (Fra) Wanty-Gobert0:06:07
40Tanel Kangert (Est) EF Education FirstRow 39 - Cell 2
41Rui Costa (Por) UAE Team Emirates0:07:02
42Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-SegafredoRow 41 - Cell 2
43Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Trek-SegafredoRow 42 - Cell 2
44Julien Bernard (Fra) Trek-Segafredo0:07:04
45Rein Taaramäe (Est) Total Direct Energie0:07:14
46Pierre Luc Perichon (Fra) Cofidis Solutions Credits0:07:24
47Frederik Backaert (Bel) Wanty-Gobert0:08:25
48Luke Durbridge (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott0:08:27
49Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana Pro Team0:08:32
50Maxime Monfort (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 49 - Cell 2
51Pello Bilbao (Spa) Astana Pro TeamRow 50 - Cell 2
52Gorka Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Astana Pro Team0:08:50
53Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 52 - Cell 2
54Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:08:53
55Rudy Molard (Fra) Groupama-FDJ0:08:55
56Imanol Erviti (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 55 - Cell 2
57Jack Haig (Aus) Mitchelton-ScottRow 56 - Cell 2
58Mikael Cherel (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 57 - Cell 2
59Hugo Houle (Can) Astana Pro TeamRow 58 - Cell 2
60Vegard Stake Laengen (Nor) UAE Team EmiratesRow 59 - Cell 2
61Ben King (USA) Dimension Data0:09:56
62Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Dimension DataRow 61 - Cell 2
63Stephen Cummings (GBr) Dimension DataRow 62 - Cell 2
64Alexis Gougeard (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 63 - Cell 2
65Michael Valgren Andersen (Den) Dimension Data0:10:10
66Maxime Bouet (Fra) Arkéa SamsicRow 65 - Cell 2
67Xandro Meurisse (Bel) Wanty-Gobert0:10:20
68Natnael Berhane (Eri) Cofidis Solutions Credits0:10:26
69Michael Schär (Swi) CCC Team0:10:45
70Odd Christian Eiking (Nor) Wanty-Gobert0:11:10
71Nils Politt (Ger) Katusha-AlpecinRow 70 - Cell 2
72Mathias Frank (Swi) AG2R La MondialeRow 71 - Cell 2
73Stefan Küng (Swi) Groupama-FDJ0:11:14
74Kevin Van Melsen (Bel) Wanty-GobertRow 73 - Cell 2
75Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 74 - Cell 2
76Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe0:11:22
77Dylan van Baarle (Ned) Team IneosRow 76 - Cell 2
78Jonathan Castroviejo (Spa) Team IneosRow 77 - Cell 2
79Nelson Oliveira (Por) Movistar TeamRow 78 - Cell 2
80Kevin Ledanois (Fra) Arkéa Samsic0:12:13
81Anthony Delaplace (Fra) Arkéa SamsicRow 80 - Cell 2
82Lilian Calmejane (Fra) Total Direct Energie0:12:18
83Paul Ourselin (Fra) Total Direct EnergieRow 82 - Cell 2
84Anthony Perez (Fra) Cofidis Solutions Credits0:12:46
85Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:13:36
86Julien Simon (Fra) Cofidis Solutions Credits0:13:38
87Amael Moinard (Fra) Arkéa Samsic0:14:30
88Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain-Merida0:15:16
89Damiano Caruso (Ita) Bahrain-MeridaRow 88 - Cell 2
90José Gonçalves (Por) Katusha-AlpecinRow 89 - Cell 2
91Sergio Henao (Col) UAE Team EmiratesRow 90 - Cell 2
92Benoit Cosnefroy (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 91 - Cell 2
93Alberto Bettiol (Ita) EF Education First0:15:36
94Anthony Roux (Fra) Groupama-FDJ0:15:41
95Fabien Grellier (Fra) Total Direct Energie0:15:49
96Jan Tratnik (Slo) Bahrain-Merida0:15:52
97Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-HansgroheRow 96 - Cell 2
98Michael Matthews (Aus) Team Sunweb0:16:14
99Nicolas Roche (Irl) Team SunwebRow 98 - Cell 2
100Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) CCC TeamRow 99 - Cell 2
101Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-SegafredoRow 100 - Cell 2
102Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R La MondialeRow 101 - Cell 2
103Simon Clarke (Aus) EF Education FirstRow 102 - Cell 2
104Lars Bak (Den) Dimension DataRow 103 - Cell 2
105Yoann Offredo (Fra) Wanty-GobertRow 104 - Cell 2
106Serge Pauwels (Bel) CCC TeamRow 105 - Cell 2
107Stéphane Rossetto (Fra) Cofidis Solutions CreditsRow 106 - Cell 2
108Christopher Juul Jensen (Den) Mitchelton-Scott0:16:34
109Simon Geschke (Ger) CCC Team0:16:50
110Mads Würtz Schmidt (Den) Katusha-Alpecin0:17:04
111Elia Viviani (Ita) Deceuninck-QuickStep0:17:29
112Marcus Burghardt (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe0:17:32
113Niccolò Bonifazio (Ita) Total Direct Energie0:17:45
114Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension Data0:17:54
115Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) Dimension DataRow 114 - Cell 2
116George Bennett (NZl) Team Jumbo-Visma0:18:00
117Michael Hepburn (Aus) Mitchelton-ScottRow 116 - Cell 2
118Marco Haller (Aut) Katusha-AlpecinRow 117 - Cell 2
119Tom Scully (NZl) EF Education FirstRow 118 - Cell 2
120Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) Groupama-FDJRow 119 - Cell 2
121Koen de Kort (Ned) Trek-SegafredoRow 120 - Cell 2
122Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 121 - Cell 2
123Aime De Gendt (Bel) Wanty-GobertRow 122 - Cell 2
124Dries Devenyns (Bel) Deceuninck-QuickStepRow 123 - Cell 2
125Jasper De Buyst (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 124 - Cell 2
126Chad Haga (USA) Team SunwebRow 125 - Cell 2
127Toms Skujins (Lat) Trek-SegafredoRow 126 - Cell 2
128Florian Vachon (Fra) Arkéa SamsicRow 127 - Cell 2
129William Bonnet (Fra) Groupama-FDJRow 128 - Cell 2
130Fabio Felline (Ita) Trek-SegafredoRow 129 - Cell 2
131Daniel Oss (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe0:18:05
132Caleb Ewan (Aus) Lotto Soudal0:18:38
133Anthony Turgis (Fra) Total Direct Energie0:19:02
134André Greipel (Ger) Arkéa Samsic0:20:20
135Nikias Arndt (Ger) Team SunwebRow 134 - Cell 2
136Lukasz Wisniowski (Pol) CCC Team0:20:50
137Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team IneosRow 136 - Cell 2
138Matteo Trentin (Ita) Mitchelton-ScottRow 137 - Cell 2
139Andrea Pasqualon (Ita) Wanty-GobertRow 138 - Cell 2
140Gianni Moscon (Ita) Team IneosRow 139 - Cell 2
141Ivan Garcia (Spa) Bahrain-MeridaRow 140 - Cell 2
142Matej Mohoric (Slo) Bahrain-MeridaRow 141 - Cell 2
143Jens Debusschere (Bel) Katusha-AlpecinRow 142 - Cell 2
144Alex Dowsett (GBr) Katusha-AlpecinRow 143 - Cell 2
145Kasper Asgreen (Den) Deceuninck-QuickStepRow 144 - Cell 2
146Sebastian Langeveld (Ned) EF Education FirstRow 145 - Cell 2
147Yves Lampaert (Bel) Deceuninck-QuickStepRow 146 - Cell 2
148Sven Erik Bystrøm (Nor) UAE Team EmiratesRow 147 - Cell 2
149Mike Teunissen (Ned) Team Jumbo-VismaRow 148 - Cell 2
150Alexander Kristoff (Nor) UAE Team EmiratesRow 149 - Cell 2
151Michael Mørkøv (Den) Deceuninck-QuickStepRow 150 - Cell 2
152Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma0:20:56
153Amund Grøndahl Jansen (Nor) Team Jumbo-VismaRow 152 - Cell 2
154Maximiliano Richeze (Arg) Deceuninck-QuickStep0:22:41
155Roger Kluge (Ger) Lotto Soudal0:23:07
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Sprint 1 - Val Thorens km. 59.5
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida20pts
2Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team17Row 1 - Cell 3
3Mikel Landa (Spa) Movistar Team15Row 2 - Cell 3
4Egan Bernal (Col) Team Ineos13Row 3 - Cell 3