Soren Kragh Andersen (Team Sunweb) smashed his way to another stage victory at the Tour de France in Champagnole, attacking alone with 16km to go and time trialing to the finish, after a group of 12 stage hunters and baroudeur riders escaped the control of the sprint teams in the hilly finale.
Luka Mezgec (Mitchelton-Scott) won the sprint behind, 53 seconds down on Kragh Andersen. Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segfredo) was third.
Sam Bennett (Deceuninck-QuickStep) won the sprint for eighth place, at 1:02 after the rising finish split the attackers. He missed out on another victory but beat Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) and so extended his lead on the Slovakian in the green points jersey competition to 55 points with just the final stage to Paris to worry about.
Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) and all his overall rivals finished safely in the main peloton, 7:38 behind, happy to enjoy a relatively quiet stage before Saturday’s decisive 36km time trial to La Planches des Belles Filles.
Roglič will start the time trial with a lead of 57 seconds on Pogačar. Miguel Angel (Astana) is third overall at 1:27.
Kragh Andersen shouted to his team car to know his time gap in the final kilometres but had plenty of time to celebrate his second victory in this year’s Tour de France. He also won in Lyon on stage 14, with a late solo attack and Team Sunweb also won a stage with Marc Hirschi as their young squad proved their talents.
“I was screaming for them to confirm one minute, and I didn’t believe it. Two wins in the same Tour de France. I’m speechless. I could never have dreamed about something better,” Kragh Andersen said of his victory.
“When the group was there, they had all the best riders in the world on hilly terrain, and I thought ' how do I beat these guys?'
“The moment came after Matteo Trentin attacked really hard. I was also at the limit but I thought that if I just got a small gap, they might look at each other, and that is exactly what happened. That was my luck.
“For the rest of my life, this is a memory for life, I’m super happy.”
How it unfolded
The final road race stage before the finish in Paris was expected to be a day for the sprinters and the battle for the green jersey but the rolling hills in the finale offered the terrain for so much more and made for a nervous day of attacking and tactical finesse
The early attacks came thick and fast for a while but the likes of Trek-Segafredo and especially Bora-Hansgrohe closed them down. Strangely, Remi Cavagna (Deceuninck-QuickStep) went off the front and was allowed to go away and became the lone hare to chase along the road to Champagnole.
When he opened a lead of a minute, Dylan van Baarle (Ineos Grenadiers), Guillaume Martin (Cofidis), Cyril Barthe (B&B Hotel) and Geoffrey Soupe (Total) began to chase. However, the presence of Martin – only 12th overall at 13:16 – meant that the peloton was not keen to let them go. Martin was quickly told he was not welcome and eased up, but the chase also fizzled out, leaving Cavagna alone up front to hog the spotlight.
With 100km to go he lead by 2:25, as the sprinters waited for the intermediate sprint and the hilly finale. The GC riders cruised along happily on the peloton, it was a typical stage 19 at the Tour de France after some hard racing.
Bora-Hansgrohe set the pace, trying to shake out the likes of Ewan and Bennett for Sagan’s benefit. However, the pace eased before the intermediate sprint with 51km to go.
Cavagna was first under the green banner to score 20 points, while three late attackers – Benoit Cosnefroy (AG2R La Mondiale), Luke Rowe (Ineos Grenadiers) and Pierre Rolland (B&B Hotels) – swept up 17, 15 and 13 points.
Deceuninck-QuickStep led out the peloton for the sprint, with Bennett having little trouble in distancing Sagan to take what was fifth place behind Cavagna, and so 11 points. Sagan edged passed Morkov to score 10 points, but Bennett extended his virtual lead to 53 points.
The sprint and the 50km point marked the final of the stage and a crash scared Rigoberto Urán (EF Pro Cycling) and the peloton. Suddenly, as the road dipped and rolled the attacks came as if it was a warm day in Flanders in April.
Team Sunweb wanted to be in the action and so chased down Rolland, Cosnefroy, Rowe and even Cavagna.
Suddenly, another attack went clear after a surge by Oliver Naesen (Ag2r La Mondiale). Sagan made sure he was in the move and so did Bennett as the green jersey fight continued.
Also there were Naesen, Dries Devenyns (Deceuninck-QuickStep), Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo), Greg van Avermaet and Matteo Trentin (CCC Team), Jack Bauer and Luka Mezgec (Mitchelton-Scott), Nikias Arndt and Soren Kragh Andersen (Team Sunweb).
Edvald Boasson Hagen (NTT Pro Team), Bryan Coquard (B&B Hotels) and Hugo Hofstetter (Israel Start-Up Nation) tried to chase but had missed the move of the day.
The peloton let the dozen Classics riders open a 1:30 gap in just a few kilometres and then it grew more and more. Jumbo-Visma was not interested in chasing. Lotto Soudal had missed the break but were unable to chase because Caleb Ewan was suffering at the back after being distanced several times whenever the road went upwards.
On each of the four late cotes, riders surged away but Sagan was always there. Wisely Bennett marked Sagan in a very tactical finale which could have ended in a thousand different ways.
Kragh Andersen wanted to decide his own destiny and so made a strong attack over the top of the Ponte-de-la-Chaux climb, the last difficulty of the day. He got a gap and dived down the descent and never looked back as the others looked at each other.
Rowe tried to inspire the chase but Kragh Andersen had gone and focused on time trialing to the finish. His lead rose to 35 seconds with ten kilometres to go and extended out to a minute.
He had ample time to savour his success, indicating his sponsor’s name on his jersey and holding up two fingers to remind everyone he was a double stage winner.
|Place||Rider (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Søren Kragh Andersen (Den) Team Sunweb||03:36:33|
|2||Luka Mezgec (Slo) Mitchelton-Scott||00:00:53|
|3||Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo||00:00:53|
|4||Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) CCC Team||00:00:53|
|5||Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R la Mondiale||00:00:53|
|6||Nikias Arndt (Ger) Team Sunweb||00:00:53|
|7||Luke Rowe (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers||00:00:59|
|8||Sam Bennett (Irl) Deceuninck-Quickstep||00:01:02|
|9||Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe||00:01:02|
|10||Matteo Trentin (Ita) CCC Team||00:01:02|
|11||Jack Bauer (NZl) Mitchelton-Scott||00:01:07|
|12||Dries Devenyns (Bel) Deceuninck-Quickstep||00:01:15|
|13||Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) NTT Pro Cycling||00:03:53|
|14||Hugo Hofstetter (Fra) Israel Start-Up Nation||00:03:53|
|15||Bryan Coquard (Fra) B&B Hotels-Vital Concept||00:03:53|
|16||Robert Gesink (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma||00:07:38|
|17||Nils Politt (Ger) Israel Start-Up Nation||00:07:38|
|18||José Rojas (Spa) Movistar Team||00:07:38|
|19||Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain McLaren||00:07:38|
|20||Marco Haller (Aut) Bahrain McLaren||00:07:38|
|21||Maximilian Walscheid (Ger) NTT Pro Cycling||00:07:38|
|22||Geoffrey Soupe (Fra) Total Direct Energie||00:07:38|
|23||Luis León Sanchez (Spa) Astana Pro Team||00:07:38|
|24||Tim Declercq (Bel) Deceuninck-Quickstep||00:07:38|
|25||Quentin Pacher (Fra) B&B Hotels-Vital Concept||00:07:38|
|26||Edward Theuns (Bel) Trek-Segafredo||00:07:38|
|27||Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Israel Start-Up Nation||00:07:38|
|28||Tony Martin (Ger) Team Jumbo-Visma||00:07:38|
|29||Miguel Angel Lopez Moreno (Col) Astana Pro Team||00:07:38|
|30||Anthony Turgis (Fra) Total Direct Energie||00:07:38|
|31||Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates||00:07:38|
|32||Wout van Aert (Bel) Team Jumbo-Visma||00:07:38|
|33||Richie Porte (Aus) Trek-Segafredo||00:07:38|
|34||Christopher Juul Jensen (Den) Mitchelton-Scott||00:07:38|
|35||Nelson Oliveira (Por) Movistar Team||00:07:38|
|36||Kasper Asgreen (Den) Deceuninck-Quickstep||00:07:38|
|37||Daryl Impey (RSA) Mitchelton-Scott||00:07:38|
|38||Ryan Gibbons (RSA) NTT Pro Cycling||00:07:38|
|39||Mads Pedersen (Den) Trek-Segafredo||00:07:38|
|40||Amund Grøndahl Jansen (Nor) Team Jumbo-Visma||00:07:38|
|41||Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma||00:07:38|
|42||George Bennett (NZl) Team Jumbo-Visma||00:07:38|
|43||Krists Neilands (Lat) Israel Start-Up Nation||00:07:38|
|44||Toms Skujins (Lat) Trek-Segafredo||00:07:38|
|45||Primoz Roglic (Slo) Team Jumbo-Visma||00:07:38|
|46||Vegard Stake Laengen (Nor) UAE Team Emirates||00:07:38|
|47||Niklas Eg (Den) Trek-Segafredo||00:07:38|
|48||Elia Viviani (Ita) Cofidis||00:07:38|
|49||Damiano Caruso (Ita) Bahrain McLaren||00:07:38|
|50||Cyril Barthe (Fra) B&B Hotels-Vital Concept||00:07:38|
|51||Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra) AG2R la Mondiale||00:07:38|
|52||Pierre Rolland (Fra) B&B Hotels-Vital Concept||00:07:38|
|53||Kenny Elissonde (Fra) Trek-Segafredo||00:07:38|
|54||Maxime Chevalier (Fra) B&B Hotels-Vital Concept||00:07:38|
|55||Sepp Kuss (USA) Team Jumbo-Visma||00:07:38|
|56||Adam Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott||00:07:38|
|57||Hugo Houle (Can) Astana Pro Team||00:07:38|
|58||Roman Kreuziger (Cze) NTT Pro Cycling||00:07:38|
|59||Rudy Molard (Fra) Groupama-FDJ||00:07:38|
|60||Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ||00:07:38|
|61||Imanol Erviti (Spa) Movistar Team||00:07:38|
|62||Clément Russo (Fra) Team Arkea-Samsic||00:07:38|
|63||Matej Mohoric (Slo) Bahrain McLaren||00:07:38|
|64||Sébastien Reichenbach (Swi) Groupama-FDJ||00:07:38|
|65||Guy Niv (Isr) Israel Start-Up Nation||00:07:38|
|66||Jan Polanc (Slo) UAE Team Emirates||00:07:38|
|67||Michael Schär (Swi) CCC Team||00:07:38|
|68||Pavel Sivakov (Rus) Ineos Grenadiers||00:07:38|
|69||Valentin Madouas (Fra) Groupama-FDJ||00:07:38|
|70||Felix Grossschartner (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe||00:07:38|
|71||Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis||00:07:38|
|72||Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team||00:07:38|
|73||Nairo Quintana (Col) Team Arkea-Samsic||00:07:38|
|74||Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana Pro Team||00:07:38|
|75||Connor Swift (GBr) Team Arkea-Samsic||00:07:38|
|76||Harold Alfonso Tejada Canacue (Col) Astana Pro Team||00:07:38|
|77||Clement Venturini (Fra) AG2R la Mondiale||00:07:38|
|78||Neilson Powless (USA) EF Pro Cycling||00:07:38|
|79||Omar Fraile Matarranz (Spa) Astana Pro Team||00:07:38|
|80||Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar Team||00:07:38|
|81||Esteban Chaves (Col) Mitchelton-Scott||00:07:38|
|82||Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) Groupama-FDJ||00:07:38|
|83||Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Arkea-Samsic||00:07:38|
|84||Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis||00:07:38|
|85||Mikael Cherel (Fra) AG2R la Mondiale||00:07:38|
|86||Christophe Laporte (Fra) Cofidis||00:07:38|
|87||Carlos Verona Quintanilla (Spa) Movistar Team||00:07:38|
|88||Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Bahrain McLaren||00:07:38|
|89||Alberto Bettiol (Ita) EF Pro Cycling||00:07:38|
|90||Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Pro Cycling||00:07:38|
|91||Pierre Luc Perichon (Fra) Cofidis||00:07:38|
|92||Jens Keukeleire (Bel) EF Pro Cycling||00:07:38|
|93||David De la Cruz Melgarejo (Spa) UAE Team Emirates||00:07:38|
|94||Alexander Kristoff (Nor) UAE Team Emirates||00:07:38|
|95||Wout Poels (Ned) Bahrain McLaren||00:07:38|
|96||Pello Bilbao (Spa) Bahrain McLaren||00:07:38|
|97||Michael Valgren (Den) NTT Pro Cycling||00:07:38|
|98||Mathieu Burgaudeau (Fra) Total Direct Energie||00:07:38|
|99||Dario Cataldo (Ita) Movistar Team||00:07:38|
|100||Gorka Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Astana Pro Team||00:07:38|
|101||Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar Team||00:07:38|
|102||Kevin Ledanois (Fra) Team Arkea-Samsic||00:07:38|
|103||Nans Peters (Fra) AG2R la Mondiale||00:07:38|
|104||Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) CCC Team||00:07:38|
|105||Jesus Herrada (Spa) Cofidis||00:07:38|
|106||Dayer Quintana (Col) Team Arkea-Samsic||00:07:38|
|107||Romain Sicard (Fra) Total Direct Energie||00:07:38|
|108||Winner Anacona (Col) Team Arkea-Samsic||00:07:38|
|109||Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Ineos Grenadiers||00:07:38|
|110||Andrey Amador (CRc) Ineos Grenadiers||00:07:38|
|111||Jasper De Buyst (Bel) Lotto Soudal||00:07:38|
|112||Bob Jungels (Lux) Deceuninck-Quickstep||00:07:38|
|113||Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal||00:07:38|
|114||Ben Hermans (Bel) Israel Start-Up Nation||00:07:38|
|115||Cyril Gautier (Fra) B&B Hotels-Vital Concept||00:07:38|
|116||Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Ineos Grenadiers||00:07:38|
|117||Daniel Martin (Irl) Israel Start-Up Nation||00:07:38|
|118||Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe||00:07:38|
|119||Jan Hirt (Cze) CCC Team||00:07:38|
|120||Hugh Carthy (GBr) EF Pro Cycling||00:07:38|
|121||Daniel Felipe Martinez Poveda (Col) EF Pro Cycling||00:07:38|
|122||Marc Hirschi (Swi) Team Sunweb||00:07:38|
|123||Nicolas Roche (Irl) Team Sunweb||00:07:38|
|124||Tejay Van Garderen (USA) EF Pro Cycling||00:07:38|
|125||Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Team Sunweb||00:07:38|
|126||Joris Nieuwenhuis (Ned) Team Sunweb||00:07:38|
|127||Niccolò Bonifazio (Ita) Total Direct Energie||00:07:38|
|128||Casper Phillip Pedersen (Den) Team Sunweb||00:07:38|
|129||Daniel Oss (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe||00:07:38|
|130||Maximilian Schachmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe||00:07:38|
|131||Cees Bol (Ned) Team Sunweb||00:07:38|
|132||Michael Mørkøv (Den) Deceuninck-Quickstep||00:07:38|
|133||Dylan Van Baarle (Ned) Ineos Grenadiers||00:07:38|
|134||Lennard Kämna (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe||00:07:38|
|135||Jonas Koch (Ger) CCC Team||00:07:38|
|136||Simon Geschke (Ger) CCC Team||00:07:38|
|137||Fabien Grellier (Fra) Total Direct Energie||00:07:38|
|138||Simone Consonni (Ita) Cofidis||00:07:38|
|139||Marco Marcato (Ita) UAE Team Emirates||00:07:38|
|140||Kevin Reza (Fra) B&B Hotels-Vital Concept||00:07:38|
|141||Benoit Cosnefroy (Fra) AG2R la Mondiale||00:07:38|