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Tour de France 2021: Stage 19 preview

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Tour de France 2021 stage 19 profile map

(Image credit: ASO)
Image 2 of 2

Tour de France 2021 stage 19 profile map

(Image credit: ASO)

Stage 19: Mourenx - Libourne

Date: July 16, 2021

Distance: 207km

Stage timing: 12:20 - 17:06 CEDT

Stage type: Flat

Stage 19 preview video

The new town of Mourenx is indelibly associated with Eddy Merckx’s astonishing exploit in the 1969 Tour de France when he broke clear of the peloton towards the top of the Tourmalet, continued his solo raid over the Aubisque and finished eight minutes ahead of the small group that finished in his wake in today’s start town, doubling his overall lead in the process.

Since then, Mourenx has mostly featured as a ville départ for stages that run across the pan-flat Landes region into Bordeaux. This stage follows that pattern with a slight tweak at the end as the finish is in Libourne, the start point of the race’s second time trial 24 hours hence.

This will be a contest between the breakaway and the sprinters’ teams, the former hoping that the fatigue that will be affecting every rider in the race means that the peloton’s pursuit will be in vain, the latter determined to make the most of the first of two opportunities in the Tour’s final three days.

The only classified climb, the fourth-category Côte de Bareille, comes very early and could well provide the springboard for the break to go clear. Once over it, the riders soon enter the Landes, its straight and flat roads often passing through large stands of pine trees that offer protection from the wind. As a consequence, this should be a stage without any significant complications.

The course arrows into Libourne, the road barely wavering from the straight during the last 7km. It’ll be perfect for a bunch sprint, assuming they’ve reeled all of those escapees back in.

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Peter Cossins has written about professional cycling since 1993 and is a contributing editor to Procycling. He is the author of The Monuments: The Grit and the Glory of Cycling's Greatest One-Day Races (Bloomsbury, March 2014) and has translated Christophe Bassons' autobiography, A Clean Break (Bloomsbury, July 2014).

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