Bardet moves into second with stage 19 win at the Tour de France

Chris Froome recovered from a crash on a slippery descent to consolidate his overall lead in the Tour de France as Romain Bardet won France’s first stage on the race with a late attack in the rain to move into second place in the overall standings on a dramatic day in the Alps.

Bardet finally went all in and as hard rain started to fall and caused a complete chaos, the Frenchman benefited from excellent climbing legs and formidable descending skills to add another stage win to the one he took last. Having attacked on the final descent, he stayed clear of the chaos that unfolded behind and crossed the line with an advantage of 23 seconds over his nearest chasers.

While Bardet rode towards the finish, a drama took place further back. Richie Porte, Chris Froome and Bauke Mollema all crashed on the final descent and they all ended up with a time loss. Froome was clearly not at 100% but he managed to limit his losses with help from Wout Poels, crossing the line just 13 seconds behind Joaquim Rodriguez, Alejandro Valverde and Louis Meintjes who turned out to be the best of the GC riders.

Things were worse for Porte who kept attacking on the final climb but ultimately lost 17 seconds to Froome. However, that was nothing compared to Mollema who never made it back after his crash and slipped from second to tenth in the overall standings.

Despite his time loss, Froome retained the lead and now sits 4’11” ahead of Bardet and 4’27” ahead of Quintana. He faces the final big test tomorrow in the last mountain stage of the race which is another short, intense stage. After an early category 2 climb, the riders will tackle the famous Col de la Colombiere and Col de la Ramaz but the key challenge is the brutal Col de Joux Plane. The top comes just 12km from the finish and is followed by a famous, very difficult descent o the line in Morzine.

Tour de France 2016 – stage 19 results (Albertville – Saint-Gervais Mont Blanc):

1 Romain Bardet (AG2R)

4:14:08

2 Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha)

+23”

3 Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)

,,

4 Louis Meintjes (Lampre – Merida)

,,

5 Nairo Quintana (Movistar)

+26”

6 Fabio Aru (Astana)

+28”

7 Daniel Martin (Etixx – Quick-Step)

,,

8 Wouter Poels (Sky)

+36”

9 Christopher Froome (Sky)

,,

10 Richie Porte (BMC)

+53”

 

General classification after stage 19:

1 Christopher Froome (Sky)

82:10:37

2 Romain Bardet (AG2R)

+04’11”

3 Nairo Quintana (Movistar)

+04’27”

4 Adam Yates (Orica-BikeExchange)

+04’36”

5 Richie Porte (BMC)

+05’17”

6 Fabio Aru (Astana)

+06’00”

7 Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)

+06’20”

8 Louis Meintjes (Lampre – Merida)

+07’02”

9 Daniel Martin (Etixx – Quick-Step)

+07’10”

10 Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo)

+07’42”

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ag2r alejandro valverde Chris Froome crash fall joaquim rodriguez romain bardet stage 19 Tour de France

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