Stage Report: On a stage that a sprint finish was expected, the break ruled the road. Matej Mohorič (Bahrain Victorious) was out front all day and left the break to solo to the finish in Libourne. The peloton came in twenty minutes later, Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) held his yellow jersey going into Saturday’s time trial.
Second stage win for Matej Mohorič
– The final kilometre of Stage 19 and read our full report and pics below:-
Matej Mohorič won a stage for the second time this Tour de France. Exactly two weeks after his victory in Le Creusot, the Slovenian rider was again the best in Libourne. After a solo of 26 kilometres he crossed the finish line as the winner and ensured the third success of his team Bahrain Victorious.
Stage 19 profile
Tour boss Christian Prudhomme describes stage 19: “On the traditional “Landes stage”, one logically predicts a bunched sprint based on the number of sprinters still in the race after surviving the mountains. But will they be able to master the events and circumstances? Redesigned and coming after three weeks of racing, it could also suit a courageous adventurer.”
The two Tour stage win record holders
It could have been a historic day for Mark Cavendish if he took his 35th Tour stage victory. This would give the Briton the record number of stage wins in the Tour. But it was not a foregone conclusion that a sprint would take place in Libourne. Because sprinters like Caleb Ewan, Arnaud Démare and Nacer Bouhanni had already gone home, fewer teams had an interest in pulling back a breakaway – which increased the baroudeurs’ chances.
Tadej Pogačar: “That’s my jersey, Wout”
Two men didn’t start in Mourenx. Michael Woods left the Tour to recover from his crashes and prepare for the Tokyo Olympics. Miguel Ángel López also stopped, to set his sights on the Vuelta a España. After the peloton of only 142 riders had started, Thomas De Gendt was the first attacker. However, the Belgian Lotto Soudal rider was quickly caught.
The break went as soon as the flag dropped
Six other attackers were more successful. Julian Bernard, Jonas Rutsch, Simon Clarke, Georg Zimmermann and Franck Bonnamour were joined by Matej Mohorič. The six escapees were then allowed to take 4 minutes. Rutsch took the only mountain point on the only climb of the day, after 12 kilometres. There were also some crashes, including Geraint Thomas, Sergio Henao, Wout Poels, Rafał Majka, Patrick Konrad and Wilco Kelderman.
Matej Mohorič (Bahrain Victorious) in the break again
Bonnamour was the best classified in the break in 25th place, but at 1 hour 18 minutes behind, he was harmless for Tadej Pogačar’s yellow jersey. Alpecin-Fenix and DSM were in the lead behind to check the difference of the breakaway for their leaders Jasper Philipsen and Cees Bol. After 38 kilometres there was another crash and this time Enric Mas, Guillaume Martin and Cavendish were held up. However, everyone was able to continue.
A crash at the back put the block on the peloton… at first
After 54 kilometres the intermediate sprint was in Saint-Sever. Zimmermann and Bonnamour wanted to go for the points, with the German rider passing under the arch first. The other four escapees left them to it. In the peloton, Luka Mezgec led the sprint ahead of his leader Michael Matthews, who was ahead of Sonny Colbrelli. Matthews scored nine points, Colbrelli eight. Cavendish took six points. Shortly after, Michał Kwiatkowski, Edward Theuns, Jelle Wallays, Jonas Rickaert and Cyril Barthe attacked.
The peloton chased until a counter-attack joined the break
This group was quickly recaptured, but the attack caused more reactions, putting the peloton into a long ribbon. Nils Politt and Edward Theuns also attacked and they had eighteen men join them. Theuns saw his teammate Jasper Stuyven jump across, also Mike Teunissen, Davide Ballerini, Jorge Arcas, Iván García, Alejandro Valverde, Christophe Laporte, Silvan Dillier, Michael Valgren, Greg Van Avermaet, Élie Gesbert, Casper Pedersen, Brent Van Moer, Omar Fraile, Dimitri Gruzdev, Ion Izagirre, Max Walscheid and Anthony Turgis.
Eddy Merckx in the directors car today
Bahrain Victorious, B&B Hotels, INEOS Grenadiers and Israel Start-Up Nation worked hard to catch the counter-attacks, but they were going to the early breakers at full speed. Arcas, García, Valverde, Van Avermaet, Fraile and Gruzdev dropped out, but the others successfully made the crossing. So there were 20 riders in front. The difference at that time was 45 seconds, while mainly Israel Start-Up Nation and BikeExchange were leading the peloton ahead of ‘birthday boy’ André Greipel and Matthews.
The peloton let the big break go – Over 16 minutes
The break: Mike Teunissen (Jumbo-Visma), Julien Bernard, Jasper Stuvyen, Edward Theuns (Trek-Segafredo), Davide Ballerini (Deceuninck – Quick-Step), Nils Politt (BORA-hansgrohe), Christophe Laporte (Cofidis), Silvan Dillier (Alpecin-Fenix), Michael Valgren, Jonas Rutsch (EF Education-Nippo), Élie Gesbert (Arkea-Samsic), Casper Pedersen (DSM), Brent Van Moer (Lotto Soudal), Matej Mohorič (Bahrain Victorious), Ion Izagirre (Astana ), Simon Clarke, Max Walscheid (Qhubeka-NextHash), Anthony Turgis (TotalEnergies), Georg Zimmermann (Intermarché-Wanty Gobert) and Franck Bonnamour (B&B Hotels-KTM).
Not Cavendish’s day – Paris?
Only seven teams were not part of the leading group. UAE Team Emirates, INEOS Grenadiers, Israel Start-Up Nation, Movistar, Groupama-FDJ, AG2R Citroën and BikeExchange were not included, the other teams all had at least one rider up front. Despite the efforts of Israel Start-Up Nation, the attackers managed to take more than 3 minutes. The peloton gave up the race, the winner of the stage would come from the front. Cav’s 35th wasn’t for today.
It’s a long straight road to Libourne
The lead of the large leading group grew to beyond 12 minutes. At 43 kilometres from the finish, the unrest grew among the attackers. Gesbert attacked, after which Ballerini reacted. Valgreen was also very active, but the escapees initially stayed together. Walscheid also rode away. Gesbert then tried again with Rutsch and Bonnamour and they got a small gap. However, they were also recaptured. At 28 kilometres from the finish, the leading group broke up.
Mohorič went solo from the break
Teunissen, teammates Stuyven and Theuns, Politt, Laporte, the EF Education duo Valgren and Rutsch, Pedersen, Mohorič, Turgis, Zimmermann and Bonnamour were at the front of the break. Mohorič pulled away with 26 kilometres to go. Bahrain Victorious’ Slovenian already had his first stage win; two weeks ago he won in Le Creusot after a long day in the attack together with Mathieu van der Poel and Wout van Aert. In no time at all, the U23 World champion of 2013 gained a good lead.
The power went out of the chase
Not much happening behind
From the chasing group, Politt tried to attack, but Mohorič only got further away. The Slovenian was busy winning a race and the others were riding for second place. After 4 hours and 19 minutes, Mohorič made his victory gesture. In the battle for second place, Laporte was ahead of Pedersen. Teunissen was behind in fourth place. Politt, Theuns, Valgren, Zimmermann, Turgis and Stuyven completed the top-10. The yellow remained on Tadej Pogačar’s shoulders.
Stage win No.2 for Matej Mohorič
Stage winner, Matej Mohoric (Bahrain Victorious): “I can’t believe it. I was just trying do my best today. I tried to be attentive, especially if a break of eight guys or more went away and there were guys from Deceuninck-Quick Step or Alpecin-Fenix in it. We thought those teams might control for the sprint anyway. I saw this first group breaking away and decided to do a super big effort to bridge. When I reached the front, I spoke with guys in order to agree and go as fast as possible at the start of the stage. I think it was the best way to lead the break to the finish, as sprinter teams don’t have those many guys to control. Then, halfway through the stage, a big group jumped from the bunch. There were no teammates of mine there, and I was a bit disappointed. When they joined us, I tried to save some energy and then follow wheels all the way to the end. When Nils went on that climb, I was on my limit; almost exploded. I went for it with a big attack: just do one sprint more and then pace myself all the way to the finish. I was doing ridiculously low watts, but still I managed to keep my rivals at bay and win the stage.”
Overall leader, best young rider and KOM, Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates): “It is huge to stand with Eddy Merckx on the podium. He is a hero in cycling. I don’t consider myself as a hero yet, but I hope I am inspiring lots of kids to ride their bikes. There were a few crashes and splits at the start of the stage today. It is really not nice to begin a race like this. We then kept the bunch quiet for a bit, but after the sprint we went on full attack mode. It was a pretty strange race. But then a group went away, and the bunch turned quiet again. For me it is really nice to have a cycling boom in Slovenia. We have always wanted cycling to succeed in Slovenia. Whenever I come home, it is fantastic to see how many people ride their bikes now in my country. I did a recon of tomorrow’s ITT and it is a very fast course, not really complicated. I kind of like it. Today the legs feel really tired from yesterday’s stage. We will see how I sleep today and how I wake up tomorrow… But, of course, I will give it (victory) a go.”
An easy day, eventually, for the peloton
Tour de France Stage 19 Result:
1. Matej Mohoric (Slo) Bahrain Victorious in 4:19:17
2. Christophe Laporte (Fra) Cofidis at 0:58
3. Casper Pedersen (Den) DSM
4. Mike Teunissen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
5. Nils Politt (Ger) BORA-hansgrohe at 1:08
6. Edward Theuns (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
7. Michael Valgren (Den) EF Education-Nippo
8. Georg Zimmermann (Ger) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
9. Anthony Turgis (Fra) TotalEnergies
10. Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
11. Julien Bernard (Fra) Trek-Segafredo at 2:37
12. Maximilian Walscheid (Ger) Qhubeka-NextHash
13. Davide Ballerini (Ita) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
14. Silvan Dillier (Swi) Alpecin-Fenix
15. Jonas Rutsch (Ger) EF Education-Nippo
16. Elie Gesbert (Fra) Arkea-Samsic
17. Brent Van Moer (Bel) Lotto Soudal
18. Ion Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech at 2:43
19. Franck Bonnamour (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM at 2:57
20. Simon Clarke (Aus) Qhubeka-NextHash at 10:05
21. Marc Hirschi (Swi) UAE Team Emirates at 20:50
22. Rui Costa (Por) UAE Team Emirates
23. Rafal Majka (Pol) UAE Team Emirates
24. Vegard Stake Laengen (Nor) UAE Team Emirates
25. Mikkel Bjerg (Den) UAE Team Emirates.
Tour de France Overall After Stage 19:
1. Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates in 79:40:09
2. Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma at 5:45
3. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) INEOS Grenadiers at 5:51
4. Ben O’Connor (Aus) AG2R Citroën at 8:18
5. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) BORA-hansgrohe at 8:50
6. Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar at 10:11
7. Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana-Premier Tech at 11:22
8. Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis at 12:46
9. Pello Bilbao Lopez De Armentia (Spa) Bahrain Victorious at 13:48
10. Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education-Nippo at 16:25
11. David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ at 18:42
12. Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Deceuninck – QuickStep at 23:36
13. Esteban Chaves Rubio (Col) BikeExchange at 32:07
14. Louis Meintjes (RSA) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux at 35:55
15. Aurélien Paret Peintre (Fra) AG2R Citroën at 37:21
16. Wout Poels (Ned) Bahrain Victorious at 47:00
17. Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain Victorious at 49:33
18. Ruben Guerreiro (Por) EF Education-Nippo at 52:26
19. Wout Van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma at 58:09
20. Sergio Henao Montoya (Col) Qhubeka-NextHash at 58:26
21. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo at 1:00:04
22. Franck Bonnamour (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM at 1:00:21
23. Sergio Higuita Garcia (Col) EF Education-Nippo at 1:03:01
24. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar at 1:04:24
25. Jonathan Castroviejo Nicolas (Spa) INEOS Grenadiers at 1:05:30.