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Following days in the mountains, stage 19 of the Tour de France finally tipped the balance back in favor of the sprinters, but they didn’t have it their way in the end. Breakaway efforts during the stage put them on edge and forced their already-depleted, already-fatigued teams to work hard to get back on terms and then, as a final insult, Christophe Laporte leaped clear of the bunch with just over a kilometer remaining, then used the three riders in the break as a springboard to a solo win.
He clocked up France’s first stage win and Jumbo-Visma’s fifth of the year’s Tour, frustrating Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Decuninck), Albert Dainese (Team DSM), Florian Sénéchal (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) and the others who finished one second behind. Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) was fifth, showing he retains his fighting spirit despite his time loss on Thursday.
Amaury Capiot (Team Arkéa Samsic), Dylan Groenewegen (Team BikeExchange-Jayco), Hugo Hofsetter (Team Arkéa Samsic), Luca Mezgec (Team BikeExchange-Jayco), and Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) were the others in the top 10.
- Tour de France stage 19: Christophe Laporte claims a late break victory
- Tour de France: Jasper Philipsen ‘had good legs’ but rues mistakes in finale of stage 19
- Jonas Vingegaard knows ‘we’re not there yet’ as Tour de France races toward Paris
Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) avoided any problems and maintains his 3:26 lead over Pogačar who, barring disaster for the yellow jersey, is too far back to take the race lead in Saturday’s time trial. Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers) stays eight minutes back and with David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ) three minutes and five seconds further behind, seems guaranteed for third in Paris.
The other places in the top 10 also remain unchanged, and will see a big tussle for fifth place. Nairo Quintana (Team Arkéa Samsic) is currently in that position, but with a lead of eight seconds and 35 seconds respectively over Louis Meintjes (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux) and Aleksandr Vlasov (Bora-Hansgrohe), nothing is certain.
Romain Bardet (Team DSM) is at 16:11 in eighth and has a solid buffer of over four minutes on Alexey Lutsenko (Astana-Qazaqstan) and Adam Yates (Ineos Grenadiers).
Wout van Aert added nine more points to his tally in the green jersey competition and is now on a highly-impressive 460 points. Philipsen overtakes Pogačar for second, 236 to 235 points.
There was no change to the points total in the King of the Mountains competition, with Vingegaard staying on 72 points, eight more than Simon Geschke (Cofidis) and 11 more than Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo).
Pogačar remains the clear leader in the best young rider competition. Time lost by Tom Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers) on stage 19 means he is now 51:26 clear in the race for the white jersey and 1:22:39 in front of the American Brandon McNulty (UAE Team Emirates).
Ineos Grenadiers maintains its lead in the teams classification. Groupama-FDJ is second, 32:57 in arrears, and Jumbo-Visma is third at 42:16.