Tour de France #19: Mother Nature neutralizes stage

Stage 19 of the Tour de France was all set for a dramatic showdown among the top GC contenders, but a flash storm brought a halt to proceedings as the road between the Col de Iseran and the Montee de Tignes had been affected by flash flooding and landslides.

Stage 19 of the Tour de France was only set to be a 126km test, but one that included 5 categorised climbs. It was a fast start to the stage and we were looking to get Roman Kreuziger into the early break.

After numerous attacks, 28 riders finally went clear and Kreuziger made the selection. With the likes of Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) and Rigoberto Uran (EF-Education First) also in the group though, the yellow jersey group held them at gap of 1-minute.

Kreuziger eventually dropped back to the yellow jersey group where he had the support of Ben King in the reduced group. When the race hit the Col de Iseren, Team Ineos accelerated and riders started dropping quickly.

5km from the summit of the massive HC climb, Egan Bernal attacked and rode clear of everyone in the race, as race leader Alaphilippe was put into real difficulty. Bernal went over Iseran first, with a select group following around a minute later, Alaphilippe was a further minute down.

Nearly as soon as the riders began descending, with the Montee de Tignes still to come, the race was stopped. A flash storm had resulted in the road to Montee de Tignes becoming unsafe, due to flooding as well as a landslide occurring.

The race jury decided to take the times for the GC at the summit of the Iseren, meaning Bernal took over the race lead from Alaphilippe by 45″. Kreuziger had lost some time to his nearest rivals at the top of Iseren but still sits in 15th on GC with tomorrow’s climbing stage the final chance to make a difference on the GC.

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