Jon Izaguirre (Movistar) won the 20th stage of the Tour de France with a fearless descent into Morzine. Jarlinson Pantano (IAM Cycling) finished 2nd on the stage and Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) took 3rd place. Chris Froome (Team Sky) has all but won his 3rd Tour de France after finishing with his closest rivals today.
Stage 20 of the Tour de France was the final day where any real difference could be made in the overall classification. It was a tough day with 4 categorised climbs making up the 146km from Megeve to Morzine. The fact that it rained just about all stage long made things that much more difficult for the riders.
Once again, a big early break of around 35 riders went clear in the opening kilometers. Daniel Teklehaimanot, our Eritrean champion set off after the big break once the gap had already reached 1 minute. Teklehaimanot was able to join forces with Warren Barguil (Giant-Alpecin) and the duo made it across to the big group up front, just as they started attacking one another again.
A smaller group went off the front with the final 2 big climbs of the stage to go. It was from this group that the stage winner would be decided as the likes of Izaguirre, Pantano, Nibali and Julian Alaphilippe (Etixx-Quickstep) all made the move. Teklehaimanot and the rest of the break had to give up the chase as the Yellow Jersey group reeled them in on the penultimate climb of the stage.
Alaphilippe and Pantano then broke away on the penultimate descent of the stage, racing to a 1’45” lead over their chasers on the wet and dangerous roads. When the leading pair started the final climb of the Tour, they had a 1 minute lead which Nibali and Izaguirre set out to close. Going over the summit, Pantano led Nibali and Izaguirre while Alaphilippe was 30 seconds in arrears.
Our Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka riders where not taking any risks, riding safely in the grupetto. Izaguirre threw caution to the wind and showed he was clearly the best descender from the leading trio. The Spaniard attacked the final wet and dangerous 8km to the line and was able to put 20 seconds into Pantano with Nibali a further 20 seconds behind. In the GC race, Team Sky kept all the contenders in check, arriving just over 4 minutes behind the stage victor but with the yellow jersey safely on the shoulders of Froome.
JP Heynderickx – Sport Director
There was a big break that went today. Daniel reacted a bit late but finally, after a big effort he could make it across. Once he got there they started the next climb and almost immediately he paid for the big effort he had to make. From there on we didn’t have many options for the stage but it was important to get the rest of our riders to finish safely, which we were able to do.