TOUR’15 St.19: Nibali Alone to La Toussuire
Race Report: With an attack in the ascent to the col de la Croix-de-Fer, 59km before the finish at La Toussuire, defending champion Vincenzo Nibali made it up for his disillusion of the first week of the Tour de France as he bounced back to brilliantly win the Alpine queen stage. Chris Froome retained the yellow jersey ahead of the grand finale at l’Alpe d’Huez.
– Race report from ASO, Photos from CorVos –
A huge win for Nibali – even if it’s come too late in the race – he gets full points for not giving up, but loses a few for attacking when Froome was delayed by a mechanical.
Out of the Gate
161 riders took the start of stage 19 in Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne. Brice Feillu (Bretagne-Séché Environnement) was first to attack right after the flag off at the beginning of the 15.5km long ascent to the unprecedented col de Chaussy. Polka dot jersey holder Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) rode away after 2km of climbing.
His initiative gave birth to a leading group composed of Michele Scarponi and Lieuwe Westra (Astana), JC Péraud (AG2R-La Mondiale), Alexandre Geniez (FDJ), Michael Rogers (Tinkoff-Saxo), José Herrada and Adriano Malori (Movistar), Tony Gallopin (Lotto-Soudal), Joaquim Rodriguez, Damiano Caruso and Alberto Losada (Katusha), Rigoberto Uran (Etixx-Quick Step), Pierre Rolland, Cyril Gautier and Romain Sicard (Europcar), Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo), Ruben Plaza (Lampre-Merida), Andrew Talansky, Dan Martin and Dylan van Baarle (Cannondale-Garmin), Nicolas Edet (Cofidis), Jarlinson Pantano (IAM Cycling), Emmanuel Buchmann and Bartosz Huzarski (Bora-Argon 18), Stephen Cummings and Daniel Teklehaimanot (MTN-Qhubeka).
Attacks went on in the yellow jersey group. Vincenzo Nibali (Astana), Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) and Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) made it across to the leading group where Romain Bardet (AG2R-La Mondiale) was missing when Rodriguez took ten more King of the Mountain points as he passed first atop the col du Chaussy.
Romain Bardet becomes the King of the Mountains
Bardet took his revenge in the downhill. The Frenchman rode away with Uran. Rolland came across with Rodriguez and went solo but a group of 21 riders was formed before the intermediate sprint won at Epierre (km 42) by Cyril Gautier. It included Tanel Kangert (Astana), Romain Bardet (AG2R-La Mondiale), Roman Kreuziger and Michael Rogers (Tinkoff-Saxo), José Herrada and Malori (Movistar), Tony Gallopin and Tim Wellens (Lotto-Soudal), Joaquim Rodriguez and Alberto Losada (Katusha), Rigoberto Uran (Etixx), Pierre Rolland, Cyril Gautier and Romain Sicard (Europcar), Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo), Ruben Plaza (Lampre-Merida), Dylan van Baarle (Cannondale-Garmin), Nicolas Edet (Cofidis), Stef Clement and Jarlinson Pantano (IAM) and Stephen Cummings (MTN-Qhubeka). Teklehaimanot bridged the gap by himself with 90km to go. Wellens crashed in the feed zone, made it back but got dropped as soon as the breakaway started climbing to the col de la Croix-de-Fer. 15km before the summit, Rolland rode away solo. Valverde was first to attack 5km away from the top but Nibali was the one who managed to escape. The defending champion crested the main difficulty of the day 1.05 after the Frenchman and 50 seconds before Bardet who virtually took the lead of the KOM competition before he definitely received the polka dot jersey at stage at La Toussuire.
Rolland was hoping to repeat his stage win from 2012 at La Toussuire but Nibali rejoined him after cresting the col du Mollard. “The Shark” soloed to victory with 16km of climbing remaining. Bardet lost his chance to make it across as he was hampered by a mechanical in the downhill while he was in between the leading duo and the yellow jersey group. Quintana attacked with 6km to go. He managed to regain 30 seconds on Chris Froome who successfully retained the yellow jersey on the penultimate mountain stage.
Tour de France 2015 Stage 19 Results
1. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team 4:22:53
2. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 0:00:44
3. Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 0:01:14
4. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ.fr 0:02:26
5. Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
6. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team
7. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek Factory Racing
8. Robert Gesink (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo
9. Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo
10. Samuel Sanchez (Spa) BMC Racing Team
Overall after Stage 19
1. Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 78:37:34
2. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 0:02:38
3. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 0:05:25
4. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:06:44
5. Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:07:56
6. Robert Gesink (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo 0:08:55
7. Mathias Frank (Swi) IAM Cycling 0:12:39
8. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek Factory Racing 0:13:22
9. Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:14:08
10. Pierre Rolland (Fra) Team Europcar 0:17:27