The 2019 Tour de France is set for a thrilling climax after Stage 19 was abandoned early due to a hailstorm. There was no official stage winner, but Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe surrendered the yellow jersey to Egan Bernal.
The Frenchman, currently 48 seconds off the overall lead, has ruled out the potential of a dream victory. Alaphilippe wore the yellow jersey for 14 days, carrying the hopes of a public eager to see a French winner for the first time since Bernard Hinault in 1985 and defying pundits who felt he would wilt in the Pyrenees.
Stage 19 being cut short has rattled the general classification. Bernal took the yellow jersey as he crossed the day’s penultimate summit first and was racing downhill with Simon Yates when the pair were told of the danger ahead. The road to Tignes was buried in hail and rubble from a landslide.
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Stage 20, traditionally anyway, is the last day for riders to mount a challenge as the road to Paris is traditionally seen as a procession rather than an all guns blazing attempt to wrestle the yellow from the leader.
But it’s been a crazy tour. And who knows what crazy things might happen.
Tour de France 2019: Stage 20
Profile: One final lung-buster of a stage to survive before Paris.
We’re officially done with predictions. Yeah, we’ve said that before, but this is just silly. There’s one hell of a climb coming up – on a shorter stage – for all we know this whole thing might be settled through interpretative dance.
Tour de France 2019: Top ten time gaps after Stage 19
|2||Julian Alaphilippe||+ 00h 00′ 48”|
|3||Geraint Thomas||+ 00h 01′ 16”|
|4||Steven Kruijswijk||+ 00h 01′ 28”|
|5||Emanuel Buchmann||+ 00h 01′ 55”|
|6||Mikel Landa Meana||+ 00h 04′ 35”|
|7||Rigoberto Uran||+ 00h 05′ 14”|
|8||Nairo Quintana||+ 00h 05′ 17”|
|9||Alejandro Valverde||+ 00h 06′ 25”|
|10||Richie Porte||+ 00h 06′ 28”|
How to watch and start time
The action will be live on SuperSport 5 from 13:25 and should finish at around 17:45. If you don’t have a Dstv subscription, you can follow Le Tour’s YouTube channel for all the highlights.
Or follow our updates for key events below.
Additional reporting by AFP.