The French riders continue to shine in their home Grand Tour. The first high mountain summit finish of the 106th Tour de France shook up the GC race as Thibaut Pinot took a famous French victory on the mighty Tourmalet. The day’s runner-up was yellow jersey Julian Alaphilippe, who padded his lead over Geraint Thomas. Steven Kruijswijk is now 12-seconds behind Thomas. It was a bad day for Adam Yates, Romain Bardet and Nairo Quintana.

The Course

It was time for the 2019 Tour’s first high mountain summit finish on the mighty Tourmalet at the end of 117 km. This HC-rated ascent was 19-km of 7.4 percent, with steeper grades near the peak. The Cat. 1 Col de Soulor peaked in the middle of the route. Allons-y!

Vincenzo Nibali and Peter Sagan scampered away soon after the start in Tarbes and tipped over the Cat. 4 Cote de Labatmale in the lead. The duo drew about fifteen breakmates.

Emmanuel Macron used to holiday near Tourmalet.

Col de Soulor

The Sagan breakaway hit the foot of the Cat. 1 Col de Soular with a 3:00 lead over the Groupama-FDJ and Deceuninck-Quick Step-led peloton. There, Movistar went to the front and whipped up the pace, dropping Adam Yates and Romain Bardet.

Nibali and polka-dot jersey Tim Wellens tipped over Soular only 1:30 ahead of the streamlined bunch.

Tourmalet

On the descent Yates was able to come back, while Nibali dropped his breakmates. On the false flat leading to the opening slopes of Tourmalet, Nibali’s group grew but its gap was small.

Once more, Adam Yates dropped off the back, as did Dan Martin. Movistar, who had worked for a couple of hours at the front, missed Nairo Quintana’s implosion.

Elie Gesbert was the last fugitive to be mopped up by an attacking Warren Barguil clad in the French champion’s jersey. Pinot made an acceleration out of the favourites group. Once Groupama caught Barguil with 5.5 km remaining, fourth place Enric Mas cracked.

A dozen riders approached the 4 km to go mark. Jumbo-Visma took over the front and one by one the group was winnowed.

A move by Emanual Buchmann unhitched Geraint Thomas. Pinot then powered away at the 300-metre to go mark to beat Alaphilippe by 6-seconds. Loulou added 36 seconds to his lead over Thomas. Everyone is beginning to believe.

Alejandro Valverde replaces Quintana in ninth place. Mas rounds out the top-10.

There are three Cat. 1 climbs in the latter half of Sunday’s 185-km stage, with an 11.8 km, 6.8 percent summit finish on the Prat d’Albis.


2019 Tour de France Stage 14

1) Thibaut Pinot (France/Groupama-FDJ) 3:10:20
2) Julian Alaphilippe (France/Deceuninck-Quick Step) +0:06
3) Steven Kruijswijk (The Netherlands/Jumbo-Visma) s.t.

2019 Tour de France GC
1) Julian Alaphilippe (France/Deceuninck-Quick Step) 53:01:09
2) Geraint Thomas (Great Britain/Ineos) +2:02
3) Steven Kruijswijk (The Netherlands/Jumbo-Visma) +2:14
4) Egan Bernal (Colombia/Ineos) 3:00
5) Emanual Buchmann (Germany/Bora-Hansgrohe) +3:12
6) Thibaut Pinot (France/Groupama-FDJ) s.t.
7) Rigoberto Uran (Colombia/EF Education First) +4:24
8) Jakob Fuglsang (Denmark/Astana) +5:22
9) Alejandro Valverde Nairo Quintana (Colombia/Movistar) +5:27
10) Enric Mas (Spain/Deceuninck-Quick Step) +5:38

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