One year after he became the first Slovenian to win a Tour de France stage after cresting the Galibier in the lead, former ski jumper Primoz Roglic powered to victory in the downhill following the col d’Aubisque. The LottoNL-Jumbo rider moved into the top 3 ahead of the individual time trial, 2’29’’ down on yellow jersey holder Geraint Thomas.
146 riders took the start of stage 19 in Lourdes. Silvan Dillier (AG2R-La Mondiale), Lukas Pöstlberger (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Damien Gaudin (Direct Energie) rode away after 5km of intense racing. Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott), Bob Jungels (Quick Step) and Tanel Kangert (Astana) came across to them at km 21. 12 riders gathered behind them: Arthur Vichot (Groupama-FDJ), Warren Barguil and Romain Hardy (Fortuneo-Samsic), Gorka Izagirre (Bahrain-Merida), Andrey Amador and Daniele Bennati (Movistar), Sylvain Chavanel (Direct Energie), Julian Alaphilippe (Quick Step), Mikel Nieve (Mitchelton-Scott), Marcus Burghardt (Bora-Hansgrohe), Tom-Jelte Slagter (Dimension Data) and Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) and the peloton finally could take some respite after 35km of hard racing that put green jersey holder Peter Sagan into trouble. It became a front group of 18 riders at km 58. The maximum time gap was 5’07’’ at km 39. Katusha-Alpecin paced the peloton to defend Ilnur Zakarin’s twelfth place overall.
Bardet and Landa from far out
12 riders started climbing the Tourmalet together: Yates, Nieve, Alaphilippe, Jungels, Kangert, Barguil, Hardy, G. Izagirre, Amador, Bennati, Slagter, Mollema. Successively, Zakarin, Mikel Landa (Movistar) and Romain Bardet (AG2R-La Mondiale) attacked before half way into the ascent to the col du Tourmalet. Alaphilippe claimed the Souvenir Jacques-Goddet at the summit with five other escapees having an advantage of 45’’ over Majka, 50’’ over Bardet, Zakarin and Landa, 2’50’’ over the yellow jersey group led by six riders from Team Sky. 65km before the finish, 11 riders gathered at the front with 3’ lead over the yellow jersey group: Nieve, Alaphilippe, Jungels, Kangert, Barguil, G. Izagirre, Amador, Zakarin, Landa, Majka and Bardet.
Roglic attacks uphill and downhill
Robert Gesink (LottoNL-Jumbo) took over from Team Sky at the head of the pack to reduce the deficit of his team-mate Primoz Roglic who’s in contention for the final podium. Up to col des Bordères, he brought the gap down to 1’30’’. Kangert passed the col des Bordères in first position. In the ascent to col d’Aubisque, Landa, Bardet, Zakarin and Majka formed a leading group meanwhile Roglic attacked twice with 13km remaining. He brought Thomas and Dumoulin with him and caught his team-mate Steven Kruijswijk who had anticipated the action but Chris Froome eventually lost contact with the yellow jersey, leaving Thomas with no assistance 30km before the end. With 25km to go, the defending champion came across with Egan Bernal and Dan Martin. Majka crested the col d’Aubisque in first position. He was brought back by the yellow jersey group with 19km to go. Roglic sped up downhill. He managed to create a gap with 8km to go and crossed the line 19’’ before Geraint Thomas who extended his lead over all his other rivals throughout the time bonus.