Soren Kragh Andersen became the fourth rider with two stage wins at the 107th Tour de France after Wout van Aert, Caleb Ewan and Tadej Pogacar. Boosted by his win in Lyon, the Dane went for another solo ride but a longer one this time as he escaped a 12-man leading group including the three green jersey contenders Sam Bennett, Peter Sagan and Matteo Trentin with 16km to go.
CAVAGNA BY HIMSELF FROM KM 4 ONWARDS
147 riders took the start of stage 19. Two non-starters: Jonathan Castroviejo (Ineos) and Michael Gogl (NTT). After breakaway attempts by stage 18 winner Michael Kwiatkowski (Ineos) among others, Rémi Cavagna (Deceuninck-Quick Step) rode away solo at km 4. A group of five chasers was formed behind him by Guillaume Martin (Cofidis), Geoffrey Soupe (Total Direct Energie), Cyril Barthe (B&B Hotels-Vital Concept), Dylan van Baarle (Ineos) and Max Walscheid (NTT) but they kept losing time on the French time trial specialist rather than getting any close to bridging the gap. Martin, 12th overall, was first to sit up as his presence at the front wasn’t exactly welcome by his companions. All riders in between were back in the pack after km 45 where Cavagna was timed three minutes ahead of the peloton.
ATTACKS INVOLVING SAGAN AND BENNETT IN THE LAST HOUR
At half way into the 166.5km long race, Cavagna enjoyed 1’55’’ lead. The tailwind was less of a key factor and Bora-Hansgrohe and Team Sunweb set a steady tempo at the head of the peloton. Cavagna was firstly rejoined by Pierre Rolland (B&B Hotels-Vital Concept), Benoît Cosnefroy (AG2R-La Mondiale) and Luke Rowe (Ineos) after the intermediate sprint at km 117.5. A group of ten riders caught them and it was bunched up with 36km to go. 30km before the end, another group was formed at the front, including arch-rivals for the green jersey Bennett and Sagan. They were 12: Rowe (Ineos), Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe), Oliver Naesen (Ag2r-La Mondiale), Bennett and Dries Devenyns (Deceuninck-Quick Step), Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo), Greg van Avermaet and Matteo Trentin (CCC Team), Jack Bauer and Luka Mezgec (Mitchelton-Scott), Nikias Arndt and Soren Kragh Andersen (Team Sunweb). Three chasers combined forces: Edvald Boasson Hagen (NTT), Bryan Coquard (B&B Hotels-Vital Concept) and Hugo Hofstetter (Israel Start-Up Nation). But they didn’t make it across.
ANDERSEN SOLO WITH 16KM TO GO
Trentin was first to attack from the leading group. As soon as he was brought back, Andersen rode away solo with 16km to go. Stuyven tried to bridge the gap by himself but the Dane, boosted by his victory in Lyon on stage 14, maintained a significant advantage as the three green jersey contenders marked each other. He soloed to victory while his team-mate Arndt tried to make it a 1-2 for Sunweb after the 1-2 by Ineos the day before but Mezgec delivered another stage podium finish for Slovenia. His compatriots Primoz Roglic and Tadej Pogacar came safely home to retain the first two position in the overall ranking ahead of the much anticipated individual time trial to La Planche des belles filles.