Matej Mohoric claimed his second stage win in Libourne after he imposed himself at La Creusot on stage 7, again throughout a solo breakaway. Following two consecutive victories in the Pyrénées by Tadej Pogacar who rode through the Landes with authority in an eventful transition stage, the Slovenian champion made it five for his country on the eve of the closing time trial that will precede the grand finale in Paris on Sunday.
Six riders in the lead
142 riders took the start of stage 19 in Mourenx. 2 non-starters: Michael Woods (Israel-Start Up-Nation) and Miguel Angel Lopez (Movistar). Julien Bernard (Trek-Segafredo), Jonas Rutsch (EF Education-Nippo), Simon Clarke (Qhubeka-NextHash), Franck Bonnamour (B&B-KTM) and Georg Zimmermann (Intermarché-Wanty Gobert) rode away from the peloton and Matej Mohoric (Bahrain Victorious) caught up with them with 200km remaining. A maximum time gap was recorded at km 17: 4’20’’. Two crashes occurred in the peloton, involving some GC contenders like Enric Mas and Guillaume Martin but also Mark Cavendish who managed to come across and score six points in the defence of his green jersey at the intermediate sprint won by Zimmermann at Saint-Sever (km 54). Alpecin-Fenix seized the reins of the peloton to make it a bunch sprint finish in Libourne.
A strong chase initiated by Nils Politt
After some skirmishes at the head of the peloton, Nils Politt (Bora-Hansgrohe) gave birth to a group of counter-attackers at km 71 as Mike Teunissen (Jumbo-Visma), Jasper Stuvyen, Edward Theuns (Trek-Segafredo), Davide Ballerini (DQS), Jorge Arcas, Ivan Garcia Cortina, Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), Christophe Laporte (Cofidis), Silvan Dillier (Alpecin-Fenix), Michael Valgren (EF), Greg Van Avermaet (AG2R-Citroën), Elie Gesbert (Arkea-Samsic), Casper Pedersen (DSM), Brent Van Moer (Lotto-Soudal), Omar Fraile, Dimitri Gruzdev, Ion Izagirre (Astana), Max Walscheid (Qhubeka-NextHash) and Anthony Turgis (TotalEnergies) went with him. The three Movistar riders, Fraile, Gruzdev and Van Avermaet dropped down to the peloton at the head of which Ineos Grenadiers, Israel-Start Up-Nation and Bahrain Victorious set a strong pace as well. 20 riders were reunited at the front with 100km to go.
One more solo victory
Israel-Start Up-Nation, Ineos Grenadiers and Bahrain Victorious chased them down for almost 50km before giving up with 80km remaining. UAE Team Emirates set the pace again once the time difference became 10’ with 55km to go. Lots of attacks took shape in the leading group of 20 riders in the last 35km. Mohoric rode away solo 26km before the end. Laporte positioned himself in between for a while before a group of 10 was formed behind the Slovenian: Teunissen, Stuyven, Theuns, Politt, Valgren, C. Pedersen, Turgis, Zimmermann, Bonnamour. Mohoric remained composed and highly motivated till the end to deliver the ninth stage victory built throughout a winning breakaway in the 108th Tour de France.