Primoz Roglic took victory on stage 19 of the Tour de France after forcing a gap during a breath-taking descent to the line. It was the Slovenian’s second Tour stage win after taking stage 17 last year. Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) finished second, fractionally extending his lead over Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb) ahead of the final time trial after picking up six bonus seconds.
The 200.5km stage from Lourdes to Laruns was the final mountain stage of the race and a last opportunity for the out-and-out climbers to take time over stronger time trialists.
Ilnur Zakarin and Mikel Landa duly attacked the favourites group on the Col du Tourmalet with over 100km of the stage remaining and Romain Bardet swiftly followed.
Jakob Fuglsang and Rafal Majka then joined them to create an impressive group – which only grew stronger when they hoovered up a few of the riders who’d been away in the early break.
These included Julian Alaphilippe, who secured the mountains classification and in so doing set a record as the first rider to have taken maximum points on four hors categorie climbs during the same Tour.
The final climb, the Col d’Aubisque, brought a series of attacks from within the yellow jersey group – in particular from LottoNL-Jumbo team-mates Primoz Roglic and Steven Kruijswijk.
In an apparent repeat of Wednesday’s stage, Froome was briefly dropped – but on this occasion team-mate Egan Bernal hauled him back to the group.
The high pace meant that by the summit all the early attackers had been caught, bar Rafal Majka, who had just a 10-second advantage with a long descent ahead of him.
With former ski-jumper Roglic unsurprisingly willing to push the pace, he was soon caught and the Slovenian continued from there, eventually opening a gap.
— letourdata (@letourdata) July 27, 2018
By the finish, Roglic’s advantage was 19 seconds, which meant that he displaced Froome from the podium and now sits just 19 seconds behind Dumoulin.
Thomas sprinted for bonus seconds and sits in a comfortable position with tomorrow’s time trial the only remaining place where time will be won and lost.