24/07/15 - 12:25
Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne - La Toussuire
Tour de France • Stage19

Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne - La Toussuire

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Pinot takes fourth place ahead of Bardet and Valverde - they were another minute or so back. A dramatic end to what was an intriguing stage in the Alps.


Chris Froome (Team Sky) crosses the line 1:13 down - so he's lost 30 seconds to Quintana. Plus there will be time bonuses to factor in - a 2sec difference between the pair. So the new difference should be 2:38 with one stage to go to Alpe d'Huez.


Nairo Quintana (Movistar) crosses the line 43 seconds down on the winner.


Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) is ecstatic as he crosses the line, punching the air and thrusting his arms aloft in jubilation.


Nibali chews his necklace as he drives to the line. He wanted to do better in this year's Tour, but the defending champion will get his stage win.


Under the flamme rouge goes Nibali en route to his first win of this year's Tour.


Quintana is opening the gap up on Froome, but it's still only 20-odd seconds. Nibali has one minute on his pursuer, so should hold on.


Quintana and Froome are on the slight downhill section ahead of the final rise to the finish, while Nibali has reached the barriers so he knows he's getting close.


Will Nibali hold on? The gap is 1:20 now but Froome is closing in on Quintana - just 13 seconds at the moment, while it's Gesink who drives the pace behind.


Nibali's advantage has dropped to 1:30 after that attack from Quintana. Froome rides at 1:45.


The Spanish duo are back with the others. Quintana has opened up a gap on Froome - but it's only about 10 seconds.


Froome drops Contador and Valverde, who have no answer.


Froome responds and takes Contador and Valverde with him. The Colombian only has about 10 metres. Bardet tries to fight on, but he hasn't got the legs.




It looks like Movistar and Tinkoff-Saxo are preparing something...


Well, what a damp squib this is. Nibali riding to a certain victory and no reaction behind. Poels has just popped, so Froome is isolated again - but hat won' mater - he's won this race.


Rolland is caught by the chasing pack. He looks resigned to having a tough 20 minutes.


The stalemate continues - with this pace set by Majka, neither of the Movistar riders can do anything. Nibali has this stage in the bag and Froome has one foot on the podium in Paris.


More water over his head as Nibali passes under the 10-to-go banner. He has 1:45 over Rolland and 2:20 over the pack. The Italian could get into the top five today given Geraint Thomas' difficulties.


The rain has stopped at the finish, but it's meant to be pretty chilly up there. Frank is fighting to stay on with this select group. Nibali still has 2:15 and looks good for the win.


The likes of Contador, Froome, Valverde, Quintana, Frank, Gesink, Pinot, Mollema, Bardet, Sanchez, Majka and Plaza are all in this group. Talansky has just been dropped.


Rolland is now one minute down on lone leader Nibali and 1:18 ahead of the chasing pack.


Now Rafal Majka comes to the front of the pack for Tinkoff-Saxo team-mate Alberto Contador. Some riders are being tailed off now, with the likes of Kruijswijk and Scarponi having to dig deep.


Nibali still has 2:10 on the chasing group and so he's looking good for the win - although it's too early to tell. We have yet to see any attacks from the favourites behind.


Steven Kruijswijk sets the pace on the front of the yellow jersey group, with Poels right in his wheel. Poels has done an extraordinary job for Froome today - the two have been practically stuck to one another.


Nibali is coping with the heat today by frequently pouring water over his head from his bidon. It's apparently raining at the top of the climb...


Nibali has dropped Rolland with an attack on this final climb.


News coming in that Geraint Thomas is almost eight minutes back - he could plummet out of the top ten...


Mathias Frank (IAM) has been dropped - he's playing for a top ten place. Herrada and Valverde drive the pace ahead of Poels, Froome and Quintana.


Contador has stopped to change his bike - and he'll have to fight back on now as Movistar set a strong pace as they lead the pack onto this final climb. They're 1:50 down on the two leaders, Nibali and Rolland.


We're now onto the fourth and final climb of the day, the Cat.1 ascent to La Toussuire (18km at 6.1%).


Bardet has swapped bikes and is now riding with the yellow jersey group.


Here's a video of Nibali showing Rolland how it's done...


Bardet is riding 25 seconds ahead of the yellow jersey group and 1:35 behind the two leaders. He's stuck in the small ring though.


Rear puncture for Roman Kreuziger of Tinkoff-Saxo. Up ahead, Nibali and Rolland continue to take relays. They are 1:45 ahead if the pack.


Bardet has a problem with his front derailleur and chain - he's banged it with his hand, and is kicking it with his heel - but it looks like he can't shift gears. You can see him barking orders down the radio - big setback for yesterday's winner...


Bardet overcooks exactly the same tight right-hand corner - so that's three from three so far today...


Rolland, however, is staying way too close - and when Nibali overcooks a corner, so does he. They both survive - but Rolland then edges ahead to do his own thing. Comedy gold.


Nibali catches Rolland and then tells him to get on his wheel and join him on the descent. He knows that they have a better chance at survival if they keep together for the final climb.


Romain Bardet (Ag2R-La Mondiale) steps on the pedals in a bit to pick up those KOM points for third place. Thibaut Pinot of FDJ has gone with him. They pass in that order about 10 seconds ahead of the pack.


Rolland holds on to take the points over the top of the Mollard, but he only has 5 seconds over Nibali and so will be joined quickly on the descent.


Sticky bottle for Nibali as he picks up some water from his Astana team car. Back with the pack, it's still Jose Herrada who sets the tempo for Movistar.


Nibali has reduced the gap to just 32 seconds - Rolland is clearly tiring as he passes the 1km-to-go marker on this climb. He still leads the yellow jersey group by 2:05.


Rolland is pulling a range of peculiar faces as he rides solo up the Mollard. He knows this combo of climbs well...


Barguil is in difficulty - he got back in on the descent but has now been tailed off.


Plaza, winner in Gap a few days ago, has been caught by the pack.


There's a heated exchange between Froome and Valverde, resulting with the yellow jersey swinging out. They clearly have some beef - perhaps Valverde veered a little too close on that descent.


Lone leader Pierre Rolland is straight onto the next climb, the Cat.2 Col du Mollard (5.7km at 6.8%). He has one minute over Nibali, 2:10 over Ruben Plaza and 2:30 over the pack.


Warren Barguil is back with the yellow jersey group - that's impressive. Clearly no cows to hold him up today. Despite his travails on this descent, Rolland is still 2:25 ahead of the pack as he reaches the bottom of the drop.


As reported by letour.com, Romain Bardet now virtually leads the KOM competition with 84 points, ahead of Joaquim Rodriguez (78), Chris Froome (75) and Jakob Fuglsang (64).


Here's a GIF of that incident earlier between an old spectator and Froome - utterly shameful...


Nibali is pushing it on this descent and has a little wobble on one corner - but so too does Rolland, who takes one corner very wide. Frantic stuff.


There's a fair bit of jostling for positions on this descent between Quintana, Valverde, Poels and Froome... Valverde zips past both Sky riders with some gusto.


With those points, Bardet is now the virtual leader of the KOM competition. Rodriguez was dropped earlier in the climb and is well down now.


Bardet attacks from the main pack - he's in pursuit of those KOM points for third place ahead of the descent, which we know he can do well. Froome crosses for fourth place. They are 1:58 down on lone leader Rolland.


Over the top goes Rolland to take maximum points over the Croix de Fer. Nibali crosses 1:04 behind.


Remember - Thomas has been dropped and will lose time today and so there are places in the top 10 to play for.


Gesink and Kreuziger drives the chase on Nibali - but the Italian has found a great tempo and he's cutting into Rolland's lead. He's such a good downhiller he may well catch the Frenchman on the descent.


Rolland has 1:20 on Nibali and 1:55 over the yellow jersey group. He has one kilometre to go to the finish.


Nibali continues his solo pusuit of Pierre Rolland. He has about 30 seconds on the main pack, in which Poels and Froome are back safely ensconced


Terrible scene there as Froome is almost punched in the face by an old man gesticulating wildly and flicking the bird at the yellow jersey...


Nibali makes the most of the situation and attacks!


MECHANICAL FOR CHRIS FROOME! Something happens and the yellow jersey has to unclip on the side of the road. Poels waits for him...


Valverde is making little headway, with Poels and Froome combining to pull the pack back within striking distance.


ATTACK: Spanish national champion Alejandro Valverde attacks the main pack with just over 5km to go of this climb. No reaction from the pack. Valverde catches Plaza quickly and the two veteran Spaniards ride in tandem.


Plaza has been dropped by Uran and Kruijswijk in pursuit of Rolland.


There's been a regrouping around the yellow jersey, with about 20 riders in this main group - driven by three Astana riders in Scarpini, Nibali and Kangert. Poels is back with Froome for Sky. Quintana and Valverde are together, while Contador has Kreuziger.


Contador will now have Kreuziger to help out - the Czech rider was in the break. They trail Rolland by 2:15, with Uran, Kruijswijk and Plaza 30 seconds up the road.


An acceleration by Nibali is covered by Froome, Valverde, Quintana and Contador. They are picking off the escapes one by one and join the main group that includes Bardet and Rodriguez.


Loads of the escapees have been caught now - the latest being Rogers and Cummings. Nibali and Scarponi drive the pace, and Wout Poels has been dropped. Froome now has no team-mates.


Rigoberto Uran has attacked from the leading group in pursuit of Rolland.


Astana and Movistar drive the pace on the front of the pack. Contador, Valverde, Quintana and Nibali are all there, while Froome is quite isolated. Warren Barguil has been dropped.


Richie Porte has been dropped by the pack - and Geraint Thomas too. The Welshman is really struggling.


Rolland might be on a good day, but his Europcar team-mate Thomas Voeckler has been dropped by the pack. 'Pierrot' has about 8km left of this climb, but he's done the hardest part and he has 1:50 over the other escapees.


With team-mate Rolland up the road, Romain Sicard has dropped back into second place and lets Mick Rogers of Tinkoff-Saxo to take up the slack.


Believe it or not: Thibaut Pinot, aged 22 and riding his debut Tour, finished second at La Toussuire behind Rolland in 2012 to underline his promise, with the likes of Froome, Wiggins and Nibali all further behind. A year earlier, Pinot was second on the same mountain behind Joaquim Rodriguez in the Dauphine. Can he make it third time lucky – or will he do a Fuglsang?


History: When Pierre Rolland won in La Toussuire in 2012 it was overshadowed by the incident that saw Chris Froome ordered back to help yellow jersey Bradley Wiggins after both Sky riders had become detached on the final ascent. The race's only previous finish at La Toussuire resulted in a solo victory to Denmark's Michael Rassmussen.


ATTACK: Pierre Rolland (Europcar) pings off the front of the break. Can he make it a La Toussuire double?


Still it's Sicard driving the pace for Eurosport, with Kreuziger and Bardet right behind. It's quite a fast pace. The gap is 2:45 for them over the yellow jersey group.


The break is slimming down as Losada drops back to leave Katusha team-mate Rodriguez on his own in is pursuit of the polka dot points.


Laurens ten Dam is driving the pace for LottoNL-Jumbo on the front of the pack, his jersey undone and his face gurning with determination. Jarlinson Pantano of IAM is the latest rider to blow off the back.


Here's that crash by Wellens in the feedzone...


LottoNL-Jumbo and Astana drive the pace ahead of Sky and Movistar. Valverde looks to be laughing after sharing a joke with Geraint Thomas, his rival for the podium.


Numerous riders starting to get tailed off by the yellow jersey group, including Tony Gallopin, who has really struggled in this third week.


Sicard, Kreuziger and Bardet drive the early pace on the front of the break. They have two minutes on the pack.


We're onto the huge Cat. HC Col de la Croix-de-Fer (22.4km at 6.9%). This is basically the Col du Glandon but from the north side, followed by a small detour up the Croix de Fer at the top. We'll return tomorrow for a third alternative ascent of this climb tomorrow to replace the Galibier, which is shut because of a landslide between the Lautaret and Bourg d'Oisans.


Wounded Wellens is back in the leader's group - and he has his lunch, you'll be pleased to know. The gap is down to 1:45 thanks to the pace-setting of LottoNL-Jumbo.


Plat du jour: The creamy yet crumbly Beaufort cheese is produced near to the town of La Chambre, an area the peloton passes through after the opening climb of the Col du Chaussy.

Tour tipple: Produced by monks in the area since the 1737, Chartreuse is a dark green liqueur aged with 130 herbs, plants and flowers which, to be fair, is pretty foul and will give you a stonking hangover.


Belgian youngster Wellens is back on his bike after a fair amount of hobbling around. He has cuts to his elbow and hip after going down hard on his right flank. The worse thing? He didn't even get his lunch in the end...


CRASH: Tim Wellens makes a hash of picking up a musette from his Cofidis soigeur and hits the deck in spectacular fashion.


Usual service has been restored: Chris Froome now has all seven Sky team-mates with him in the main pack.


The 22 leaders are: Tanel Kangert (Astana), Romain Bardet (AG2R-La Mondiale), Roman Kreuziger and Michael Rogers (Tinkoff-Saxo), José Herrada and Adriano Malori (Movistar), Tony Gallopin and Tim Wellens (Lotto-Soudal), Joaquim Rodriguez and Alberto Losada (Katusha), Rigoberto Uran (Etixx), Pierre Rolland, Cyril Gautier and Romain Sicard (Europcar), Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo), Ruben Plaza (Lampre-Merida), Dylan van Baarle (Cannondale-Garmin), Nicolas Edet (Cofidis), Stef Clement and Jarlinson Pantano (IAM), Stephen Cummings and Daniel Teklehaimanot (MTN-Qhubeka).


Teklehaimanot has managed to catch this leading group on an uncategorised mound. They have 2:50 over the yellow jersey group and include the likes of Gautier, Rolland, Bardet and Rodriguez. We'll bring you their names in a second.


Here's a GIF of that Oliviera crash... it's hard to see what actually happened.


Michael Valgren of Tinkoff-Saxo has abandoned the race just two days from Paris. It's his debut Tour but he's been battling illness... a big shame.


CRASH: As the riders pick up musettes at the intermediate sprint the pace slows and it looks like Lampre's Nelson Oliviera is clipped from behind by an official ASO team car - he's send flying to the ground, but the pace was very slow so it's not too serious. But one wonders if the commissaires will now chuck themselves off the Tour...


The break pass through the intermediate sprint and it's uncontested because that man Sagan is back with the main pack, which is trailing the leaders by about 1:20. Daniel Teklehaimanot is riding solo in between, 30 seconds down.


Some interesting stats from the last descent... and no surprise that the fastest man was Bardet.


There's a group of about 20 riders that has formed around Joaquim Rodriguez, Pierre Rolland, Rigoberto Uran, Romain BArdet and Steven Kruijswijk. They have 30 seconds over the yellow jersey group - and Froome has both Wout Poels and Geraint Thomas.


Peter Sagan is back with the yellow jersey group in anticipation of some green jersey points. The intermediate sprint is coming up in about 5km.


And that quartet looks to be sitting up. Gautier is burying himself to join the leaders ahead of a little group just out ahead of the yellow jersey group. Froome is waiting to see if he has any team-mates left...


The road has flattened out quite a bit now as they main part of that descent is complete. A group is forming, but the two leaders - Uran and Bardet - still have 22 seconds to play with. They have been joined by Rodriguez and Rolland, though.


Bardet has been caught by Uran. They have 23 seconds over the yellow jersey pack.


Bardet has 20 seconds now on the main pack, which is being led by Kruijswijk and Rodriguez. Uran is in between. Thomas and Konig are back in the main pack, which is nevertheless stretched out in single file for this long, twisting, technical descent.


It has stopped raining and the sun is back out. The road is dry too, so it must have just been a very localised shower in the other valley.


Bardet now leads the race with Uran following behind. The Frenchman is such a good descender - as yesterday showed - and he's using it again to move ahead of everyone else in this race. The yellow jersey group is just 15 seconds back, though.


Froome has caught Nibali on the descent - they're followed by Valverde, Poels and Quintana. It's very stretched out so we'll have to see how things pan out. Kruijswijk is leading with Uran and Bardet chasing on. The Thomas group is about 20 seconds back.


This is a long 20km descent down to La Chambre, followed by another 30km in the valley where Sky will hope to regroup ahead of the Glandon/Croix de Fer. They will need to because Froome is very, very isolated right now.


Rodriguez takes the points ahead of Kruijswijk and Sicard at the top to extend his lead in the KOM competition. We then has Nibali, Plaza and Teklehaimanot. 10 points to Purito, who is now 10 clear of bardet. This descent will be crucial - and we'll get a better idea of the devastation behind once we're at the bottom.


Geraint Thomas has been dropped by the yellow jersey group so Froome only has Poels now.


Nibali, Scarponi, Kruijswijk and Rodriguez are together on the front.


Behind the Astana duo we have Europcar pair Gautier and Sicard - but it's all coming back with the yellow jersey closing in. Not long till the summit now.


Astana pair Nibali and Michele Scarponi drive the break - which features about 20 riders but leads the main pack by just 17 seconds. Nicolas Roche is the latest Sky rider to be dropped. Froome now only has Wout Poels and Geraint Tomas.


Loads of riders are suffering here - the likes of Simon Yates (Orica-GreenEdge) and Sammy Sanchez (BMC) among a long list of riders off the back.


Richie Porte has already been dropped by the main pack - and that is just what these attacks are designed for, to isolate Froome from his Sky team-mates. Very interesting...


Nibali has joined the leading group which is 20 seconds ahead of the pack. Contador and Valverde have attacked again.


Valverde and Geraint Thomas (Sky) reacted to reel Contador in - sparking an attack from Vincenzo Nibali of Astana.


ATTACK: Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) pings off the front! Reaction from Sky initially, but then they let him go. Warren Barguil (Giant-Alpecin) then has a pop, as does Bauke Mollema (Trek), Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) and Robert Gesink (LottoNL-Jumbo).


Peter Sagan has been caught by the Sky-led peloton. And it has started to rain very heavily...


Alberto Losada (Katusha) has been doing much of the pace-setting in the break for his team-mate Rodriguez, the polka dot jersey. Previous stage winner Ruben Plaza (Lampre) is there, as are Lieuwe Westra (Astana), Tony Gallopin (Lotto-Soudal), Romain Sicard (Europcar) and Martin/Talansky from Cannondale-Garmin. The gap is still just 35 seconds.


More riders trying to edge clear of the peloton, including Rigoberto Uran (Etixx-QuickStep), Steve Cummings (MTN) and Perrig Quemeneur (Europcar).


The break is up to 25 riders now as Kruijswijk ups the tempo and stretches clear. Already we see riders being tailed off by the peloton. Although it's just 138km long, it's going to be a very long day in the autobus for many.


The indefatigable Sagan - who took a day off yesterday - holds a lead of 104 points over Andre Greipel of Lotto-Soudal in the green jersey competition. It's fair to say he will win a fourth consecutive green jersey in Paris - but will he get a stage win before? The Slovakian from Tinkoff-Saxo hasn't won on the Tour for over two years now, despite all those second places...


Sky control matters on the front of the pack for the yellow jersey - and the gap is only 38 seconds for these leaders. There are around 10 of them, with more joining - including the green jersey, Peter Sagan.


The confirmed leaders at the moment are Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo), Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) and Jean-Christophe Peraud (Ag2R-La Mondiale) but there are about six other riders up there with them. Europcar pair Pierre Rolland and Cyril Gautier have just launched themselves clear of the Sky-led peloton, as has Daniel Teklehaimanot of MTN-Qhubeka and Andrew Talansky of Cannondale-Garmin.


The riders are on a short downhill segment before the road heads back up. They will pass by the top of those stunning hairpins that we saw yesterday, the Lacets de Montvernier, before ploughing on up the Col de Chaussy, which is being tackled for the first time ever in the Tour.


Rodriguez sets the pace in a five-man group off the front with Jean-Christophe Peraud on his wheel. Numerous riders are trying to bridge the gap, including Dan martin of Cannondale-Garmin and German national champion Emanuel Buchmann (Bora-Argon 18).


Straight away we're onto the Cat.1 Col du Chaussy (15.4km at 6.3%) and we have numerous riders trying their luck, including Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo) and the polka dot jersey Rodriguez.


They're off! And there's an attack from the outset from wiry Frenchman Brice Feillu of Bretagne-Seche Environnement...


Expect attacks from the outset, with the first of four climbs starting straight away and so many riders seeking a stage win, KOM points, a place in the top ten or an opportunity to prise the yellow jersey off Froome's slender shoulders...


The riders are rolling through the neutral zone ahead of today's official start - and it's another scorcher...


Some mind games this morning from Dave Brailsford, who told Eurosport's Juan Antonio Flecha this morning that all the pressure is on Movistar, who have both Quintana and Valverde in the top three sandwiched between his riders, Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas. "If they want to win this race they're going to have to do something. So I imagine they'll go on the offensive so we will have to control it. But we won't stress. We'll just do what we do every day. I imagine Alejandro would love to be on the podium in Paris - and the one rider who could put that in jeopardy is Nairo, and an attack by him could see G on the podium - so there's a lot at stake there."


Yesterday was a French one-two with Bardet beating Rolland... and the last time the Tour came to La Toussuire it was a French one-two too - with that man Rolland taking the spoils ahead of FDJ's Thibaut Pinot. Can the Europcar rider strike again?


In today's Bonjour Le Tour I take a look at what the papers are saying after Romain Bardet's win and look ahead at today's action. There's also a neat little highlights package put together by Rob Hatch - all in four minutes of pedalling bliss.


We should also see some action in the king of the mountains competition today, which is currently being led by Spaniard Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) and yesterday's French winner Romain Bardet (Ag2R-La Mondiale). The two riders are tied on 68 points but it's Purito who continues to wear the polka dot jersey by virtue of his HC summit finish at Plateau de Beille in the Pyrenees. Denmark's Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) is in second place on 64 points, Chris Froome third on 61 points and Belgian Serge Pauwels (MTN-Qhubeka) fifth on 55 points.


Today's the day that Movistar need to do something if they want to stop Chris Froome of Team Sky winning this Tour. Their Colombian climber Nairo Quintana is currently in second place, 3:10 down on the yellow jersey, while Alejandro Valverde is third another 59 seconds back. Welshman Geraint Thomas (Sky) and Spaniard Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) complete the top five at 6:34 and 6:40.


It's a hot day at Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne as the riders gather for the start of today's state. The sun is out and the temperature is 30 degrees Celsius.


The big secondary story of the day was the dramatic crash by Denmark's Jakob Fuglsang, who was leading the race with Bardet and Rolland when he was clipped by a motorcycle near the top of the Glandon and sent sprawling across the road. We have the full story in our daily Tour blog, which you can read below...


Yesterday we saw a second stage win for Ag2R-La Mondiale and the host nation after Romain Bardet put in a descending masterclass off the back of the Col du Glandon to secure the biggest win of his career. It was a French one-two with Pierre Rolland of Europcar taking second place as the GC riders yet again cancelled each other out in the Alps...


Hello and welcome to live coverage of stage 19 of the Tour de France - a short, sharp, sadistic schlep from Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne to the ski resort of La Toussuire. The 138km stage includes four big climbs and should see fireworks from the outset. We're live from 12:20 UK time - bring it on!