27/07/18 - 11:15
Lourdes - Laruns
Tour de France • Stage19

Lourdes - Laruns

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Here's how Roglic won and Thomas put one step on the yellow step of the podium in Paris. Thanks for joining me today and see you tomorrow for the ITT.

Video - Brilliant Roglic claims Stage 19 as Thomas tightens grip on yellow


And the new general classification, which looks pretty good for Geraint Thomas.


The top 10 in today's stage.


So, a bitter-sweet day for Sky, who see Thomas strengthen his grip on yellow but with that 29-second swing for Roglic, he will jump ahead of Froome onto the virtual podium.


Geraint Thomas wins the sprint for second place to add some more bonus seconds and extend his lead in the general classification. The Welshman pipped Romain Bardet there as the chasers came home 19 seconds down on the winner, Roglic.


Victory for Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo) who time-trialled himself away from his rivals to secure the second Tour stage win of his career.


Under the kite he goes and this will be a quite superb victory for Roglic.


Majka tries to lead the chase but shakes his head - the gap is only growing.


Lone leader Primoz Roglic has completed the descent and is entering Laruns. He goes under the 2km banner with 17 seconds to play with...


It's now Froome who leads the chase - and well he might. As things stand, the Briton will drop to fourth on GC tonight.


Roglic's gap extents and he could well be riding to victory here... and a place on the podium.


Roglic has about 100m advantage on this descent and it's Dumoulin who's doing all the chasing.


10km to go. Who's going to win this one? Thomas is such a fast finisher and could make it three today...


It's Roglic, Dumoulin, Thomas, Bardet and Landa in that order on this descent - with speeds hitting 90km/h at times.


Zakarin is not the only one who has been tailed off - Kruijswijk, too, is having trouble keeping up the the others. They both crashed badly on that fateful stage in the Giro two years ago - off the top of the Agnello, if you remember.


Majka has already been caught and it's Roglic who leads the yellow jersey group, with Zakarin - as expected - off the back, and almost on the floor. He locks up a back wheel and almost goes flying on a sweeping bend.


This descent is twisting, narrow and often quite treacherous - and with the mist and clouds, that's made it all the more challenging.


The two chasing groups pretty much join back together over the summit with the exception of Froome, who is about 10 metres off the pace. But he'll make that up on the descent, which he does very well - provided he can get past Zakarin, the trouble man.


Gritting his teeth, it's Majka who rides solo towards the summit - but his gap is only 10 seconds and he has the chasers breathing down his neck. Over the top he goes and now it's all about who has the biggest balls and best bike-handling skills.


Bardet attacks and Roglic responds. The crowds are quite crazy - and more interested in getting on TV than watching the race. Froome was leading the chase but he doesn't have the legs...


Roglic goes again and manages to pass Landa and Bardet. Dumoulin and Thomas bridge over, before Froome, Bernal, Kruijswijk and Martin join. Zakarin is there too - and he won't be a popular chap to ride behind on the descent.


Less than 2km to the summit now as Majka continues his solo ride towards the top with Bardet and Landa in pursuit. It's going to be a very hectic descent to Laruns, that's for sure. Behind, Roglic has a dig but it comes to nothing.


With the yellow jersey group closing in, Majka rides clear of the leaders. Bardet and Landa lead the chase but Zakarin has called it quits.


When Kruijswijk is reeled in it's by Egan Bernal, who fronts the yellow jersey group after successfully riding back on with Froome and Martin. The four leaders are onto that final climb now with 15 seconds to play with.


Kruijswijk has ridden clear on this false flat ahead of the final rise to the summit.


It may yet come back together: the yellow jersey group is 20 seconds down on the leaders with the Froome trio only 10 seconds back.


Over the top the riders enter a foggy block of mist and cloud, which adds to the eerie ambiance of this final climb.


Landa crests the summit of the Soulor ahead of Bardet, Zakarin and Majka. They'll have a brief descent before the final push to the summit. The Thomas group catch Jungels and Izagirre just ahead of the summit. Behind, Kangert is passed by the Froome group - although he's now being dragged up by Bernal after Martin rides clear on the crest.


Froome - who looks inside out - has been caught by Bernal and Martin, which will provide a welcome tonic.


I lie: Jungels and Gorka Izagirre are ahead - but about to be caught by this yellow jersey quartet.


Roglic bridges over to team-mate Kruisjwijk with Thomas and Dumoulin. There's still 11km of this climb to go! Albeit with a small descent in between. The gap to the front of the race is down to 40 seconds now... with just Landa, Bardet, Zakarin and Majka further up the road.


Martin has been comprehensively dropped now - and it's Froome who then hits the wall after Dumoulin and Thomas combined to put out Roglic's fire. Froome will hope that Martin catches him so that they can combine in pursuit - because there's no way he's going to do it himself.


Now Roglic ups the tempo after Martin momentarily rides clear. Bernal and Pozzovivo have been dropped while it's Froome who leads the chase - for it's his third place on the podium which is in jeopardy.


CORRECTION: Kruijswijk has not been caught and passed by the elite group - the Dutchman is still out there. Ahead of him he has Jungels/Kangert/Izagirre, Zakarin, Landa/Bardet/Majka.


Dan Martin and Domenico Pozzovivo have managed to ride back onto this yellow jersey group.


Another attack from Dumoulin! He takes Thomas and Roglic with him, but Froome and Bernal have work to do. They manage to do it - and in fact, both Bernal and Froome then ride through and come to the front. Sky with 60% of this five-man chase group...


ATTACK BY DUMOULIN! The Dutchman puts in a big dig and that has whittled down the group - Quintana can't follow, while Ion Izagirre and Latour are momentarily distanced. Kruijswijk, meanwhile, has been caught.


Zakarin now rides clear from the four chasers. Pierre Latour, meanwhile, is impressively holding on to the back of the yellow jersey group.


LANDA ATTACKS! Bardet follows his wheel. Majka chases from afar, before Jungels leads the chase ahead of Zakarin, Izagirre and Kangert.


HERE WE GO: Steven Kruijswijk dances clear of the yellow jersey group to pave the way for Primoz Roglic, his LottoNL-Jumbo team-mate.


Barguil has been caught by the yellow jersey group. He won't be getting his stage win this year.


Zakarin is back with the leaders and it's now Jungels who is feeling the pinch a little.


We're onto the final climb of the Tour, the Cat.HC Col d'Aubisque (16.6km at 4.9%). If the average gradient sounds low it's because there's a small descent which breaks it up after the first half, which is essentially the Col de Soulor (7.3km at 8%).


Zakarin has been dropped by the leaders on the descent. The Russian has never been the best of descenders - and that crash in the 2016 Giro on the Agnel didn't do much to improve his confidence.


Barguil has also been dropped from this lead group along with Nieve. They have passed over the summit of the Col des Borderes and will now have a few kilometres of descent before the final climb of the Aubisque, via the Soulor. Back with the favourites, Bernal has picked up a fuelling musette for his Sky riders with bidons and gels. It was Kangert who led the leaders over the summit ahead of Zakarin, Izagirre and Majka.


Simon Geschke is the latest to be dropped by the elite yellow jersey group so that means Dumoulin will now be isolated all the way to the finish.


Kruijswijk edged forward ominously just then but he's biding his time as Kwiatkowski continues his tempo-setting for Sky. Thomas is there but doesn't look that comfortable. But the pace is so high, it would be a surprise to see any attacks on this climb now.


With his Luxembourg champion's jersey undone and flapping in the wind, it's Bob Jungels driving the pace in the break, from which Mikel Nieve has now been dropped.


Gesink's work is done and the Dutchman virtually comes to a standstill as he hits the wall off the back of the pack. The break is now only 1'35" ahead.


The yellow jersey group only contains 18 riders now as they move within two minutes of the leaders with just over 3km left until the summit. One of the most recent riders to be dropped is Tejay Van Garderen of BMC, who is now pedalling squares.


Castroviejo has gone and so Thomas is down to three helpers in Kwiatkowski, Bernal and Froome. Gesink is still doing a shift as a stand-in orca on the front for Sky. The gap is down to 2:05. That said, the Dutchman is paving the way for his LottoNL-Jumbo team-mates Roglic and Kruijswijk, who still have Antwan Tolhoek with them too.


The gap is down to 2:30 so that puts Landa in third place between Dumoulin and Froome on the virtual GC. Nine men still left together in the break on this Cat.2 leg-stretcher ahead of the Soulor and Aubisque.


Job done for Alaphilippe, who drops back from the break having picked up the necessary KOM points needed to ensure the polka dot jersey and to set up team-mate Jungels for a stab at the win today. What a Tour he's had - the Barguil of this year's race.


Warren Barguil - who needs a win today to save his Tour - has been momentarily dropped from the break, which is being paced by Julian Alaphilippe, perhaps paving the way for his team-mate Bob Jungels.


The other nine escapees manage to reel in Bardet, while Amador has already been swept up by the Gesink/Sky-led pack.


ATTACK: Romain Bardet is the first to attack from the break, the Frenchman riding clear ahead of a slight downhill segment in the climb.


Andrey Amador is dropped from the break while further back Laurens ten Dam is dropped by the main pack, so Dumoulin is down a lieutenant.


Robert Gesink has come to the front of the pack to help pave the way for his LottoNL-Jumbo team-mates Steven Kruijswijk and Primoz Roglic. Wout Poels has already been dropped and Adam Yates, who was in that early break, is next to follow.


This is what the riders have in store, starting with the Cat.2 Col des Borderes (8.6km at 5.8%). This little-known climb has only been used twice in the Tour before - in 1987 (in a stage won by Dag Otto Lauritzen at Luz Ardiden) and 1989 (in a stage won by Miguel Indurain).


The 11 escapees ride through Argeles-Gazost ahead of the final two ascents of the 105th edition of the Tour de France. The gap over the pack is up to 3:30. A reminder of who they are: Mikel Nieve (Mitchelton-Scott), Julian Alaphilippe and Bob Jungels (Quick Step), Tanel Kangert (Astana), Warren Barguil (Fortuneo-Samsic), Gorka Izagirre (Bahrain-Merida), Mikel Landa and Andrey Amador (Movistar), Romain Bardet (AG2R-La Mondiale), Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha-Alpecin) and Rafal Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe).


So, two Movistar riders here in Landa and Amador, and two Quick-Step riders in Jungels and Alaphilippe. Both teams have wins in this year's Tour - Movistar through Quintana on the Col du Portet, and Quick-Step through Alaphilippe and Gaviria, both with a brace. Of the other teams represented in this move, Bora-Hansgrohe have four wins through Sagan, Astana two through Fraile and Cort, but there are no wins so far for Ag2R-La Mondiale, Katusha-Alpecin, Fortuneo-Samsic, Bahrain Merida or Mitchelton-Scott.


The connection is made and we now have 11 riders out ahead with the gap at 3:15 in favour of the escapees. Mikel Landa is currently 4:34 down on Thomas on GC and so he's onto the virtual podium at the moment ahead of Dumoulin, but there's a long way left to ride.


Adam Yates has been caught by the main pack so Mitchelton-Scott only have the Mikel Nieve card to play now. The Spaniard is in the leading group of six riders, which is about to be caught by the chasing group of five.


The six leaders have 25 seconds over the five chasers and 1:45 over Adam Yates, who descended the Tourmalet like Thibaut Pinot's grandmother. The peloton are 2:50 and this is where Jonathan Castroviejo comes into his own for Sky as they hit the false flat of the valley ahead of the next climbs.


It's been a quiet day so far for Tom Dumoulin, who still has Sunweb team-mates Simon Geschke and Laurens ten Dam with him. If he wants to win this Tour the Dutchman will have to do something today and not simply rely on tomorrow's ITT.


The gruppetto is the best part of 20 minutes down now and it includes the likes of Sagan, Kristoff, Demare and Degenkolb. If they all fail to make the cut then we'll have a battle for the green jersey between Greg van Avermaet and Julian Alaphilippe... which would be surreal. I wonder if the same rider has ever won both green and polka dots in the same Tour?


Adam Yates, who crashed going downhill to Bagneres-de-Luchon while riding to what looked like a stage victory the other day, has been dropped by the chase group, who have Amador pulling for Landa on the front.


Hope you enjoyed that Tourmalet-themed Twinterlude. Back to the racing, and no dramas so far on the descent.


The six chasers went through about 30 seconds down with the Sky-fronted peloton about 2:55 back. Now it's time for that long, twisting descent.


Julian Alaphilippe's legend grows: the polka dot jersey leads the break over the summit of the Tourmalet to take the Souvenir Jacques Goddet and bag another 20pts ahead of Nieve, Jungels, Barguil, Kangert and Izagirre. No sign of the mountain llamas for which the Tourmalet are renowned.


They've passed through the ski resort of La Mongie now and this six-man chase group of Landa, Amador, Bardet, Zakarin, Majka and Yates are 35 seconds down on the six leaders of Jungels, Barguil, Kangert, Nieve, Izagirre and Alaphilippe.


Zakarin has attacked to drop Bardet and ride back to the Landa-Majka-Amador group. Bardet manages to join them a bit late - and they pick up Adam Yates 1.2km from the summit.


Julian Alaphilippe is now on the front - his transformation from punchy classics specialist to mountain goat is quite astonishing, and he clearly wants to bag the Souvenir Jacques Goddet over the summit of the Tourmalet to further endear him to the French fans.


Wout Poels, who was dropped by the pack, is now back on the front. He loves a good yo-yoing day in the mountains, does the Dutch whippet. Sky with a ridiculous six riders on the front as the 'whale pod' comes into action. They trail the leaders by three minutes. Landa and Majka are 55 down and Bardet-Zakarin are 1:05 down.


Yates has joined forces with Jungels and Amador - and the trio have almost managed to rejoin the leaders. Alaphilippe looks to be the one most under the cosh - the Frenchman running the gamut of pained facial expressions worthy of his compatriot Thomas Voeckler.


Landa pushes on and takes Majka with him. Fuglsang has already been dropped, while Bardet and Zakarin continue riding together. They all made their moves early but the gaps are very small. With the leaders, Yates has dropped back - forcing team-mate Nieve to slow up a bit to check on his status.


A reminder of what the riders are tackling right now as they get within 4.5km of the summit of the Tourmalet, which they're climbing from the East.


Majka and then Fuglsang makes it over to the Bardet-Landa-Zakarin group so we have a very stong quintet on our hands now. They trail the leaders by two minutes and have just 50 seconds over the yellow jersey group.


Amador is dropping off the six leaders - perhaps sitting up a bit for Mikel Landa, who is chasing behind. Jungels has already been dropped. The six leaders are: Nieve, Yates, Izagirre, Kangert, Alaphilippe and Barguil.


Wout Poels appears to have been dropped from this elite GC group, who have Bernal, Kwiatkowski, Castroviejo, Thomas and Froome on the front.


We still have 100km and multiple summits to crest, but it's shaping up very nicely. The nine leaders are being driven by Yates currently and have 1:55 on the Bardet-Landa-Zakarin group, 2:20 on the Fuglsang-Majka move and 2:50 on the yellow jersey group. Meanwhile, the Sagan gruppetto is 10 minutes in arrears.


Jakob Fuglsang is the latest GC rider to have a pop as Team Sky come to the front to start controlling the situation. The Astana rider teases Rafal Majka out with him, and they're trying to bridge over to that Bardet group ahead.


ATTACK: Now Romain Bardet makes his move! He was being paced by Mathias Frank - not Dillier - on the front as he danced clear. The Frenchman manages to catch up with Zakarin and Landa out ahead - and his team-mate Dillier is there, too. Great to see so many attacks coming so early.


Slagter and Mollema have now been dropped from the break. The latter has been very active in breaks in recent days and so it's no surprise to see him feeling the pinch.


ATTACKS: Katusha make their anticipated move as Ian Boswell rides clear with Ilnur Zakarin, taking MIKEL LANDA of Movistar with them. A bit further back it's Ag2R with two men on the front and ahead of the Sky train - Dillier, who was in the break, and Bardet.


The cream is rising to the top in this break, which has shod some deadwood and now contains: Jungels, Barguil, Mollema, Kangert, Nieve, Izagirre, Yates, Alaphilippe, Amador and Slagter.


The peloton pick up musettes as they pass though the feed zone on the nursery slopes of the Tourmalet before the climb starts proper.


It's still Katusha and the familiar grin/grimace of Nils Politt on the front of the pack, which trails the leaders by four minutes. Lilian Calmejane is off the back and fighting to rejoin the main pack. The Sagan gruppetto is 8:30 down on the leaders.


Right, it's show time: the Tour's 82nd ascent of the Col du Tourmalet. The 2,115m Cat.HC climb is 17.1km at 7.3% and will offer the Souvenir Jacques Goddet prize going over the top.


The break have completed the descent and are approaching the Tourmalet. A reminder of the 12 riders out ahead: Adam Yates and Mikel Nieve (Mitchelton-Scott), Julian Alaphilippe and Bob Jungels (Quick Step), Tanel Kangert (Astana), Warren Barguil and Romain Hardy (Fortuneo-Samsic), Gorka Izagirre (Bahrain-Merida), Andrey Amador and Daniele Bennati (Movistar), Tom-Jelte Slagter (Dimension Data) and Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo). They have 4'15" to play with.


Barguil took second place over the summit for good measure - you never know what may happen between here and Paris, after all. Just look at Peter Sagan: the world champion currently has 467 points in the green jersey competition with his nearest opponent Alexander Kristoff on 196 points. But if the Slovakian can't finish today's stage it will be the Norwegian who 'wins' the green jersey in Paris on Sunday.


Slight changing of the guard on the front of the pack as the LottoNL-Jumbo and Sunweb team-mates of Primoz Roglic and Tom Dumoulin join Katusha-Alpecin on the front ahead of the summit and descent.


Attack from Julian Alaphilippe who darts clear of the breakaway to take the 15 KOM points over the top of the Col d'Aspin - and that all but sews up the polka dot jersey for the young Frenchman in his second Tour. No one contested him for those points - not even Barguil - so it's clear that last year's KOM winner is thinking more about the stage win rather than the polka dots today. Mathematically, the jersey belongs to Alaphilippe now - he just needs to make it to Paris intact.


Jungels and Kangert continue the pace-setting in the break, whose lead has increased to 3:55 as they near the summit of this first climb.


Despite the speculation that Chris Froome won't settle for third place on this Tour, the four-time champion told the media that his Sky team-mate Geraint Thomas was the priority today: "Obviously Geraint is in a great position to win the Tour so we're going to be behind him to help him do that. The first priority is G in yellow at the end of the day. My position, that's secondary to try to win this race overall. Anything after that is a bonus. The legs are tired, it's stage 19 of the Tour de France but everybody's in the same position hopefully."


Chavanel, then Diller, and then Burghardt have been dropped form the leading break. Frenchmen Hardy and Vichot, too, as this first big climb of the day takes its toll.


Sagan is in a world of pain and the heat isn't helping him. The world champion has poured bidons of water over his head but he's very much up against it today and is probably experiencing his worst day on a bike. He's only a couple of minutes behind the main pack for now but there's still a very long way to go, and given his crash came on a descent, he probably won't make up much time on the downhills this afternoon.


The first attack from the yellow jersey group comes from Marc Soler of Spain. An interesting move from Movistar there - they have Bennati and Amador up ahead in the break, and now Soler riding over, so they're clearly paving the way for their trident of Valverde, Landa and Quintana.


Damien Gaudin is the first rider to be dropped from the leading group. Bob Jungels is currently setting the tempo.


Sagan has been dropped now. He has team-mates Daniel Oss and Maciej Bodnar with him - and he'll face a Demarean challenge to finish within the time limit today.


Back with the break and it's Mollema and Burghardt who are driving the pace. Mitchelton-Scott have a great hand here with both Nieve and Yates in the break - both riders have come close to victories in this year's Tour: Nieve, who was reeled in on the home straight by Geraint Thomas at La Rosiere, and Yates, who crashed on the descent to Bagneres-de-Luchon to gift Julian Alaphilippe his second win.


Meanwhile, Peter Sagan is already rooted to the back of the peloton. He was back with the medical car and his Bora-Hansgrohe team car earlier and is clearly stuggling. He'll be determined to hold on to Paris to take that sixth green jersey - but it's no given. His crash on Wednesday was pretty horrific - coming at full pelt going down a zippy descent - and it will all be about damage limitation. He tried to compete in the sprint yesterday but only mustered eighth place - low for his lofty standards. We spoke to him after that sprint yesterday...


We can expect this leading break to slim down somewhat on this climb because there are certainly some less accomplished climbers among their numbers - plus the small matter of that polka dot jersey subplot between Alaphilippe and Barguil.


Our leaders are onto the Cat.1 Col d'Aspin (12km at 6.5%). The 18 leaders are: Jungels, Barguil, Mollema, Kangert, Nieve, G Izagirre, Yates, Alaphilippe, Chavanel, Vichot, Amador, Slagter, Dillier, Burghardt, Bennati, Hardy, Postlberger and Gaudin. They have 3'10".


What will Chris Froome do today? It's worth remembering that the Briton didn't ride into the pink jersey until stage 19 of the Giro d'Italia after his remarkable 80km solo break. Could he replicate that today by attacking from further out on the Tourmalet? He says he's riding for team-mate Thomas now, but will he really allow a chance to win a record-equalling fifth Tour slip away? But then if he attacks his team-mate, he risks losing it all for Sky. He also has the small matter of his podium place and Primoz Roglic to think about - the Slovenian is only 16 seconds behind, and with his superior time trialling, he could bump Froome out of third if the Sky rider doesn't take back some time today.


The two groups have come together so we have 18 riders in this stong break as they approach the intermediate sprint at Sarrancolin. It won't be contested - these guys have bigger fish to fry - and it's Gaudin of Direct Energie who leads his colleagues through. But the gap continues to come down - it's 3'20" now thanks to Katusha. It remains to be seen if Zakarin will do something with this and go for a long attack on the Tourmalet... probably unlikely.


The two groups will soon join but their gap is down to 3'50" thanks to the spirited chase being conducted by Katusha-Alpecin, busy defending their man Zakarin's 12th place on GC. They've had a pretty torrid Tour, to be fair, what with the Russian not delivering in the battle for yellow and Marcel Kittel misfiring in the sprints before being ejected in the Alps.


It's arguably the biggest day in Geraint Thomas's long and about-to-get-that-bit-more-illustrious-(possibly) career today. Hold on over the Aspin, Tourmalet and Aubisque, and the Tour will practically be his. The Welshman currently leads Tom Dumoulin by 1'59" and team-mate Chris Froome by 2'31". We spoke to him this morning...


It's Katusha-Alpecin and the mouthy figure of Nils Politt who have come to the front of the pack now to help Sky with the pace-setting. Ilnur Zakarin's team missed all the moves and don't have a rider in the mix - and they'll also be hoping the Russian can rise into the top 10 today. He's currently 12th place on GC.


Puncture for the Luxembourg champion Bob Jungels who stops for a bike change and a new bidon before getting on his way. He'll be riding between the two leading groups now - and may precipitate the coming together of these forces.


Damien Gaudin leads the leading group of six riders over the summit with a gap of 1:05 over the 12 chasers and almost five minutes over the pack.


Peter Sagan has come alongside the Sky train on the front of the peloton and is chewing the fat with Luke Rowe. He's covered in bandages following his crash in stage 17 and it's not clear what he's point he's raising. He was distanced on the first climb and so may simply be asking the team-mates of the yellow jersey to go easy on him.


We're onto the Cat.2 Cote de Capvern-les-Bains (3.4km at 5.1%) and the two chasing six-man groups have come together to make a 12-man chase group, 1:05 down on the leading sextet. The peloton has called a ceasefire with the gap now almost four minutes.


There's a third six-man group now on the road involving Bauke Mollema, Mikel Nieve, Tom Jelte Slagter, Marcus Burghardt, Daniele Bennati and Romain Hardy. So we have a 6-6-6 situation ahead of the second of these early Cat.4 climbs.


Here's a nice photo from the start of the white jersey (Pierre Latour), the yellow jersey (Geraint Thomas) and the polka dot jersey (Julian Alaphilippe). I can only imagine that the green jersey (Peter Sagan) was pulling a wheelie somewhere off-camera.


Alaphilippe and Chavanel make it over so we now have six chasing six.

  • Jungels, Kangert, Yates, Dillier, Postlberger, Gaudin
  • Barguil, G Izagirre, Alaphilippe, Chavanel, Vichot, Amador + 40
  • Peloton at 1:00

Just to remind you, Alaphilippe leads the polka dot standings with 140 points to Barguil's 73 points. It's a huge buffer going into the final mountain stage, but there are 82 points (81 now) up for grabs today, and so not a mathematical impossibility for the defending polka dot champion to leapfrog his compatriot today.


The two trios have come together to make a leading sextet - but behind there's an explosion of movement with the peloton split into two large groups and another cluster of four riders (including Warren Barguil) trying to bridge over, sparking a response by the polka dot jersey of Julian Alaphilippe, who has countered with Sylvain Chavanel.


Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott), Bob Jungels (QuickStep Floors) and Tanel Kangert (Astana) have zipped clear in a bid to bridge over to the leaders. They would be solid reinforcements for that initial move - but things are still very active behind.


The gap is up to 50 seconds for the three leaders but behind the peloton is strung out as numerous riders try to force a counter attack.


Peter Sagan, the green jersey, is already in trouble. The Slovakian was slipping off the back of the pack over the summit of that climb following his crash a couple of days ago. He will need to finish within the time limit to be assured of a record-equalling sixth green jersey in Paris.


It's Dillier who takes the solitary KOM point over the summit of the Cat.4 Cote de Loucroup (1.8km at 7.2%) with much movement behind from the peloton.


Three riders - Damien Gaudin (Direct Energie), Lukas Pöstlberger (Bora) and Silvan Dillier (AG2R) - break away on the start of the first (and smallest) of six climbs.


They're off! The remaining 146 riders get this decisive stage under way and there's a flurry of activity from the outset.


The final day in the Pyrenees includes the legendary trident of the Col d’Aspin, Col du Tourmalet and Col d’Aubisque after a start in Lourdes (where many riders will be hoping for a miracle and/or divine intervention). A fast downhill final 20km to the finish will keep hearts-in-mouth all the way to Laruns.

Tour de France 2018 Stage 19 profile

Hello and welcome to live coverage of the big one - the final day in the mountains and Geraint Thomas' day with destiny - the 200.5km Pyrenean stage 19 from Lourdes to Lauruns.