Tour de France: Stage 19 – Win for Rui Costa


For the second time in four days, Rui Costa has won a stage of the Tour de France by attacking the final climb and winning alone

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The launch pad he used this time was the col de la Croix Fry and he was never challenged even though the riders in second and third were both from the RadioShack-Leopard team.


Andreas Kloden finished second after a tussle with the yellow jersey in the 2004 edition and he was runner-up again in Le Grand Bornand. On a day when the presence of five big mountains could upset the overall rankings significantly, there was no change to the top five but Michael Rogers and Laurens Ten Dam dropped out of the top 10, replaced by Daniel Navarro and Alejandro Valverde.

This was a day when Sky needed to mark their rivals, and a big group raced ahead early to open up a gap of over 12 minutes on the group that contained the yellow jersey. It became a race in two parts, one for the stage win – once again won by Costa – and the other for GC positioning.

In Gap, after the second rest day, there was still a mood of optimism in the Saxo-Tinkoff team as they challenged Froome for the yellow jersey and although there was a hint of the same enthusiasm from Contador and his cohorts, there wasn’t the same sort of aggressive descending that we saw at the end of stage 16.

Froome followed the other GC riders to the finish, 25th, and now has one more day to cope with before the parade to Paris.

The stage
The 204.5km 19th stage from Bourg d’Oisans to Le Grand Bornand began at 1.03pm with 175 riders at the sign on. On the menu were five climbs: the ‘hors category’ col du Glandon (at 33.5km), ‘hors category’ col de la Madeleine (83.5km), the cat-2 col de Tamie (143km), the cat-1 col de l’Epine (165km) and the cat-1 col de la Croix Fry (191.5km).

The intermediate sprint was in Albertville at the 129.5km mark. The sun was shining at the start but there were clouds moving in although the conditions were dry for much of the stage.

A series of attacks and counter-attacks
As soon as the white flag was waved to signal the start the attacks began. Izaguirre (EUS) and Bak (LTB) were the first to gain any advantage on the peloton and then, at the base of the Glandon a group of 40 caught the leading pair.

De Marchi (CAN), Bak (LTB), De Clercq (LTB), Burghardt (BMC), Moinard (BMC), Morabito (BMC), Bakelants (RTL), Didier (RTL), Kloden (RTL), Cousin (EUC), Gavazzi (AST), Geniez (FDJ), Bardet (ALM), Kadri (ALM), Hernandez (TST), Paulinho (TST), Nieve (EUS), Sicard (EUS), Costa (MOV), Plaza (MOV), Rojas (MOV), Coppel (COF), Navarro (COF), Favilli (LAM), Serpa (LAM), Martin (OPQ), Gesink (BEL), Nordhaug (BEL), Meyer (OGE) and Hoogerland were the men in the second group.

At 15km Hesjedal caught Izaguirre and Bak went back into the counter-attacking move.

It started raining with 5km to go on the first climb but it was only a brief shower and it was dry at the top when Hesjedal led Izaguirre. This pair was 3’10” ahead of Riblon who led the counter-attack of 39 men to the top of the Glandon 3’10” behind the leaders. The peloton was 7’50” behind at the top. Bauer (GRS) crashed early on the downhill of the Glandon and had to abandon the Tour.

On the descent five groups formed: the two stage leaders (Izaguirre and Hesjedal), then Rolland, Cunego, Flecha, Riblon and Moser (who were 1’20” behind at the base of the col de la Madeleine); the 38-man counter-attack (at 1’55”), a trio of Omega Pharma riders – Cavendish, Pineau and Kwiatkowski (at 7’20”) then the peloton with the yellow jersey’s team at the front (at 8’40”).

Col de la Madeleine
Hesjedal dropped Izaguirre early on the second climb and Rolland was on the attack from the large counter-attack, catching and dropping Izaguirre with 11km to climb when the Canadian had a lead of 50”.

With 4.5km to climb, Rolland caught Hesjedal and they led a group of 18 by 2’40”. At the top, Rolland raced ahead for the 25 points and the chase group was led to the top by Nieve 4’00” behind the Frenchman. The peloton was 12’00” behind at the top of the Madeleine. Vichot (FDJ) crashed on the descent but remounted his bike and rejoined the peloton. Sieberg (LTB) abandoned after a crash.

28 in chase group: Rolland leaves Hesjedal behind
De Marchi, De Clercq, Burghardt, Moinard, Bakelants, Didier, Kloden, Geniez (FDJ), Bardet, Hernandez, Izaguirre, Nieve, Perez, Sicard, Costa, Plaza, Rojas, Coppel, Navarro, Cunego, Serpa, Gesink, Nordhaug, Dumoulin, Geschke, Flecha, Hoogerland, and Feillu were the riders who worked together between the Madeleine and Tarnie climbs.

They were 2’00” behind at the start of the third climb. With 69km to go, Rolland dropped Hesjedal. The Canadian was caught and passed by the chase group with 65km to go. At the base of the fourth climb, Rolland led a group of 21 by 1’15”. The peloton was led by five Saxo-Tinkoff riders 10’00” behind Rolland.

Another 10 points were collected by Rolland at the top. He was 2’00” ahead of the first counter-attack and 9’05” ahead of the peloton. Costa caught Rolland with 19.5km to go, but then rain was pouring down on the race and the Portuguese rider raced straight past the Frenchman. Nieve, Bakelants, Kloden, Navarro and De Clercq caught Rolland 18km from the finish. The final climb was particularly wet and Costa collected the 10pts for first, Kloden was second at 55”, Bakelants third at 1’30”…

Costa adds another victory to his collection
Rui Costa became the fourth person in the 100th Tour to collect more than one stage win. He paced himself perfectly down to Le Grand Bornand and was one of two riders to finish the stage in less than six hours. His average speed for the 204.5km stage was 34.2km/h. Andreas Kloden would be the runner-up in this town for the second time in his Tour career.

Although there seemed to be a plan for an attack by Saxo-Tinkoff, which had been the dominant team in the peloton since the col de la Madeleine, nothing was done to unseat Froome from his position as race leader. Valverde and Quintana were part of an attack on the col de la Croix Fry but they couldn’t steal anything back from the yellow jersey who would follow them, Contador et al all the way to the finish of the stage.

Froome keeps his lead in the climbing classification and, with his 25th in stage 19, is still 5’11” ahead of Contador. He will wear the yellow jersey for the 20th stage.

Stage 19
1 COSTA Rui Movistar Team 05:59:01
2 KL̦DEN Andr̩as RadioShack РLeopard 00:48
3 BAKELANTS Jan RadioShack – Leopard 01:44
4 GENIEZ Alexandre Equipe Cycliste 01:52
5 NAVARRO GARCIA Daniel Cofidis Solutions Crédits 01:55
6 DE CLERCQ Bart Lotto Belisol Team 01:58
7 GESINK Robert Belkin Pro Cycling Team 02:03
8 DE MARCHI Alessandro Cannondale Pro Cycling Team 02:05
9 NIEVE ITURALDE Mikel Euskaltel – Euskadi 02:16
10 PLAZA MOLINA Ruben Movistar Team 02:44
11 HERNáNDEZ BLAZQUEZ Jesús Team Saxo-Tinkoff 02:46
12 BARDET Romain AG2R La Mondiale 02:48
13 DUMOULIN Tom Team Argos – Shimano 03:56
14 GESCHKE Simon Team Argos – Shimano 04:52
15 MOINARD Amaël BMC Racing Team 06:41
16 ROLLAND Pierre Team Europcar ,,
17 SERPA PEREZ Jose Rodolfo Lampre – Merida 08:15
18 VALVERDE BELMONTE Alejandro Movistar Team 08:40
19 GADRET John AG2R La Mondiale ,,
20 FUGLSANG Jakob Astana Pro Team ,,
21 RODRIGUEZ OLIVER Joaquim Katusha Team ,,
22 QUINTANA ROJAS Nairo Alexander Movistar Team ,,
23 CONTADOR VELASCO Alberto Team Saxo-Tinkoff ,,
24 KREUZIGER Roman Team Saxo-Tinkoff ,,
25 FROOME Christopher Sky Procycling ,,
26 TALANSKY Andrew Garmin – Sharp ,,
27 MOLLEMA Bauke Belkin Pro Cycling Team ,,
28 MONFORT Maxime RadioShack – Leopard 08:44
29 IZAGIRRE INSAUSTI Ion Euskaltel – Euskadi ,,
30 ANTON HERNANDEZ Igor Euskaltel – Euskadi ,,
31 JEANNESSON Arnold Equipe Cycliste 08:48
32 PORTE Richie Sky Procycling 08:51
33 MORENO FERNáNDEZ Daniel Katusha Team 08:57
34 COPPEL Jérome Cofidis Solutions Crédits 09:15
35 POELS Wout Vacansoleil – DCM 10:10
36 SIMON Julien Sojasun ,,
37 KWIATKOWSKI Michal Omega Pharma – Quick-Step ,,
38 DUPONT Hubert AG2R La Mondiale ,,
39 CLARKE Simon Orica GreenEDGE ,,
40 GARCíA ETXEGIBEL Egoitz Cofidis Solutions Crédits ,,
41 TEN DAM Laurens Belkin Pro Cycling Team ,,
42 ROJAS GIL Jose Joaquin Movistar Team 10:13
43 VELITS Peter Omega Pharma – Quick-Step 10:31
44 TROFIMOV Yuri Katusha Team 10:34
45 LEVARLET Guillaume Cofidis Solutions Crédits 10:40
46 MALACARNE Davide Team Europcar 12:49
47 GAUTIER Cyril Team Europcar 13:16
48 ROGERS Michael Team Saxo-Tinkoff 13:18
49 FEILLU Brice Sojasun 13:37
50 FEDRIGO Pierrick Equipe Cycliste 14:07
51 GALLOPIN Tony RadioShack – Leopard ,,
52 ZUBELDIA AGIRRE Haimar RadioShack – Leopard 15:29
53 SCHLECK Andy RadioShack – Leopard ,,
54 LAGUTIN Sergey Vacansoleil – DCM ,,
55 AMADOR BAKKAZAKOVA Andrey Movistar Team 19:05
56 CASTROVIEJO Jonathan Movistar Team ,,
57 DANIELSON Thomas Garmin – Sharp ,,
58 SICARD Romain Euskaltel – Euskadi 19:27
59 VOECKLER Thomas Team Europcar ,,
60 CHAVANEL Sylvain Omega Pharma – Quick-Step 20:38
61 FLECHA Juan Antonio Vacansoleil – DCM 23:50
62 LOPEZ GARCIA David Sky Procycling ,,
63 BURGHARDT Marcus BMC Racing Team ,,
64 CUNEGO Damiano Lampre – Merida ,,
65 DELAPLACE Anthony Sojasun ,,
66 ERVITI OLLO Imanol Movistar Team ,,
67 NORDHAUG Lars Petter Belkin Pro Cycling Team ,,
68 DIDIER Laurent RadioShack – Leopard ,,
69 VOIGT Jens RadioShack – Leopard ,,
70 ROCHE Nicolas Team Saxo-Tinkoff ,,

1 FROOME Christopher Sky Procycling 77:10:00
2 CONTADOR VELASCO Alberto Team Saxo-Tinkoff 05:11
3 QUINTANA ROJAS Nairo Alexander Movistar Team 05:32
4 KREUZIGER Roman Team Saxo-Tinkoff 05:44
5 RODRIGUEZ OLIVER Joaquim Katusha Team 05:58
6 MOLLEMA Bauke Belkin Pro Cycling Team 08:58
7 FUGLSANG Jakob Astana Pro Team 09:33
8 NAVARRO GARCIA Daniel Cofidis Solutions Crédits 12:33
9 VALVERDE BELMONTE Alejandro Movistar Team 14:56
10 KWIATKOWSKI Michal Omega Pharma – Quick-Step 16:08
11 TEN DAM Laurens Belkin Pro Cycling Team 16:09
12 TALANSKY Andrew Garmin – Sharp 16:24
13 NIEVE ITURALDE Mikel Euskaltel – Euskadi 17:49
14 ROGERS Michael Team Saxo-Tinkoff 19:04
15 MONFORT Maxime RadioShack – Leopard 20:00
16 BARDET Romain AG2R La Mondiale 24:53
17 MORENO FERNáNDEZ Daniel Katusha Team 30:22
18 BAKELANTS Jan RadioShack – Leopard 33:12
19 GESINK Robert Belkin Pro Cycling Team 37:11
20 PORTE Richie Sky Procycling 37:53:00


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