Tour de France 2015 Stage 19: Nibali wins majestic mountain stage

Vincenzo NibaliIn 138 kilometres stage 19 brings four tough cols, one horse catégorie, while the closing climb to La Tousuirre is 19 kilometres. Vincenzo Nibali is super strong and after an attack at the Col de la Croix de Fer he powers to the win. Quintana sets the race on fire in the last kilometers and puts half a minute into leader Chris Froome. (Slideshow route/profile)

Results 19th stage Tour de France

1. Vincenzo Nibali (ita)
2. Nairo Quintana (col) + 0.44
3. Chris Froome (gbr) + 1.14
4. Thibaut Pinot (fra) + 2.26
5. Romain Bardet (fra) s.t.
6. Alejandro Valverde (spa) s.t.
7. Bauke Mollema (nld) s.t.
8. Robert Gesink (nld) s.t.
9. Alberto Contador (spa) s.t.
10. Samuel Sanchez (spa) s.t.

GC after stage 19
1. Chris Froome (gbr)
2. Nairo Quintana (col) + 2.38
3. Alejandro Valverde (spa) + 5.25
4. Vincenzo Nibali (ita) + 6.44
5. Alberto Contador (spa) + 7.56
6. Robert Gesink (nld) + 8.55
7. Mathias Frank (swi) + 12.39
8. Bauke Mollema (nld) +13.22
9. Romain Bardet (fra) + 14.08
10. Pierre Rolland (fra) + 17.27

Race report
The race explodes immediately with attacks galore at Col Chaussy, a 1st category climb. A group with Joaquim Rodriguez, Steven Kruijswijk and Vincenzo Nibali are the first to crest. In the descent Rigoberto Uran and Romain Bardet are off, with Purito and Piere Rolland hooking up in the valley.

While racing to Col de la Croix de Fer (horse catégorie) the four are reeled and Tim Wellens initiates another break in company of the likes of Kruijswijk, Uran, Rolland, Bardet, Plaza, Gallopin en Rodriguez.

Halfway the climb Pierre Rolland goes solo while his former companions are reeled in. When Astana accelerates Geraint Thomas, Mathias Frank and Warren Barguil are dropped. In the last kilometre Nibali attacks and he crests the col 1 minute down on Rolland and with 1 minute advantage over the chasing group with the man in yellow.

At the Col du Mollard Nibali catches and they crest with a 2 minutes gain over Bardet, who is the third at the top and he pushes hard in the drop, but due to a mechanical he is orcde to change bikes and he is reeled in by the chasing pack.

With 1’49” advantage the leaders hit the lower flanks of the closing climb and pretty soon we have only one of them left upfront: Vincenzo Nibali. The lead grows to over 2 minutes.

Quintana attacks with 5 km’s left and Froome, Contador and Valverde op the chase, but only the Briton is strong enough to hold on. Still, the Colombian widens the gap bit by bit.

more to follow

Tour de France 2015 stage 19: Route maps, height profiles, and more

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Vincenzo Nibali

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