Time is running out, so we are likely to see the action kick off very early in the 19th stage. All the more since the race is short and the route bumps steadily upwards from the start. Following a number of warm up climbs the riders will be ready to kick at the foot of the Col de l’Iseran. It would be wise to not tap too enthusiastic into ones resources as the ascent to 2,770 metres is far from regular. In fact, the penultimate kilometre is the steepest with its double digits slope. The Col de l’Iseran is 12,9 kilometres and the average gradient sits at 7.5%, but since the route has been climbing from the start and the gradient is so irregular it will feel much harder than that.
The route flies down a 28 kilometres descent towards Lac du Chevril. At the end of the lake the riders make a U-turn to the left and begin to climb to Tignes: 7.4 kilometres at 7%. The finish lies on the other side of the ski village and the last 2 kilometres are flat.
Chances are we will see two races for the price of one. A group of strong climbers who are out of GC contention but still motivated is going to attack early. The GC riders may be more reluctant at first, because of the Col de l’Iseran. But hey, what the heck, if they want to win the Tour de France the options are limited. So… full attack!
Let’s hope for such a scenario to unroll. And, if it does, it will be a thunderous start of the Tour de France’s Grande Finale with two consecutive short stages with a finish located well above 2,000 metres. It would be interesting to see whether the lead group is strong enough to hold off the charging GC men.
Now sitting in second and third with Bernal and Thomas, Ineos is in a perfect position to put pressure the maillot jaune. Alaphilippe is hard to shake lose this Tour de France, but how does he cope with multiple attacks on a final climb? When Thomas turned the screw on the Galibier he cracked, although he could recouped with a perfect drop to Valloire
Arguably, Bernal and Pinot are the best climbers in France, while Thomas can be deadly when he smells blood.
Favourites 19th stage 2019 Tour de France
*** Bauke Mollema, Romain Bardet, Simon Yates
** Thibaut Pinot, Egan Bernal, Geraint Thomas
* Mikel Landa, Steven Kruijswijk, Emanuel Buchmann
Take a look at the route of the 19th stage on the Tour de France.
Tour de France 2019 stage 19: profiles
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