Tour de France 2019 Favourites stage 19: Attacks on all fronts

Daniel Martin - Tour de France 2019 Favourites stage 19: Attack on all frontsGC riders have only two days left to gain time on their rivals. While other riders who have seen their overall ambitions turn sour could bounce back in this short stage for tough climbers. (Slideshow route/profile)

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.

Obviously, how the race unfolds depends largely on the GC, so we will update this article in due time.

Favourites 19th stage 2019 Tour de France

*** Daniel Martin, Bauke Mollema, Richie Porte, Tejay van Garderen
** Geraint Thomas, Vincenzo Nibali, Mikel Landa, Jakob Fuglsang
* Romain Bardet, Steven Kruijswijk, Thibaut Pinot, Egan Bernal

Take a look at the route of the 19th stage on the Tour de France.

Tour de France 2019 stage 19: profiles

Click on the images to zoom

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