Friday July 24th, 2015

Stage 19Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne / La Toussuire - Les Sybelles

Start 13h25 (Local time)

Key moments

video24.07.2015

Summary

video24/07/2015 

Summary

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Stage summary24.07.2015

The Shark is back in business

With an attack in the ascent to the col de la Croix-de-Fer, 59km before the finish at La Toussuire, defending champion Vincenzo Nibali made it up for his disillusion of the first week of the Tour de France as he bounced back to brilliantly win the Alpine queen stage. Chris Froome retained the yellow jersey ahead of the grand finale at l'Alpe d'Huez.

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It's pretty cool to wear the polka dot jersey for climbing L'Alpe d'Huez tomorrow. It was my goal this morning but I didn't manage to make the first move. I've had to deal with a lot of emotions since I won yesterday. I've had to give it all to get this fifth place today. It's gonna be hard to keep the jersey tomorrow but I'm ready to bury myself. I didn't come to the Tour with that goal but I'll go for it now.

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I've been pretty strong but it wasn't enough to dethrone Froome. He defended himself well. I didn't follow Nibali because I thought it was too far away from the finish. I first wanted to make Team Sky work. I thought Team Sky would control Nibali but it wasn't the case. The last 5km seemed to be the most appropriate because the rhythm set by Tinkoff was very high. I've missed the final touch. Tomorrow it'll be all or nothing. We'll also try to keep Alejandro Valverde on the podium.
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I've ridden my bike today just as I love it, with my heart and pushed by the crowd. But Nibali decided to attack and it ruined my plans. L'Alpe d'Huez is my last chance for a stage win.

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It's been a difficult Tour de France for me, you've seen it. I've had trouble in the first week. I've done better in the second week. Every time I attacked, I paid for my efforts in the finale. It was hard again today but we've done a great job as a team with Michele Scarponi in the first breakaway, Tanel Kangert in the second because I wanted to have someone to help me at the front. It was our plan to raise the rhythm on the Croix-de-Fer. It wasn't simple but an attack from far out was the...

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Towards the top of the Glandon, I had a mechanical. Some asphalt blocked my rear wheel and I had to stop to take it off. It looked to me like Nibali had the whole climb to attack and he chose that precise moment to do it. I heard from other riders that he looked back. It was not sportsmanship. I wouldn't say that he attacked the yellow jersey but he subsequently made Alejandro Valverde and Alberto Contador react, so it affected me. My feeling today is that my mechanical provoked his attack....

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"It was a matter of survival today. I had bad legs from the start and bad cramps on the Croix de Fer and the rest of the day. I needed to save strength and I asked my team-mates to pull ahead to slow the pace. Nibali played it very well. For my part, I used my experience more than anything else to limit the damage in spite of my cramps."

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Fourth overall at the start, Geraint Thomas lost 22 minutes today and described himself as a "cheap Ikea nail".

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interview24.07.2015

Warren Barguil: "A bad day"

"I said I could have a bad day and here it it. It's a pity. I took a lot of pleasure in the first weeks but perhaps I arrived in shape too early. Today I paid the full price. A bad day on a stage like this is not simple. I would have preferred it to happen on a flatter stage. Finally, it was today. That's what bike race is about."

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Astana team manager Alexandre Vinokourov praised Vincenzo Nibali for his stage victory and commented on his attack at a moment when Chris Froome had a mechanical. 

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Questioned this morning by letour.com, Movistar's directeur sportif José Luis Arrieta declared: "Second and third, it looks good on paper. But it's not enough for us. We came for winning and the whole has been working for three weeks to make Nairo a winner. Unfortunately, there was this special stage in Zealand where Nairo lost one and half minute. Three minutes deficit is a lot, but in the two coming stages, failures can happen. We've seen it in the past. Those two hard stages are made to...

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Sporting stakes23.07.2015

A few races within the race

In the past few days, the early breakaways have been formed by a significant number of riders. It could be the case again from Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne to La Toussuire. Start and finishing location are less than twenty kilometers away but the unprecedented col de Chaussy, right from the gun, the grueling col de la Croix-de-Fer and the tricky downhill of the col du Mollard are just as many opportunities to turn the race upside down. As Chris Froome noted, there are a few races within the race....

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