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Saturday, July 23, 2022

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2021 Tour de France | 2022 Giro d'Italia

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Tour de France stage 19 team reports

We posted the race organizer's report with the results.

Here’s the report from stage winner Christophe Laporte’s Team Jumbo-Visma:

Christophe Laporte has taken a surprising win in the nineteenth stage of the Tour de France. In the streets of Cahors, the 29-year-old Frenchman excelled by riding away just before the finish line. Laporte finished solo and secured Team Jumbo-Visma’s fifth Tour stage victory and the 31st victory of the season.

Stage winner Christophe Laporte enjoys his victory. Sirotti photo

The uphill finish in Cahors seemed right up Wout van Aert's alley, but the green jersey wearer sacrificed his chances for Laporte. The Frenchman saw his chance and jumped to the three escapees in the final kilometre. After another acceleration, Laporte rode solo and his second season victory was a fact.

"This is the best day of my career. It's still hard to believe, but I'm super happy with this victory and the confidence the team gave me", Laporte said. "With five kilometres to go, Wout said: 'It's for you'. Our main goal was to drop Jonas safely within the three-kilometre mark and once we had achieved that, I got the green light to sprint."

The stage winner continued: "I went into the sprint early. I accelerated in the last corner and was surprised to see that I had a gap on the rest of the peloton. I made the connection with the three leaders and at five hundred metres before the finish line, I decided to go full speed. When I looked behind, I didn't see anyone. It's unbelievable that I won. This was my day."

A day that didn't come out of the blue, according to Laporte. Since his move to Team Jumbo-Visma, he has made a lot of progress. "The move to Team Jumbo-Visma is the best choice I've made in my career. I have never been in such good shape as I am now. In the run-up to the Tour, we went to altitude training for five weeks and that was a good experience for me. Team Jumbo-Visma prepared everything to perfection and I am thrilled to be part of one of the best teams in the world."

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Here’s the report from third-place Alberto Dainese’s Team DSM:

The penultimate road stage of the Tour de France saw the peloton take on an undulating 188 kilometre long route from Castelnau-Magnoac to Cahors. With the potential threat of crosswinds and the usual stage 19 full-gas racing, a fast start to the stage was expected and a big fight for the breakaway. However, despite a smattering of early moves a five rider group was able to escape relatively easily with all Team DSM riders in the peloton.

Chris Hamilton helped to contribute to the chase for the team, as the peloton originally held the gap steady at around one minute and 30 seconds. Yet, they slowly reeled those in ahead and one rider dropped back before the gap ballooned out once more but to only around one minute this time. With a cross tailwind to help push them along, speeds remained high throughout the afternoon as the kilometres ticked by; while the team stayed attentive towards the front. Eventually the original break was caught at 35 kilometres to go which sparked another series of moves before a strong new trio formed out front.

The team moved forward well together as the bunch reduced in size over the hills, with Andreas Leknessund doing a strong pull at the front to reduce the gap while the rest of the team supported finisher Alberto Dainese. Heading into the last five kilometres the break still held onto a 15 second advantage which ensured a fast pace through the numerous roundabout and sinuous corners.

Romain Bardet and John Degenkolb brought Dainese forward going through the final turns but as a gap opened up ahead, stage winner Laporte launched his move at the start of the climb after the last corner. Degenkolb did one last pull to attempt to close the gap before swinging off and Dainese launched his effort. Pushing the power, Dainese stamped on the pedals to produce a great kick on the six percent uphill slopes, crossing the line for a strong third place – a fine reward after the team’s strong work throughout the day.

You can see Alberto Dainese in the black jersey on the right. Sirotti photo

“It was pretty hard in the last kilometres,” expressed Dainese. “The guys did really good today. First we had Chris in the early chase, then Andreas helped out and everyone did a really good job. In the deep final I had Romain and John with me. John tried to close Laporte as the hill started but he was a little bit too strong. Philipsen was the fastest out of the group so third was the best we could do today but I’m happy with it. Doing two Grand Tours in a row is tough but I’m really enjoying it here with the team and the experience of the Tour. The shape is good so we’ll give it one last go on Sunday.”

Team DSM coach Matt Winston added: “The guys did a good job, we rode on the front all day to help control the race. Then coming into the finish we were pretty well organised and together. I think we did a good job in the sprint to take third place with Alberto. It was a really nice effort by the guys.”

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Here's the report from fifth-place Tadej Pogacar's UAE Team Emirates:

Tadej Pogačar continues to be aggressive on this Tour de France as he demonstrated on the 19th stage, the 188.3 km Castelnau Magnoac to Cahors won in a sprint by Christophe Laporte (Jumbo-Visma).

The captain of UAE Team Emirates showed his fighting spirit to fight for 5th place amongst a top-10 filled with sprinters.

The end of the stage was animated by the duel between the three leaders (Wright of Bahrain-Victorious, Stuyven of Trek-Segafredo and Gougeard of B&B Hotels -KTM) with the peloton sweeping them up 2km from the line.

Tadej Pogacar remains the Best Young Rider. Sirotti photo

Pogačar: “Today’s stage was fast, as was the final. Four of us are left in the team, but we are a united group, so I thank my teammates.

"Tomorrow’s time trial is an unknown, given the hard days and weeks we’ve had: what I know for sure is that I will give my best.”

The 20th stage will be an individual time trial of 40.7 km from Lacapelle Marival to Rocamadour.

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Here's the report from fourth-place Florian Sénéchal's Team Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl:

For the first time since 1994, the peloton returned to Cahors, and the scenario of that edition – when a breakaway came close to holding off the peloton – was just seconds away from repeating in the small town located in Occitanie.

Stage 19 started with Mikkel Honoré and four other men going clear and putting a minute between them and the peloton, who to the surprise of many didn’t let the maximum gap go north of one minute and a half. At one point, the bunch was on the point of making the catch with more than 100 kilometers to go, only the Dane’s incredible commitment and valiant effort – who continued to push hard on the flat roads to Cahors – helped the group remain clear until 40 kilometers to go.

Once they were caught, three riders jumped from the peloton and it didn’t take long before they put a good buffer between them and the field. It was only when Mattia Cattaneo took over the reins that the gap dropped to a mere ten seconds, which allowed the chasers to reel in the trio under the flamme rouge. On the uphill drag to the line, Christophe Laporte (Jumbo-Visma) attacked and took a solo victory, while Florian Sénéchal sprinted from the reduced bunch and concluded in fourth place, his best result at the race.

“Today was full gas from the beginning, many teams pulled hard behind the breakaway and things didn’t settle down even after they were reeled in, as others attacked and because of that the tempo remained high. Going into the closing kilometers, Fabio told me in the radio I should go for the sprint, which I did, but other guys were stronger. I would have liked more from this stage, but after three hard weeks it’s all I could do and I don’t have any regrets, as I did and gave my best”, the French Champion explained after his eighth top 10 finish of the season.

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