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2019 Route d'Occitanie

Formerly Route du Sud - la Dépêche du Midi (2.1), France

43rd edition: June 20 - June 23, 2019

Route d'Occitanie podium history | 2018 edition
Stage 1 | Stage 2 | Stage 3 | Stage 4

2019 Route d'Occitanie

Map of the 2019 Route d'Occitanie


Sunday, June 23: 4th & final stage, Gers – Astarac Arros en Gascogne (Clermont-Pouyguilleès), 154.8 km

Arnaud Demare

Arnaud Demare wins the final stage.

Weather at the start-finish city of Clermont-Pouyguilleès at 1:50 PM, local time: 30C (86F), sunny, with the wind from the East-Northeast at 6 km/hr (4 mph). No rain is forecast.

The race: Here's the report from GC winner Alejandro Valverde's Team Movistar:

Alejandro Valverde encountered no setbacks during the final stage of the 2019 Route d’Occitanie -155km into a rolling circuit in Clermont-Pouyguillès, with seven climbs of the Côte de Moncassin (1km at 6%)- as he claimed his first stagerace GC victory of the year, crowning a splendid return to racing after a two-month stop following a sacrum injury which sidelined him from the Giro d’Italia. Iván Sosa (INS, 2nd), his strongest rival at Saturday’s Queen stage, and Rigoberto Urán (EF1, 3rd) joined the Spaniard on the podium.

Supported brilliantly by Arcas, Pedrero, Castrillo, Rojas, Valls and Prades, the World Champion got safely through a sprinter-suited stage -Arnaud Démare (GFC) claiming his second win of the weekend- and took his second consecutive triumph in the Pyrenean race, an event which has seen the Movistar Team riders taking overall honours up to five times since 2011 -two with Alejandro, another two with Nairo Quintana (2012, 2016) and an additional win with Vasil Kiryienka (2011)-.

Valverde thus increases his pro victory account to 125 as he claims his 24th success into a stagerace -a record within active pro riders-, the 15th win of the year for a Movistar Team whose efforts now focus, next weekend, at the National Championships across Europe, the Spanish road race and time trial to take place in Bala’s home region Murcia.
Alejandro Valverde

“It’s been a really hard day because of the heat. Where I live it’s normal to experience these temperatures, yet today’s humidity was unreal. It’s been another stage of good work from the whole team: always at the front, always keeping things under control, and securing our final prize with the GC win. It’s always important to win, no matter where it is. Also, I’ve been fortunate to win wherever I’ve been in the past few years more than once, which makes me so proud. It’s a really long career for me so far, already 39 years old… I’m actually the oldest guy in here, it seems! (laughs)

“All in all, I’m so happy with this result. As I said a couple of days ago, it really shows that the rest and preparations I’ve had for the past two months after my injury has been just what I needed. Now we move on to the Spanish Championships and, most importantly, the Tour de France. My goal, as I’ve already stated, is supporting Nairo and Mikel so the team does the best possible job at the Tour. I won’t be the team leader by any means – my goal is to support them 100% and enjoy wearing the rainbow jersey at the Tour. Should I have to lose some time in the early stages to favour their chances, I’ll be glad to. It’ll surely help us opt to some good results later on, be more free to move during the race.”

Complete results:

154.8 kilometers raced at an average speed of 43.010 km/hr

1 DEMARE Arnaud Groupama-FDJ 3hr 35min 57sec
2 MODOLO Sacha EF Education First s.t.
3 SIMON Julien Cofidis s.t.
4 GONZALEZ David Caja Rural-Seguros RGA s.t.
5 ROJAS José Joaquín Movistar s.t.
6 MALDONADO Anthony St Michel-Auber 93 s.t.
7 EL FARES Julien Delko-Marseille Provence s.t.
8 CHERNETSKI Sergei Caja Rural-Seguros RGA s.t.
9 BRAVO Garikoitz Euskadi Basque Country s.t.
10 MATE Luis Angel Cofidis s.t.
11 DUNBAR Eddie Team INEOS s.t.
12 FEILLU Brice Arkea-Samsic s.t.
13 ARANBURU Alex Caja Rural-Seguros RGA s.t.
14 VALVERDE Alejandro Movistar s.t.
15 AVILA Edwin Israel Cycling Academy s.t.
16 CARDIS Romain Total Direct Energie s.t.
17 FERNANDEZ Delio Delko-Marseille Provence s.t.
18 ITURRIA Mikel Euskadi Basque Country s.t.
19 RODRIGUEZ Oscar Euskadi Basque Country s.t.
20 BARCELO Fernando Euskadi Basque Country s.t.
21 RODRIGUEZ Cristián Caja Rural-Seguros RGA s.t.
22 CARBONI Giovanni Bardiani-CSF s.t.
23 ROMANO Francesco Bardiani-CSF s.t.
24 SOSA Iván Ramiro Team INEOS s.t.
25 ATAPUMA Darwin Cofidis s.t.
26 BENNETT Sean EF Education First s.t.
27 DUPONT Hubert Ag2r La Mondiale s.t.
28 NIV Guy Israel Cycling Academy s.t.
29 GESBERT Elie Arkea-Samsic s.t.
30 SENNI Manuel Bardiani-CSF s.t.
31 URAN Rigoberto EF Education First s.t.
32 DOMBROWSKI Joe EF Education First s.t.
33 PICHON Laurent Arkea-Samsic s.t.
34 PETERS Nans Ag2r La Mondiale s.t.
35 GUILLONNET Adrien Interpro Cycling s.t.
36 GALLOPIN Tony Ag2r La Mondiale s.t.
37 SIVAKOV Pavel Team INEOS s.t.
38 MADOUAS Valentin Groupama-FDJ s.t.
39 LE CUNFF Kévin St Michel-Auber 93 @ 48sec
40 AGUIRRE Hernán Interpro Cycling 0:59
41 MORENO Javier Delko-Marseille Provence s.t.
42 BIZKARRA Mikel Euskadi Basque Country s.t.
43 TAARAMÄE Rein Total Direct Energie 1:01
44 SINKELDAM Ramon Groupama-FDJ 1:20
45 DERNIES Tom Natura4Ever-Roubaix-Lille Metropole 1:25
46 MAURELET Flavien St Michel-Auber 93 1:27
47 ROLLAND Pierre Vital Concept-B&B Hotels s.t.
48 HUDRY Florian Interpro Cycling 1:35
49 COMBAUD Romain Delko-Marseille Provence 1:43
50 COVILI Luca Bardiani-CSF s.t.
51 CHEVRIER Clément Ag2r La Mondiale s.t.
52 HOLLER Nikodemus Bike Aid s.t.
53 WHELAN James EF Education First s.t.
54 NAULEAU Bryan Total Direct Energie s.t.
55 DE ROSSI Lucas Delko-Marseille Provence s.t.
56 TORRES Pablo Interpro Cycling s.t.
57 MOTTIER Justin Vital Concept-B&B Hotels s.t.
58 BRESCIANI Michael Bardiani-CSF s.t.
59 AMEZQUETA Julen Caja Rural-Seguros RGA s.t.
60 SAMITIER Sergio Euskadi Basque Country s.t.
61 THOMINET Camille St Michel-Auber 93 s.t.
62 PAILLOT Yoann St Michel-Auber 93 2:10
63 HOFLAND Moreno EF Education First s.t.
64 MOINARD Amaël Arkea-Samsic s.t.
65 KNEES Christian Team INEOS 2:25
66 VAN ENGELEN Adne Bike Aid s.t.
67 DUVAL Julien Ag2r La Mondiale s.t.
68 TULIK Angelo Total Direct Energie s.t.
69 QUEMENEUR Perrig Total Direct Energie s.t.
70 PRADES Eduard Movistar s.t.
71 PARDILLA Sergio Caja Rural-Seguros RGA s.t.
72 VALLS Rafael Movistar s.t.
73 MULLER Patrick Vital Concept-B&B Hotels s.t.
74 BONNAMOUR Franck Arkea-Samsic s.t.
75 PEDRERO Antonio Movistar s.t.
76 HENAO Sebastián Team INEOS s.t.
77 LE TURNIER Mathias Cofidis s.t.
78 ROSSETTO Stéphane Cofidis s.t.
79 LE GAC Olivier Groupama-FDJ 3:27
80 GOLAS Michał Team INEOS 3:28
81 ROCHAS Rémy Delko-Marseille Provence 3:51
82 SISKEVICIUS Evaldas Delko-Marseille Provence s.t.
83 GENE Yohann Total Direct Energie 4:28
84 PACHER Quentin Vital Concept-B&B Hotels 4:41
85 JAUREGUI Quentin Ag2r La Mondiale s.t.
86 GOUAULT Pierre Natura4Ever-Roubaix-Lille Metropole s.t.
87 CARISEY Clément Israel Cycling Academy s.t.
88 VAN NIEKERK Morne St Michel-Auber 93 4:44
89 VERMEULEN Emiel Natura4Ever-Roubaix-Lille Metropole s.t.
90 TUREK Daniel Israel Cycling Academy 4:50
91 PERRY Ben Israel Cycling Academy 4:52
92 ARCAS Jorge Movistar 4:53
93 GAUTIER Cyril Vital Concept-B&B Hotels 5:29
94 LAWLESS Chris Team INEOS 6:51
95 LANGEVELD Sebastian EF Education First 7:14
96 CHETOUT Loïc Cofidis 14:38
97 DELAGE Mickaël Groupama-FDJ s.t.
98 VINCENT Léo Groupama-FDJ s.t.

Final GC after stage 4:

  • Final GC leader: Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)
  • Mountains classification winner: Oscar Rodriguez (Euskadi Basque Country)
  • Points classification winner: Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ)
  • Best young rider: Ivan Sosa (Team INEOS)
  • Team classification winner: Team INEOS

691 kilometers raced at an average speed of 38.223 km/hr

1 VALVERDE Alejandro Movistar 18hr 4min 42sec
2 SOSA Iván Ramiro Team INEOS @ 8sec
3 URAN Rigoberto EF Education First 0:17
4 GALLOPIN Tony Ag2r La Mondiale 0:42
5 DUNBAR Eddie Team INEOS 0:45
6 CARBONI Giovanni Bardiani-CSF 1:30
7 DOMBROWSKI Joe EF Education First 1:48
8 SIVAKOV Pavel Team INEOS 2:26
9 PETERS Nans Ag2r La Mondiale 2:32
10 RODRIGUEZ Oscar Euskadi Basque Country 2:42
11 MADOUAS Valentin Groupama-FDJ 2:45
12 ARANBURU Alex Caja Rural-Seguros RGA 3:22
13 GESBERT Elie Arkea-Samsic 4:52
14 DUPONT Hubert Ag2r La Mondiale 7:16
15 RODRIGUEZ Cristián Caja Rural-Seguros RGA 7:25
16 PEDRERO Antonio Movistar 7:27
17 GUILLONNET Adrien Interpro Cycling 7:42
18 FERNANDEZ Delio Delko-Marseille Provence 8:08
19 BIZKARRA Mikel Euskadi Basque Country 8:32
20 ITURRIA Mikel Euskadi Basque Country 8:36
21 AGUIRRE Hernán Interpro Cycling 9:24
22 ATAPUMA Darwin Cofidis 9:57
23 TAARAMÄE Rein Total Direct Energie 10:29
24 SENNI Manuel Bardiani-CSF 10:35
25 MORENO Javier Delko-Marseille Provence 10:38
26 EL FARES Julien Delko-Marseille Provence 10:53
27 HUDRY Florian Interpro Cycling 12:44
28 BRAVO Garikoitz Euskadi Basque Country 13:22
29 PARDILLA Sergio Caja Rural-Seguros RGA 14:35
30 CHEVRIER Clément Ag2r La Mondiale 14:40
31 PACHER Quentin Vital Concept-B&B Hotels 16:21
32 JAUREGUI Quentin Ag2r La Mondiale 16:29
33 VALLS Rafael Movistar 16:40
34 COVILI Luca Bardiani-CSF 16:53
35 COMBAUD Romain Delko-Marseille Provence 17:12
36 MOINARD Amaël Arkea-Samsic 17:56
37 LE TURNIER Mathias Cofidis 19:23
38 SIMON Julien Cofidis 20:21
39 ROJAS José Joaquín Movistar 20:43
40 NIV Guy Israel Cycling Academy 20:46
41 TULIK Angelo Total Direct Energie 22:05
42 HENAO Sebastián Team INEOS 22:44
43 GOUAULT Pierre Natura4Ever-Roubaix-Lille Metropole 23:36
44 MATE Luis Angel Cofidis 24:10
45 QUEMENEUR Perrig Total Direct Energie 25:15
46 ROMANO Francesco Bardiani-CSF 25:20
47 BARCELO Fernando Euskadi Basque Country 25:28
48 CHERNETSKI Sergei Caja Rural-Seguros RGA 27:19
49 PRADES Eduard Movistar 27:36
50 ROSSETTO Stéphane Cofidis 28:00
51 ROCHAS Rémy Delko-Marseille Provence 28:11
52 PAILLOT Yoann St Michel-Auber 93 29:49
53 KNEES Christian Team INEOS 30:12
54 TORRES Pablo Interpro Cycling 30:13
55 FEILLU Brice Arkea-Samsic 31:11
56 GOLAS Michał Team INEOS 31:15
57 ROLLAND Pierre Vital Concept-B&B Hotels 31:49
58 SAMITIER Sergio Euskadi Basque Country 33:19
59 GAUTIER Cyril Vital Concept-B&B Hotels 33:22
60 PICHON Laurent Arkea-Samsic 33:27
61 NAULEAU Bryan Total Direct Energie 33:29
62 LE GAC Olivier Groupama-FDJ 34:35
63 WHELAN James EF Education First 36:29
64 DE ROSSI Lucas Delko-Marseille Provence 37:53
65 BENNETT Sean EF Education First 38:00
66 THOMINET Camille St Michel-Auber 93 38:12
67 MALDONADO Anthony St Michel-Auber 93 38:43
68 CARISEY Clément Israel Cycling Academy 38:46
69 AMEZQUETA Julen Caja Rural-Seguros RGA 39:06
70 AVILA Edwin Israel Cycling Academy 39:32
71 BONNAMOUR Franck Arkea-Samsic 39:41
72 SINKELDAM Ramon Groupama-FDJ 40:17
73 MULLER Patrick Vital Concept-B&B Hotels 40:45
74 LE CUNFF Kévin St Michel-Auber 93 40:58
75 DEMARE Arnaud Groupama-FDJ 41:20
76 DUVAL Julien Ag2r La Mondiale 41:56
77 VINCENT Léo Groupama-FDJ 42:23
78 HOFLAND Moreno EF Education First 43:17
79 PERRY Ben Israel Cycling Academy 43:35
80 MODOLO Sacha EF Education First 43:44
81 CARDIS Romain Total Direct Energie 43:58
82 TUREK Daniel Israel Cycling Academy 44:15
83 MAURELET Flavien St Michel-Auber 93 44:35
84 GONZALEZ David Caja Rural-Seguros RGA 47:57
85 LAWLESS Chris Team INEOS 48:37
86 MOTTIER Justin Vital Concept-B&B Hotels 49:24
87 DERNIES Tom Natura4Ever-Roubaix-Lille Metropole 49:36
88 BRESCIANI Michael Bardiani-CSF 49:54
89 HOLLER Nikodemus Bike Aid 50:01
90 ARCAS Jorge Movistar 50:42
91 VAN ENGELEN Adne Bike Aid 50:49
92 GENE Yohann Total Direct Energie 51:10
93 LANGEVELD Sebastian EF Education First 52:31
94 VAN NIEKERK Morne St Michel-Auber 93 53:37
95 VERMEULEN Emiel Natura4Ever-Roubaix-Lille Metropole 53:46
96 SISKEVICIUS Evaldas Delko-Marseille Provence 55:28
97 CHETOUT Loïc Cofidis 56:02
98 DELAGE Mickaël Groupama-FDJ 1:03:14

Saturday, June 22: Stage 3, Arreau - Luchon (Hospice de France), 173 km

Ivan Sosa

Winner Ivan Sosa leads Alejandro Valverde to the finish.

Weather at the start city of Arreau at 2:00 PM, local time: 23C (74F), partly cloudy, with the wind from the north at 10 km/hr (6 mph). No rain is forecast.

The race: Here's the report from winner Ivan Sosa's Team INEOS.

Ivan Sosa claimed his first victory in Team INEOS colours in style by winning the queen stage at La Route d’Occitanie. The young Colombian put the finishing touches to a superb team performance, out-sprinting elite rivals Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) and Rigoberto Uran (EF Education First) in the Pyrenees.

Pavel Sivakov had earlier launched a long-range move on the Port de Bales, pushing clear of the general classification group and bridging to team-mate Sebastian Henao who had helped make up the day’s break.

Sivakov forged onwards over the summit and allowed both Sosa and Eddie Dunbar to sit in amid an ever-decreasing lead group. When Sivakov was finally caught on the climb to Luchon with 2.5km to go, it wasn’t long before Sosa launched his first move. Dragging Uran clear off the front, race leader Valverde dug deep to bridge across to the duo in the final kilometre.

Despite the experience around him Sosa wasn’t finished yet, opening up his sprint with 150 metres to go and holding off Valverde to win the stage. The result moved Sosa up to second overall, eight seconds back on Valverde, in addition to taking the young rider jersey.

Dunbar did well to limit his losses and now sits fifth overall, with Sivakov occupying eighth on GC after his brave move almost paid off.

Reaction from Ivan Sosa:
"I needed this victory and it came at last. It makes the team happy and it's a big achievement for me. The idea is to keep going this way. After the race, I will go back home and work to prepare for the second part of the season.

"The idea was to be in the front today as Pavel knows these roads very well - it's a home race for him. He did some really hard work today.

"The finish was a bit difficult because I didn’t know when to attack and I knew that if I waited too much Valverde could have beat me  - so I think I attacked at the right moment."

Brett Lancaster:
"I went around the rooms last night and we put together a bit of a plan. I saw going into this race that the last 3km today was very steep and that suited Ivan. We tried to accommodate everyone and the guys all agreed.

"We had Seb in the move from the start which was fantastic. Pavel attacked over the climb. He knew it really well and rode it last week. He nearly crashed on the descent but he was able to keep it upright! Then in the bunch the guys were able to just sit on. Eddie tried to hold on and then Sosa hit them with 2km to go, and again at the finish.

"It makes you really enjoy your job and at Team INEOS we're working with some pretty special young athletes. It's very rewarding when you pull it off. It's one thing to have a plan but you have to have the riders to execute it as well. We're all stoked.

"Everyone in the team was and still are very down about Chris (Froome). I think everyone has seen that and they have to step up. And they have - all the young guys. It's very exciting for the future this young group we have. There's also Chris Lawless who is sprinting so well, so let's see tomorrow if he can go one place higher and finish off a good week."

Complete results:

173 kilometers raced at an average speed of 35.212 km/hr

1 SOSA Iván Team INEOS 4hr 54min 47sec
2 VALVERDE Alejandro Movistar s.t.
3 URAN Rigoberto EF Education First @ 3sec
4 RODRIGUEZ Oscar Euskadi Basque Country 0:20
5 DOMBROWSKI Joe EF Education First 0:24
6 GALLOPIN Tony Ag2r La Mondiale s.t.
7 DUNBAR Eddie Team INEOS 0:35
8 CARBONI Giovanni Bardiani-CSF 0:40
9 MADOUAS Valentin Groupama-FDJ 1:24
10 PETERS Nans Ag2r La Mondiale 1:31
11 SIVAKOV Pavel Team INEOS 1:39
12 ATAPUMA Darwin Cofidis 2:43
13 ARANBURU Alex Caja Rural-Seguros RGA 2:59
14 PEDRERO Antonio Movistar 3:41
15 BIZKARRA Mikel Euskadi Basque Country 4:17
16 DUPONT Hubert Ag2r La Mondiale s.t.
17 GESBERT Elie Arkea-Samsic 4:38
18 GUILLONNET Adrien Interpro Cycling 4:42
19 FERNANDEZ Delio Delko-Marseille Provence 4:52
20 RODRIGUEZ Cristián Caja Rural-Seguros RGA 5:03
21 AGUIRRE Hernán Interpro Cycling 5:05
22 EL FARES Julien Delko-Marseille Provence 5:27
23 ITURRIA Mikel Euskadi Basque Country 5:36
24 SENNI Manuel Bardiani-CSF 6:15
25 HUDRY Florian Interpro Cycling 7:44
26 MORENO Javier Delko-Marseille Provence 8:15
27 COMBAUD Romain Delko-Marseille Provence s.t.
28 PARDILLA Sergio Caja Rural-Seguros RGA s.t.
29 BRAVO Garikoitz Euskadi Basque Country 8:34
30 JAUREGUI Quentin Ag2r La Mondiale 8:48
31 TAARAMÄE Rein Total Direct Energie 9:02
32 LE TURNIER Mathias Cofidis 9:44
33 COVILI Luca Bardiani-CSF s.t.
34 CHEVRIER Clément Ag2r La Mondiale 9:57
35 PACHER Quentin Vital Concept-B&B Hotels 10:34
36 NIV Guy Israel Cycling Academy 10:50
37 VALLS Rafael Movistar 12:02
38 MOINARD Amaël Arkea-Samsic 12:24
39 HENAO Sebastián Team INEOS 13:05
40 VINCENT Léo Groupama-FDJ 14:12
41 SIMON Julien Cofidis 14:34
42 QUEMENEUR Perrig Total Direct Energie 15:36
43 GOUAULT Pierre Natura4Ever-Roubaix-Lille Metropole s.t.
44 ROJAS José Joaquín Movistar 15:55
45 TULIK Angelo Total Direct Energie 16:14
46 MATE Luis Angel Cofidis 16:57
47 GOLAS Michał Team INEOS 17:51
48 KNEES Christian Team INEOS s.t.
49 ROSSETTO Stéphane Cofidis 18:04
50 PAILLOT Yoann St Michel-Auber 93 20:25
51 ROCHAS Rémy Delko-Marseille Provence s.t.
52 DE ROSSI Lucas Delko-Marseille Provence 20:28
53 PRADES Eduard Movistar 20:40
54 BARCELO Fernando Euskadi Basque Country s.t.
55 PICHON Laurent Arkea-Samsic s.t.
56 GAUTIER Cyril Vital Concept-B&B Hotels s.t.
57 ROLLAND Pierre Vital Concept-B&B Hotels s.t.
58 BENNETT Sean EF Education First 21:32
59 FERASSE Thibault Natura4Ever-Roubaix-Lille Metropole 21:42
60 NAULEAU Bryan Total Direct Energie 21:50
61 ROMANO Francesco Bardiani-CSF 22:04
62 TUREK Daniel Israel Cycling Academy 23:42
63 TORRES Pablo Interpro Cycling s.t.
64 MALDONADO Anthony St Michel-Auber 93 s.t.
65 PERRY Ben Israel Cycling Academy s.t.
66 LE GAC Olivier Groupama-FDJ 23:54
67 CHERNETSKI Sergei Caja Rural-Seguros RGA 24:03
68 FEILLU Brice Arkea-Samsic 25:45
69 CHETOUT Loïc Cofidis s.t.
70 SAMITIER Sergio Euskadi Basque Country s.t.
71 HOFLAND Moreno EF Education First 26:10
72 SINKELDAM Ramon Groupama-FDJ s.t.
73 LAWLESS Chris Team INEOS s.t.
74 WHELAN James EF Education First s.t.
75 DUVAL Julien Ag2r La Mondiale 26:35
76 CARISEY Clément Israel Cycling Academy 26:43
77 HOLLER Nikodemus Bike Aid 27:13
78 VAN ENGELEN Adne Bike Aid s.t.
79 MULLER Patrick Vital Concept-B&B Hotels 28:24
80 DEMARE Arnaud Groupama-FDJ 28:48
81 LANGEVELD Sebastian EF Education First 28:49
82 MODOLO Sacha EF Education First s.t.
83 THOMINET Camille St Michel-Auber 93 29:15
84 AVILA Edwin Israel Cycling Academy 29:36
85 BONNAMOUR Franck Arkea-Samsic 30:02
86 AMEZQUETA Julen Caja Rural-Seguros RGA 30:09
87 ARCAS Jorge Movistar 30:48
88 CASTRILLO Jaime Movistar s.t.
89 CARDIS Romain Total Direct Energie 32:20
90 MOTTIER Justin Vital Concept-B&B Hotels 32:40
91 MANZIN Lorrenzo Vital Concept-B&B Hotels s.t.
92 SISKEVICIUS Evaldas Delko-Marseille Provence 32:56
93 DELAGE Mickaël Groupama-FDJ s.t.
94 GONZALEZ David Caja Rural-Seguros RGA s.t.
95 GENE Yohann Total Direct Energie s.t.
96 LE CUNFF Kévin St Michel-Auber 93 32:59
97 BRESCIANI Michael Bardiani-CSF 33:10
98 DERNIES Tom Natura4Ever-Roubaix-Lille Metropole s.t.
99 MAURELET Flavien St Michel-Auber 93 33:12
100 VERMEULEN Emiel Natura4Ever-Roubaix-Lille Metropole 33:20
101 VAN NIEKERK Morne St Michel-Auber 93 33:52

GC after stage 3:

536.2 kilometers raced so far at an average speed of 37.033 km/hr

1 VALVERDE Alejandro Movistar 14hr 28min 45sec
2 SOSA Iván Team INEOS @ 8sec
3 URAN Rigoberto EF Education First 0:17
4 GALLOPIN Tony Ag2r La Mondiale 0:42
5 DUNBAR Eddie Team INEOS 0:45
6 CARBONI Giovanni Bardiani-CSF 1:30
7 DOMBROWSKI Joe EF Education First 1:48
8 SIVAKOV Pavel Team INEOS 2:26
9 PETERS Nans Ag2r La Mondiale 2:32
10 RODRIGUEZ Oscar Euskadi Basque Country 2:42
11 MADOUAS Valentin Groupama-FDJ 2:45
12 ARANBURU Alex Caja Rural-Seguros RGA 3:22
13 GESBERT Elie Arkea-Samsic 4:52
14 PEDRERO Antonio Movistar 5:02
15 DUPONT Hubert Ag2r La Mondiale 7:16
16 RODRIGUEZ Cristián Caja Rural-Seguros RGA 7:25
17 BIZKARRA Mikel Euskadi Basque Country 7:33
18 GUILLONNET Adrien Interpro Cycling 7:42
19 FERNANDEZ Delio Delko-Marseille Provence 8:08
20 AGUIRRE Hernán Interpro Cycling 8:25
21 ITURRIA Mikel Euskadi Basque Country 8:36
22 TAARAMÄE Rein Total Direct Energie 9:28
23 MORENO Javier Delko-Marseille Provence 9:39
24 ATAPUMA Darwin Cofidis 9:57
25 SENNI Manuel Bardiani-CSF 10:35
26 EL FARES Julien Delko-Marseille Provence 10:53
27 HUDRY Florian Interpro Cycling 11:09
28 PACHER Quentin Vital Concept-B&B Hotels 11:44
29 JAUREGUI Quentin Ag2r La Mondiale 11:48
30 PARDILLA Sergio Caja Rural-Seguros RGA 12:10
31 CHEVRIER Clément Ag2r La Mondiale 12:57
32 BRAVO Garikoitz Euskadi Basque Country 13:22
33 VALLS Rafael Movistar 14:15
34 COVILI Luca Bardiani-CSF 15:10
35 COMBAUD Romain Delko-Marseille Provence 15:29
36 MOINARD Amaël Arkea-Samsic 15:46
37 LE TURNIER Mathias Cofidis 16:58
38 GOUAULT Pierre Natura4Ever-Roubaix-Lille Metropole 18:55
39 TULIK Angelo Total Direct Energie 19:43
40 HENAO Sebastián Team INEOS 20:19
41 SIMON Julien Cofidis 20:25
42 ROJAS José Joaquín Movistar 20:43
43 NIV Guy Israel Cycling Academy 20:46
44 QUEMENEUR Perrig Total Direct Energie 22:50
45 MATE Luis Angel Cofidis 24:11
46 ROCHAS Rémy Delko-Marseille Provence 24:20
47 PRADES Eduard Movistar 25:11
48 ROMANO Francesco Bardiani-CSF 25:20
49 BARCELO Fernando Euskadi Basque Country 25:28
50 ROSSETTO Stéphane Cofidis 25:35
51 CHERNETSKI Sergei Caja Rural-Seguros RGA 27:19
52 PAILLOT Yoann St Michel-Auber 93 27:39
53 VINCENT Léo Groupama-FDJ 27:45
54 KNEES Christian Team INEOS 27:47
55 GOLAS Michał Team INEOS s.t.
56 GAUTIER Cyril Vital Concept-B&B Hotels 27:54
57 TORRES Pablo Interpro Cycling 28:30
58 ROLLAND Pierre Vital Concept-B&B Hotels 30:25
59 FERASSE Thibault Natura4Ever-Roubaix-Lille Metropole 30:46
60 LE GAC Olivier Groupama-FDJ 31:08
61 FEILLU Brice Arkea-Samsic 31:11
62 SAMITIER Sergio Euskadi Basque Country 31:36
63 NAULEAU Bryan Total Direct Energie 31:46
64 PICHON Laurent Arkea-Samsic 33:27
65 CARISEY Clément Israel Cycling Academy 34:05
66 WHELAN James EF Education First 34:46
67 DE ROSSI Lucas Delko-Marseille Provence 36:10
68 THOMINET Camille St Michel-Auber 93 36:29
69 BONNAMOUR Franck Arkea-Samsic 37:16
70 AMEZQUETA Julen Caja Rural-Seguros RGA 37:23
71 BENNETT Sean EF Education First 38:00
72 MULLER Patrick Vital Concept-B&B Hotels 38:20
73 MALDONADO Anthony St Michel-Auber 93 38:43
74 PERRY Ben Israel Cycling Academy s.t.
75 SINKELDAM Ramon Groupama-FDJ 38:57
76 TUREK Daniel Israel Cycling Academy 39:25
77 DUVAL Julien Ag2r La Mondiale 39:31
78 AVILA Edwin Israel Cycling Academy 39:32
79 LE CUNFF Kévin St Michel-Auber 93 40:10
80 HOFLAND Moreno EF Education First 41:07
81 CHETOUT Loïc Cofidis 41:24
82 DEMARE Arnaud Groupama-FDJ 41:30
83 LAWLESS Chris Team INEOS 41:46
84 MAURELET Flavien St Michel-Auber 93 43:08
85 MODOLO Sacha EF Education First 43:50
86 CARDIS Romain Total Direct Energie 43:58
87 LANGEVELD Sebastian EF Education First 45:17
88 ARCAS Jorge Movistar 45:49
89 CASTRILLO Jaime Movistar s.t.
90 GENE Yohann Total Direct Energie 46:42
91 MANZIN Lorrenzo Vital Concept-B&B Hotels 47:41
92 MOTTIER Justin Vital Concept-B&B Hotels s.t.
93 GONZALEZ David Caja Rural-Seguros RGA 47:57
94 BRESCIANI Michael Bardiani-CSF 48:11
95 DERNIES Tom Natura4Ever-Roubaix-Lille Metropole s.t.
96 HOLLER Nikodemus Bike Aid 48:18
97 VAN ENGELEN Adne Bike Aid 48:24
98 DELAGE Mickaël Groupama-FDJ 48:36
99 VAN NIEKERK Morne St Michel-Auber 93 48:53
100 VERMEULEN Emiel Natura4Ever-Roubaix-Lille Metropole 49:02
101 SISKEVICIUS Evaldas Delko-Marseille Provence 51:37

Friday, June 21: Stage 2, Labruguière - Martes Tolosane, 187.7 km

Arnaud Demare

This stage goes to Arnaud Demare.

Weather at the finish city of Martes-Tolosane at 3:40 PM, local time: 14C (58F), cloudy, with the wind from the west at 16 km/hr (10 mph). Only the smallest chance of rain.

The race: Here's the report from GC leader Alejandro Valverde's Team Movistar.

A calm day, despite the ups and downs of today’s route, for Alejandro Valverde on stage two of the Route d’Occitanie, held on Friday over 187km from Labruguière to Martres-Tolosane, where Arnaud Démare (GFC) stormed to victory at the bunch sprint. As it always happens into a GC lead defense, the Movistar Team had a fair share of protagonism in making things easier for the marvel from the Murcia, who will face a tough battle in the Pyrenees on Saturday against the main GC contenders.

As in Thursday’s opening stage, Jorge Arcas and Jaime Castrillo were the powerhouses to keep, this time together with Groupama-FDJ, the day’s escapes under control. Meanwhile, Prades, Pedrero and Valls covered the World Champion against the wind, with José Joaquín Rojas leading him out into the fast run-in to the finish. The bunch sprint saw ‘Rojillas’ taking 7th, as Valverde, 14th, made the top split.

The 4" gap thus stayed unchanged between Valverde and Dunbar (INS), with Gesbert (PCB) in third at 8", before a decisive stage three over 173km from Arreau to the top of the Hospice de France (Cat-1), preceeded by the early climbs to Lançon (Cat-2 and Hourquette d’Ancizan (Cat-2) plus the long Port de Balès (Cat-1; 19km at 6%), just before the grueling, final 10km at 7.3% average.

REACTION / Alejandro Valverde:
“Congratulations to Démare on a great victory and the strong work by his team. In our case, it was a relatively easy day, and I say ‘relatively’ because in the end, it was a nearly 200km route, with almost 2,000m of elevation gain – yet it wasn’t too complicated. The pace was high, yet we didn’t encounter any major troubles. Tomorrow will be a completely different story – a really tough stage. And no matter what result we get – I’m so excited to take the start tomorrow and face those climbs.

“Hospice de France – I don’t climbed I’ve climbed it once, though I’ve been told it’s really hard. We’ll have to see how we cope with the early climbs and, above all, Balès, which is long and really hard. The final climb will be a matter of ‘survival’. Rivals? There will be many. Team INEOS is quite strong, there’s also Rigoberto… there’s many people still too close to rule them out, so we will have to remain fully focused on doing well.”

Complete results:

187.7 kilometers raced at an average speed of 38.805 km/hr

1 DEMARE Arnaud Groupama-FDJ 4hr 50min 13sec
2 LAWLESS Chris Team INEOS s.t.
3 HOFLAND Moreno EF Education First s.t.
4 MODOLO Sacha EF Education First s.t.
5 GONZALEZ David Caja Rural-Seguros RGA s.t.
6 SISKEVICIUS Evaldas Delko-Marseille Provence s.t.
7 ROJAS José Joaquín Movistar s.t.
8 DUVAL Julien Ag2r La Mondiale s.t.
9 BRESCIANI Michael Bardiani-CSF s.t.
10 MANZIN Lorrenzo Vital Concept-B&B Hotels s.t.
11 BONNAMOUR Franck Arkea-Samsic s.t.
12 CARDIS Romain Total Direct Energie s.t.
13 AVILA Edwin Israel Cycling Academy s.t.
14 VALVERDE Alejandro Movistar s.t.
15 JAUREGUI Quentin Ag2r La Mondiale s.t.
16 MALDONADO Anthony St Michel-Auber 93 s.t.
17 GALLOPIN Tony Ag2r La Mondiale s.t.
18 SIMON Julien Cofidis s.t.
19 DUNBAR Eddie Team INEOS s.t.
20 BRAVO Garikoitz Euskadi Basque Country s.t.
21 SINKELDAM Ramon Groupama-FDJ s.t.
22 MADOUAS Valentin Groupama-FDJ s.t.
23 ARANBURU Alex Caja Rural-Seguros RGA s.t.
24 TUREK Daniel Israel Cycling Academy s.t.
25 CARBONI Giovanni Bardiani-CSF s.t.
26 SENNI Manuel Bardiani-CSF s.t.
27 PETERS Nans Ag2r La Mondiale s.t.
28 CARSTENSEN Lucas Bike Aid s.t.
29 SIVAKOV Pavel Team INEOS s.t.
30 NAVARRO Gauthier Interpro Cycling s.t.
31 MATE Luis Angel Cofidis s.t.
32 BARCELO Fernando Euskadi Basque Country s.t.
33 GESBERT Elie Arkea-Samsic s.t.
34 VAN NIEKERK Morne St Michel-Auber 93 s.t.
35 PACHER Quentin Vital Concept-B&B Hotels s.t.
36 PEDRERO Antonio Movistar s.t.
37 MULLER Patrick Vital Concept-B&B Hotels s.t.
38 PRADES Eduard Movistar s.t.
39 AMEZQUETA Julen Caja Rural-Seguros RGA s.t.
40 CHERNETSKI Sergei Caja Rural-Seguros RGA s.t.
41 SOSA Iván Ramiro Team INEOS s.t.
42 GAUTIER Cyril Vital Concept-B&B Hotels s.t.
43 FEILLU Brice Arkea-Samsic s.t.
44 MAURELET Flavien St Michel-Auber 93 s.t.
45 DE ROSSI Lucas Delko-Marseille Provence s.t.
46 RODRIGUEZ Oscar Euskadi Basque Country s.t.
47 HUDRY Florian Interpro Cycling s.t.
48 COMBAUD Romain Delko-Marseille Provence s.t.
49 URAN Rigoberto EF Education First s.t.
50 CHEVRIER Clément Ag2r La Mondiale s.t.
51 COVILI Luca Bardiani-CSF s.t.
52 BIZKARRA Mikel Euskadi Basque Country s.t.
53 GENE Yohann Total Direct Energie s.t.
54 TAARAMÄE Rein Total Direct Energie s.t.
55 THOMINET Camille St Michel-Auber 93 s.t.
56 MOINARD Amaël Arkea-Samsic s.t.
57 EL FARES Julien Delko-Marseille Provence s.t.
58 ITURRIA Mikel Euskadi Basque Country s.t.
59 DOMBROWSKI Joe EF Education First s.t.
60 RODRIGUEZ Cristián Caja Rural-Seguros RGA s.t.
61 MORENO Javier Delko-Marseille Provence s.t.
62 FERNANDEZ Delio Delko-Marseille Provence s.t.
63 KNEES Christian Team INEOS s.t.
64 DUPONT Hubert Ag2r La Mondiale s.t.
65 AGUIRRE Hernán Interpro Cycling s.t.
66 ROCHAS Rémy Delko-Marseille Provence s.t.
67 HOLLER Nikodemus Bike Aid s.t.
68 LE CUNFF Kévin St Michel-Auber 93 s.t.
69 GOUAULT Pierre Natura4Ever-Roubaix-Lille Metropole s.t.
70 ATAPUMA Darwin Cofidis s.t.
71 GOLAS Michał Team INEOS s.t.
72 DELAGE Mickaël Groupama-FDJ s.t.
73 HENAO Sebastián Team INEOS s.t.
74 VALLS Rafael Movistar s.t.
75 ROMANO Francesco Bardiani-CSF s.t.
76 GUILLONNET Adrien Interpro Cycling s.t.
77 PAILLOT Yoann St Michel-Auber 93 s.t.
78 DANIEL Maxime Arkea-Samsic s.t.
79 WHELAN James EF Education First s.t.
80 DEBESAY Mekseb Bike Aid s.t.
81 CASTRILLO Jaime Movistar s.t.
82 SAMITIER Sergio Euskadi Basque Country s.t.
83 PICHON Laurent Arkea-Samsic s.t.
84 MOTTIER Justin Vital Concept-B&B Hotels s.t.
85 FERASSE Thibault Natura4Ever-Roubaix-Lille Metropole s.t.
86 IDJOUADIENE Pierre Natura4Ever-Roubaix-Lille Metropole s.t.
87 LE GAC Olivier Groupama-FDJ s.t.
88 PARDILLA Sergio Caja Rural-Seguros RGA s.t.
89 ARCAS Jorge Movistar s.t.
90 DERNIES Tom Natura4Ever-Roubaix-Lille Metropole s.t.
91 CARISEY Clément Israel Cycling Academy s.t.
92 LE TURNIER Mathias Cofidis s.t.
93 INTXAUSTI Beñat Euskadi Basque Country s.t.
94 VAN ENGELEN Adne Bike Aid s.t.
95 CLOUSE Evan Interpro Cycling s.t.
96 QUEMENEUR Perrig Total Direct Energie s.t.
97 PERRY Ben Israel Cycling Academy s.t.
98 ROSSETTO Stéphane Cofidis s.t.
99 ROLLAND Pierre Vital Concept-B&B Hotels s.t.
100 NIV Guy Israel Cycling Academy s.t.
101 TULIK Angelo Total Direct Energie s.t.
102 NAULEAU Bryan Total Direct Energie s.t.
103 TORRES Pablo Interpro Cycling s.t.
104 BALDO Nicolas St Michel-Auber 93 s.t.
105 WACKERMANN Luca Bardiani-CSF s.t.
106 CHETOUT Loïc Cofidis s.t.
107 VINCENT Léo Groupama-FDJ @ 41sec
108 WOLF Justin Bike Aid s.t.
109 BENNETT Sean EF Education First 1:27
110 LANGEVELD Sebastian EF Education First s.t.
111 VAUBOURZEIX Thomas Natura4Ever-Roubaix-Lille Metropole 1:43
112 HIVERT Jonathan Total Direct Energie 3:17
113 VERMEULEN Emiel Natura4Ever-Roubaix-Lille Metropole @ 0sec
114 CASANOVAS David Interpro Cycling 4:48
115 GROSSER Aaron Bike Aid @ 0sec

GC after stage 2:

363.2 kilometers raced so far at an average speed of 37.961 km/hr

1 VALVERDE Alejandro Movistar 9hr 34min 4sec
2 DUNBAR Eddie Team INEOS @ 4sec
3 GESBERT Elie Arkea-Samsic 0:08
4 GALLOPIN Tony Ag2r La Mondiale 0:12
5 SOSA Iván Ramiro Team INEOS s.t.
6 URAN Rigoberto EF Education First s.t.
7 ARANBURU Alex Caja Rural-Seguros RGA 0:17
8 TAARAMÄE Rein Total Direct Energie 0:20
9 CARBONI Giovanni Bardiani-CSF 0:44
10 SIVAKOV Pavel Team INEOS s.t.
11 PETERS Nans Ag2r La Mondiale 0:58
12 PACHER Quentin Vital Concept-B&B Hotels 1:04
13 MADOUAS Valentin Groupama-FDJ 1:15
14 PEDRERO Antonio Movistar s.t.
15 DOMBROWSKI Joe EF Education First 1:18
16 MORENO Javier Delko-Marseille Provence s.t.
17 VALLS Rafael Movistar 2:07
18 RODRIGUEZ Oscar Euskadi Basque Country 2:16
19 RODRIGUEZ Cristián Caja Rural-Seguros RGA s.t.
20 JAUREGUI Quentin Ag2r La Mondiale 2:54
21 CHEVRIER Clément Ag2r La Mondiale s.t.
22 ITURRIA Mikel Euskadi Basque Country s.t.
23 DUPONT Hubert Ag2r La Mondiale s.t.
24 GUILLONNET Adrien Interpro Cycling s.t.
25 CHERNETSKI Sergei Caja Rural-Seguros RGA 3:10
26 BIZKARRA Mikel Euskadi Basque Country s.t.
27 FERNANDEZ Delio Delko-Marseille Provence s.t.
28 ROMANO Francesco Bardiani-CSF s.t.
29 GOUAULT Pierre Natura4Ever-Roubaix-Lille Metropole 3:13
30 AGUIRRE Hernán Interpro Cycling 3:14
31 MOINARD Amaël Arkea-Samsic 3:16
32 HUDRY Florian Interpro Cycling 3:19
33 TULIK Angelo Total Direct Energie 3:23
34 ROCHAS Rémy Delko-Marseille Provence 3:49
35 PARDILLA Sergio Caja Rural-Seguros RGA s.t.
36 SENNI Manuel Bardiani-CSF 4:14
37 PRADES Eduard Movistar 4:25
38 ROJAS José Joaquín Movistar 4:42
39 BRAVO Garikoitz Euskadi Basque Country s.t.
40 BARCELO Fernando Euskadi Basque Country s.t.
41 TORRES Pablo Interpro Cycling s.t.
42 FEILLU Brice Arkea-Samsic 5:20
43 COVILI Luca Bardiani-CSF s.t.
44 EL FARES Julien Delko-Marseille Provence s.t.
45 SIMON Julien Cofidis 5:45
46 SAMITIER Sergio Euskadi Basque Country s.t.
47 LE CUNFF Kévin St Michel-Auber 93 7:05
48 BONNAMOUR Franck Arkea-Samsic 7:08
49 MATE Luis Angel Cofidis s.t.
50 AMEZQUETA Julen Caja Rural-Seguros RGA s.t.
51 GAUTIER Cyril Vital Concept-B&B Hotels s.t.
52 COMBAUD Romain Delko-Marseille Provence s.t.
53 THOMINET Camille St Michel-Auber 93 s.t.
54 ATAPUMA Darwin Cofidis s.t.
55 HENAO Sebastián Team INEOS s.t.
56 PAILLOT Yoann St Michel-Auber 93 s.t.
57 LE TURNIER Mathias Cofidis s.t.
58 LE GAC Olivier Groupama-FDJ s.t.
59 QUEMENEUR Perrig Total Direct Energie s.t.
60 CARISEY Clément Israel Cycling Academy 7:16
61 ROSSETTO Stéphane Cofidis 7:27
62 WHELAN James EF Education First 8:30
63 FERASSE Thibault Natura4Ever-Roubaix-Lille Metropole 8:58
64 ROLLAND Pierre Vital Concept-B&B Hotels 9:42
65 AVILA Edwin Israel Cycling Academy 9:50
66 MULLER Patrick Vital Concept-B&B Hotels s.t.
67 MAURELET Flavien St Michel-Auber 93 s.t.
68 KNEES Christian Team INEOS s.t.
69 GOLAS Michał Team INEOS s.t.
70 DEBESAY Mekseb Bike Aid s.t.
71 IDJOUADIENE Pierre Natura4Ever-Roubaix-Lille Metropole s.t.
72 NAULEAU Bryan Total Direct Energie s.t.
73 NIV Guy Israel Cycling Academy s.t.
74 WACKERMANN Luca Bardiani-CSF s.t.
75 CARDIS Romain Total Direct Energie 11:32
76 DEMARE Arnaud Groupama-FDJ 12:36
77 SINKELDAM Ramon Groupama-FDJ 12:41
78 PICHON Laurent Arkea-Samsic s.t.
79 DUVAL Julien Ag2r La Mondiale 12:50
80 NAVARRO Gauthier Interpro Cycling 12:58
81 HIVERT Jonathan Total Direct Energie 12:59
82 INTXAUSTI Beñat Euskadi Basque Country 13:16
83 VINCENT Léo Groupama-FDJ 13:27
84 GENE Yohann Total Direct Energie 13:40
85 HOFLAND Moreno EF Education First 14:51
86 MANZIN Lorrenzo Vital Concept-B&B Hotels 14:55
87 BRESCIANI Michael Bardiani-CSF s.t.
88 GONZALEZ David Caja Rural-Seguros RGA s.t.
89 MODOLO Sacha EF Education First s.t.
90 MALDONADO Anthony St Michel-Auber 93 s.t.
91 VAN NIEKERK Morne St Michel-Auber 93 s.t.
92 MOTTIER Justin Vital Concept-B&B Hotels s.t.
93 CASTRILLO Jaime Movistar s.t.
94 ARCAS Jorge Movistar s.t.
95 DERNIES Tom Natura4Ever-Roubaix-Lille Metropole s.t.
96 PERRY Ben Israel Cycling Academy s.t.
97 LAWLESS Chris Team INEOS 15:30
98 CHETOUT Loïc Cofidis 15:33
99 DELAGE Mickaël Groupama-FDJ 15:34
100 DE ROSSI Lucas Delko-Marseille Provence 15:36
101 DANIEL Maxime Arkea-Samsic s.t.
102 CLOUSE Evan Interpro Cycling s.t.
103 BALDO Nicolas St Michel-Auber 93 s.t.
104 VERMEULEN Emiel Natura4Ever-Roubaix-Lille Metropole s.t.
105 TUREK Daniel Israel Cycling Academy 15:37
106 CARSTENSEN Lucas Bike Aid 15:39
107 GROSSER Aaron Bike Aid 15:56
108 BENNETT Sean EF Education First 16:22
109 LANGEVELD Sebastian EF Education First s.t.
110 VAUBOURZEIX Thomas Natura4Ever-Roubaix-Lille Metropole 17:19
111 SISKEVICIUS Evaldas Delko-Marseille Provence 18:35
112 CASANOVAS David Interpro Cycling 19:43
113 WOLF Justin Bike Aid 20:05
114 HOLLER Nikodemus Bike Aid 20:59
115 VAN ENGELEN Adne Bike Aid 21:05

Thursday, June 20: Stage 1, Gignac, Vallée de l’Hérault - Saint-Geniez d’Olt et d’Aubrac, 175.5 km

Alejandro Valverde

Alejandro Valverde takes the first stage.

Weather at the finish city of Saint-Geniez d’Olt et d’Aubrac at 2:25 PM, local time: 19C (67F), mostly cloudy, with the wind from the west at 16 km/hr (10 mph). No rain is forecast.

The race: Here's the report from winner Alejandro Valverde's Team Movistar.

Relying on a strong Movistar Team, Alejandro Valverde offered cycling fans a comeback to racing in the style he’s the only one able to provide: winning and making them enjoy his dominance of the different race situations at the end of stage one of the 2019 Route d’Occitanie. 53 days after his DNF in Liège-Bastogne-Liège, suffering with bone edema to his sacrum, ‘Bala’, recovered and in good form, took the day’s honours at the Côte d’Aubignac (Cat-2), a 4km climb to 8% overcome twice into a tough final circuit in Saint-Geniez.

Jorge Arcas and Jaime Castrillo worked hard from the very start to control the early, four-man break, succeeded by a flurry of attacks without success inside the last 25km. The strong turns by Rojas and a remarkable Rafa Valls, at the first of the two ascents; an excellent descent between climbs by Edu Prades; and the final load of work from Valls and Antonio Pedrero at the last climb left barely a dozen riders at the front, a group further reduced with attacks from Rigoberto Urán (EF1) and Eddie Dunbar (INS).

Valverde kept those moves in check and used his experience to measure his sprinting distance and claim his second win in the rainbow jersey, the 124th of his professional career. A success that brings toghether the orange leader’s jersey, the same one he wore at the end of the 2018 race – and one that he will try to defend all the way towards Clermont-Pouyguillès on Sunday. Welcome back, Bala!

REACTION / Alejandro Valverde:
“Being the first day of racing after so long away from the races, it’s tough to tackle a first stage like this, because you don’t know how your body will react. Fortunately, it all turned out well. The team did a fantastic job today. We took responsibility from the beginning, together with Education First, and at the first climb to Aubignac I already asked my team-mates to do it a bit ‘fast’, to check how we could do. My legs felt well there, I liked the climb, and so I asked them to go ‘full gas’ on the second climb. After they completed their work, it was my task to keep things under control. My rivals left me in charge, which was normal, I could understand it from my position. The attacks by Urán and Dunbar were really hard, yet I could control them and take the win.

“It’s my second victory of the season – it’s true that I’ve got less wins than in previous years, yet I’ve also notched up six second places, lots of good results – I feel I’ve still been up there from the start of the season. Keeping the jersey until the end? It’s going to be hard, for sure. Stage three is a tough mountain route, and our rivals won’t make it easy. We’ve got one victory at least now, and above that, I’ve left with a good impression on my work during these past two months, where I had to give my body some rest with the injury, then go training in Granada and back home. It’s a boost of motivation for what’s left in this race and also the upcoming Tour de France, where my goal will be helping our two leaders, Nairo Quintana and Mikel Landa.”

Complete results:

175.5 kilometers raced at an average speed of 37.075 km/hr

1 Alejandro Valverde Movistar 4hr 44min 1sec
2 Eddie Dunbar Team INEOS s.t.
3 Elie Gesbert Arkea-Samsic @ 2sec
4 Rigoberto Urán EF Education First s.t.
5 Tony Gallopin Ag2r La Mondiale s.t.
6 Iván Sosa Team INEOS s.t.
7 Alex Aranburu Caja Rural-Seguros RGA 7''
8 Rein Taaramäe Total Direct Energie 10''
9 Giovanni Carboni Bardiani-CSF 34''
10 Pavel Sivakov Team INEOS s.t.
11 Nans Peters Ag2r La Mondiale 48''
12 Quentin Pacher Vital Concept-B&B Hotels 54''
13 Valentin Madouas Groupama-FDJ 1' 05''
14 Antonio Pedrero Movistar s.t.
15 Javier Moreno Delko-Marseille Provence 1' 08''
16 Joe Dombrowski EF Education First s.t.
17 Rafael Valls Movistar 1' 57''
18 Alexandre Geniez Ag2r La Mondiale s.t.
19 Cristián Rodríguez Caja Rural-Seguros RGA 2' 06''
20 Oscar Rodríguez Euskadi Basque Country s.t.
21 Adrien Guillonnet Interpro Cycling 2' 44''
22 Jesús Herrada Cofidis s.t.
23 Hubert Dupont Ag2r La Mondiale s.t.
24 Quentin Jauregui Ag2r La Mondiale s.t.
25 Mikel Iturria Euskadi Basque Country s.t.
26 Clément Chevrier Ag2r La Mondiale s.t.
27 Francesco Romano Bardiani-CSF 3' 00''
28 Mikel Bizkarra Euskadi Basque Country s.t.
29 Sergey Chernetsky Caja Rural-Seguros RGA s.t.
30 Delio Fernández Delko-Marseille Provence s.t.
31 Pierre Gouault Natura4ever-Roubaix-Lille Métropole 3' 03''
32 Hernán Aguirre Interpro Cycling 3' 04''
33 Amaël Moinard Arkea-Samsic 3' 06''
34 Florian Hudry Interpro Cycling 3' 09''
35 Angelo Tulik Total Direct Energie 3' 16''
36 Rémy Rochas Delko-Marseille Provence 3' 39''
37 Sergio Pardilla Caja Rural-Seguros RGA s.t.
38 Manuel Senni Bardiani-CSF 4' 04''
39 Eduard Prades Movistar 4' 15''
40 José Joaquín Rojas Movistar 4' 32''
41 Fernando Barceló Euskadi Basque Country s.t.
42 Pablo Torres Interpro Cycling s.t.
43 Garikoitz Bravo Euskadi Basque Country s.t.
44 Brice Feillu Arkea-Samsic 5' 10''
45 Luca Covili Bardiani-CSF s.t.
46 Julien El Farès Delko-Marseille Provence 5' 10''
47 Sergio Samitier Euskadi Basque Country 5' 35''
48 Julien Simon Cofidis s.t.
49 Mathias Le Turnier Cofidis 6' 58''
50 Kévin Le Cunff St Michel-Auber 93 s.t.
51 Yoann Paillot St Michel-Auber 93 s.t.
52 Darwin Atapuma Cofidis s.t.
53 Sebastián Henao Team INEOS s.t.
54 Julen Amezqueta Caja Rural-Seguros RGA s.t.
55 Luis Angel Maté Cofidis s.t.
56 Camille Thominet St Michel-Auber 93 s.t.
57 Franck Bonnamour Arkea-Samsic s.t.
58 Cyril Gautier Vital Concept-B&B Hotels s.t.
59 Romain Combaud Delko-Marseille Provence s.t.
60 Perrig Quémeneur Total Direct Energie s.t.
61 Olivier Le Gac Groupama-FDJ s.t.
62 Clément Carisey Israel Cycling Academy 7' 11''
63 Stéphane Rossetto Cofidis 7' 17''
64 James Whelan EF Education First 8' 20''
65 Thibault Ferasse Natura4ever-Roubaix-Lille Métropole 8' 48''
66 Pierre Rolland Vital Concept-B&B Hotels 9' 32''
67 Jonathan Hivert Total Direct Energie s.t.
68 Bryan Nauleau Total Direct Energie 9' 40''
69 Pierre Idjouadienne Natura4ever-Roubaix-Lille Métropole s.t.
70 Alessandro Tonelli Bardiani-CSF s.t.
71 Patrick Müller Vital Concept-B&B Hotels s.t.
72 Edwin Avila Israel Cycling Academy s.t.
73 Mekseb Debesay Bike Aid s.t.
74 Christian Knees Team INEOS s.t.
75 Michal Golas Team INEOS s.t.
76 Guy Niv Israel Cycling Academy s.t.
77 Flavien Maurelet St Michel-Auber 93 s.t.
78 Luca Wackermann Bardiani-CSF s.t.
79 Romain Cardis Total Direct Energie 11' 22''
80 Laurent Pichon Arkea-Samsic 12' 31''
81 Ramon Sinkeldam Groupama-FDJ s.t.
82 Léo Vincent Groupama-FDJ 12' 36''
83 Romain Seigle Groupama-FDJ s.t.
84 Arnaud Démare Groupama-FDJ s.t.
85 Julien Duval Ag2r La Mondiale 12' 40''
86 Gauthier Navarro Interpro Cycling 12' 48''
87 Beñat Intxausti Euskadi Basque Country 13' 06''
88 Yohann Gène Total Direct Energie 13' 30''
89 David Casanovas Interpro Cycling 14' 45''
90 Sean Bennett EF Education First s.t.
91 Benjamin Perry Israel Cycling Academy s.t.
92 Lorrenzo Manzin Vital Concept-B&B Hotels s.t.
93 Jorge Arcas Movistar s.t.
94 Tom Dernies Natura4ever-Roubaix-Lille Métropole s.t.
95 Justin Mottier Vital Concept-B&B Hotels s.t.
96 Michael Bresciani Bardiani-CSF s.t.
97 Anthony Maldonado St Michel-Auber 93 s.t.
98 Sebastian Langeveld EF Education First s.t.
99 Morné Van Niekerk St Michel-Auber 93 s.t.
100 Jaime Castrillo Movistar s.t.
101 David González Caja Rural-Seguros RGA s.t.
102 Moreno Hofland EF Education First s.t.
103 Sacha Modolo EF Education First s.t.
104 Mickaël Delage Groupama-FDJ 15' 26''
105 Loïc Chetout Cofidis s.t.
106 Maxime Daniel Arkea-Samsic s.t.
107 Christopher Lawless Team INEOS s.t.
108 Thomas Vaubourzeix Natura4ever-Roubaix-Lille Métropole s.t.
109 Evan Clouse Interpro Cycling s.t.
110 Nicolas Baldo St Michel-Auber 93 s.t.
111 Lucas De Rossi Delko-Marseille Provence s.t.
112 Emiel Vermeulen Natura4ever-Roubaix-Lille Métropole s.t.
113 Daniel Turek Israel Cycling Academy 15' 29''
114 Lucas Carstensen Bike Aid s.t.
115 Aaron Grosser Bike Aid 15' 46''
116 Evaldas Siškevicius Delko-Marseille Provence 18' 25''
117 Justin Wolf Bike Aid 19' 14''
118 Niko Holler Bike Aid 20' 55''
119 Adne van Engelen Bike Aid s.t.

GC after stage 1:

1 Alejandro Valverde Movistar 4hr 43min 51sec
2 Eddie Dunbar Team INEOS @ 4sec
3 Elie Gesbert Arkea-Samsic 8''
4 Rigoberto Urán EF Education First 12''
5 Tony Gallopin Ag2r La Mondiale s.t.
6 Iván Sosa Team INEOS s.t.
7 Alex Aranburu Caja Rural-Seguros RGA 17''
8 Rein Taaramäe Total Direct Energie 20''
9 Giovanni Carboni Bardiani-CSF 44''
10 Pavel Sivakov Team INEOS s.t.
11 Nans Peters Ag2r La Mondiale 58''
12 Quentin Pacher Vital Concept-B&B Hotels 1' 04''
13 Valentin Madouas Groupama-FDJ 1' 15''
14 Antonio Pedrero Movistar s.t.
15 Javier Moreno Delko-Marseille Provence 1' 18''
16 Joe Dombrowski EF Education First s.t.
17 Rafael Valls Movistar 2' 07''
18 Alexandre Geniez Ag2r La Mondiale s.t.
19 Cristián Rodríguez Caja Rural-Seguros RGA 2' 16''
20 Oscar Rodríguez Euskadi Basque Country s.t.
21 Adrien Guillonnet Interpro Cycling 2' 54''
22 Jesús Herrada Cofidis s.t.
23 Hubert Dupont Ag2r La Mondiale s.t.
24 Quentin Jauregui Ag2r La Mondiale s.t.
25 Mikel Iturria Euskadi Basque Country s.t.
26 Clément Chevrier Ag2r La Mondiale s.t.
27 Francesco Romano Bardiani-CSF 3' 10''
28 Mikel Bizkarra Euskadi Basque Country s.t.
29 Sergey Chernetsky Caja Rural-Seguros RGA s.t.
30 Delio Fernández Delko-Marseille Provence s.t.
31 Pierre Gouault Natura4ever-Roubaix-Lille Métropole 3' 13''
32 Hernán Aguirre Interpro Cycling 3' 14''
33 Amaël Moinard Arkea-Samsic 3' 16''
34 Florian Hudry Interpro Cycling 3' 19''
35 Angelo Tulik Total Direct Energie 3' 26''
36 Rémy Rochas Delko-Marseille Provence 3' 49''
37 Sergio Pardilla Caja Rural-Seguros RGA s.t.
38 Manuel Senni Bardiani-CSF 4' 14''
39 Eduard Prades Movistar 4' 25''
40 José Joaquín Rojas Movistar 4' 42''
41 Fernando Barceló Euskadi Basque Country s.t.
42 Pablo Torres Interpro Cycling s.t.
43 Garikoitz Bravo Euskadi Basque Country s.t.
44 Brice Feillu Arkea-Samsic 5' 20''
45 Luca Covili Bardiani-CSF s.t.
46 Julien El Farès Delko-Marseille Provence s.t.
47 Sergio Samitier Euskadi Basque Country 5' 45''
48 Julien Simon Cofidis s.t.
49 Mathias Le Turnier Cofidis 7' 08''
50 Kévin Le Cunff St Michel-Auber 93 s.t.
51 Yoann Paillot St Michel-Auber 93 s.t.
52 Darwin Atapuma Cofidis s.t.
53 Sebastián Henao Team INEOS s.t.
54 Julen Amezqueta Caja Rural-Seguros RGA s.t.
55 Luis Angel Maté Cofidis s.t.
56 Camille Thominet St Michel-Auber 93 s.t.
57 Franck Bonnamour Arkea-Samsic s.t.
58 Cyril Gautier Vital Concept-B&B Hotels s.t.
59 Romain Combaud Delko-Marseille Provence s.t.
60 Perrig Quémeneur Total Direct Energie s.t.
61 Olivier Le Gac Groupama-FDJ s.t.
62 Clément Carisey Israel Cycling Academy 7' 21''
63 Stéphane Rossetto Cofidis 7' 27''
64 James Whelan EF Education First 8' 30''
65 Thibault Ferasse Natura4ever-Roubaix-Lille Métropole 8' 58''
66 Pierre Rolland Vital Concept-B&B Hotels 9' 42''
67 Jonathan Hivert Total Direct Energie s.t.
68 Bryan Nauleau Total Direct Energie 9' 50''
69 Pierre Idjouadienne Natura4ever-Roubaix-Lille Métropole s.t.
70 Alessandro Tonelli Bardiani-CSF s.t.
71 Patrick Müller Vital Concept-B&B Hotels s.t.
72 Edwin Avila Israel Cycling Academy s.t.
73 Mekseb Debesay Bike Aid s.t.
74 Christian Knees Team INEOS s.t.
75 Michal Golas Team INEOS s.t.
76 Guy Niv Israel Cycling Academy s.t.
77 Flavien Maurelet St Michel-Auber 93 s.t.
78 Luca Wackermann Bardiani-CSF s.t.
79 Romain Cardis Total Direct Energie 11' 32''
80 Laurent Pichon Arkea-Samsic 12' 41''
81 Ramon Sinkeldam Groupama-FDJ s.t.
82 Léo Vincent Groupama-FDJ 12' 46''
83 Romain Seigle Groupama-FDJ s.t.
84 Arnaud Démare Groupama-FDJ s.t.
85 Julien Duval Ag2r La Mondiale 12' 50''
86 Gauthier Navarro Interpro Cycling 12' 58''
87 Beñat Intxausti Euskadi Basque Country 13' 16''
88 Yohann Gène Total Direct Energie 13' 40''
89 David Casanovas Interpro Cycling 14' 55''
90 Sean Bennett EF Education First s.t.
91 Benjamin Perry Israel Cycling Academy s.t.
92 Lorrenzo Manzin Vital Concept-B&B Hotels s.t.
93 Jorge Arcas Movistar s.t.
94 Tom Dernies Natura4ever-Roubaix-Lille Métropole s.t.
95 Justin Mottier Vital Concept-B&B Hotels s.t.
96 Michael Bresciani Bardiani-CSF s.t.
97 Anthony Maldonado St Michel-Auber 93 s.t.
98 Sebastian Langeveld EF Education First s.t.
99 Morné Van Niekerk St Michel-Auber 93 s.t.
100 Jaime Castrillo Movistar s.t.
101 David González Caja Rural-Seguros RGA s.t.
102 Moreno Hofland EF Education First s.t.
103 Sacha Modolo EF Education First s.t.
104 Mickaël Delage Groupama-FDJ 15' 34''
105 Loïc Chetout Cofidis s.t.
106 Maxime Daniel Arkea-Samsic 15' 36''
107 Christopher Lawless Team INEOS 15' 36''
108 Thomas Vaubourzeix Natura4ever-Roubaix-Lille Métropole s.t.
109 Evan Clouse Interpro Cycling s.t.
110 Nicolas Baldo St Michel-Auber 93 s.t.
111 Lucas De Rossi Delko-Marseille Provence s.t.
112 Emiel Vermeulen Natura4ever-Roubaix-Lille Métropole s.t.
113 Daniel Turek Israel Cycling Academy 15' 37''
114 Lucas Carstensen Bike Aid 15' 39''
115 Aaron Grosser Bike Aid 15' 56''
116 Evaldas Siškevicius Delko-Marseille Provence 18' 35''
117 Justin Wolf Bike Aid 19' 24''
118 Niko Holler Bike Aid 20' 59''
119 Adne van Engelen Bike Aid 21' 05''