Bonjour! Stage 19 – WELL! This was the stage of all stages! The race changer for many reasons, but primarily for the remarkable ride of Ineos’s Egan Bernal – what a star he is! It’s hard to know where to begin really – the heartbreak of Thibaut Pinot’s retirement is a start. One of my favourites and vying with Alaphilippe for the Yellow Jersey, should he fail. Poor Pinot’s injury proved too much and his team mate William Bonnet put a consoling arm around the inconsolable Pinot as he stepped off the bike and out of the race. ,..
The course was a short but brutal one, with five climbs, including the highest this year, the Col de l’Iseran. The stage was set to finish in Tignes. The day began well in sunshine but as the day progressed, purple storm clouds could be seen in the distance. Bernal was the first to cross the infamous mountain, closely followed by Simon Yates. Bernal closed the timegap on the GC and overtook Alaphilippe whilst he still climbed. He crossed and began the most hair-raising of descents to try and keep his shirt… and then, the hailstorm and mudslide. We saw a snow plough clearing mud and hail away further down and the race had to be stopped. There was no winner for the stage. An emotional Bernal is in Yellow for the defining stage tomorrow.
What a day! Here are my pictures 🙂
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All images copyright Maxine Dodd.
For in-depth race analysis, delivered with fun and wit, I highly recommend ‘Velovoices’ but don’t forget to come back to ‘Racing Lines’ for the pictures!
Have a great day! 🙂