Portugal’s Rui Costa claimed his second win of the 100th Tour de France on Friday as yellow jersey holder Chris Froome looked ahead to tasting overall victory in Paris. Movistar rider Costa shot out of a chasing peloton on the fifth and final climb of the 204.5 km ride from Bourg d’Oisans to Le Grand Bornand to catch stage leader Europcar’s Pierre Rolland.
The Portuguese, taking his second win and the third of his career following a victory in similar style on stage 16 to Gap, crossed the finish line 47secs ahead of German veteran Andreas Kloden (RadioShack). “I’m really happy to have won but to be honest I didn’t really believe in my chances at the start of the stage,” said Costa. “That’s why I decided to wait until the final climb to make my move.” Team Sky leader Froome came over the finish line just under nine minutes in arrears but with his 5min 11sec overall lead over Spanish rival Alberto Contador intact. “To be over five minutes ahead of the second place wearing the yellow jersey is just amazing,” said Froome. “It’s going to be very hard for someone to take more than five minutes off me in 125 kilometers (on Saturday), but I don’t want to be complacent. I have to stay switched on, at least until tomorrow evening.”
On the penultimate day in the mountains there was ample opportunity for Contador’s Saxo team to try and claw back their deficit. But as an early breakaway forged ahead of the main bunch, the Spaniard’s challenge failed to materialize. Saxo’s accelerations helped drop several of Froome’s teammates on the penultimate climb, but the Kenyan-born Briton ultimately crossed the finish safely on the wheel of Australian teammate Richie Porte.
Contador virtually admitted his hopes of a third victory, after wins in 2007 and 2009, were over. “We attacked a little and I spoke with my teammate Roman (Kreuziger) about the possibility of attacking,” said Contador. “I felt good, but I didn’t have strong enough legs to really attack. In the end we thought it would be best to come over the finish together.”
Ahead of Saturday’s final day in the Alps, the 125 km 19th stage from Annecy to the summit of Annecy-Semnoz, Froome looks virtually assured of succeeding compatriot and teammate Bradley Wiggins as the race champion. Asked if he had anything left to aim for on Sunday, Contador said: “It all depends on the legs I have tomorrow, and how the race develops and what tactics we can employ.” With the 21.6 km climb to the Glandon summit beginning almost immediately, the attacks came thick and fast.
Canada’s Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin) and Spaniard Izaguirre (Euskaltel) fought their way out of the peloton and forged ahead to open up a promising lead. Rolland was in a large chase group just two minutes behind and attacked in a bid to join the leaders early on the 19.2 km climb of the Madeleine. He led the Canadian over the summit, with the chase group over four minutes adrift. Rolland’s aim was two-fold: to win the stage and to add points to his tally for the best climber’s polka dot jersey, which he missed taking by one point at the finish. And his bid was hit when Hesjedal started fading on the 8.6 km climb to the Tamie summit. Rolland soldiered on but faded on the last climb, the difficult Col de Frey, where Costa caught and overtook him. “When I caught up with Ryder earlier I thought I found the right brekaway companion. He doesn’t skive when it comes to relays but unfortunately it wasn’t the Ryder who won the Giro last year,” said Rolland. “If there had been two of us, it would have made a difference. But after doing two climbs on my own I was struggling.
When Rui Costa passed me, he was just too fast. I couldn’t follow.”
1. Rui Alberto FARIA DA COSTA, Movistar, in 5:59:01
2. Andreas KLDEN, RadioShack-Leopard, at :48
3. Jan BAKELANTS, RadioShack-Leopard, at 1:44
4. Alexandre GENIEZ, FDJ.fr, at 1:52
5. Daniel NAVARRO GARCIA, Cofidis, at 1:55
6. Bart DE CLERCQ, Lotto-Belisol, at 1:58
7. Robert GESINK, Belkin, at 2:03
8. Alessandro DE MARCHI, Cannondale, at 2:05
9. Mikel NIEVE ITURALDE, Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 2:16
10. Ruben PLAZA MOLINA, Movistar, at 2:44
11. Jesus HERNANDEZ BLAZQUEZ, Saxo-Tinkoff, at 2:46
12. Romain BARDET, Ag2r La Mondiale, at 2:48
13. Tom DUMOULIN, Argos-Shimano, at 3:56
14. Simon GESCHKE, Argos-Shimano, at 4:52
15. Amal MOINARD, BMC Racing, at 6:41
16. Pierre ROLLAND, Europcar, at 6:41
17. Jose Rodolfo SERPA PEREZ, Lampre-Merida, at 8:15
18. Alejandro VALVERDE BELMONTE, Movistar, at 8:40
19. John GADRET, Ag2r La Mondiale, at 8:40
20. Jakob FUGLSANG, Astana, at 8:40
1. Chris Froome (GBR/SKY) 77h 10min 0sec
2. Alberto Contador (ESP/SAX) at 5:11s
3. Nairo Quintana (COL/MOV) 5:32.
4. Roman Kreuziger (CZE/SAX) 5:44.
5. Joaquin Rodriguez (ESP/KAT) 5:58.
6. Bauke Mollema (NED/BKN) 8:58.
7. Jakob Diemer Fuglsang (DEN/AST) 9:33.
8. Daniel Navarro (ESP/COF) 12:33.
9. Alejandro Valverde (ESP/MOV) 14:56.
10. Michal Kwiatkowski (POL/OPQ) 16:08.
11. Laurens ten Dam (NED/BKN) 16:09.
12. Andrew Talansky (USA/GRM) 16:24.
13. Mikel Nieve (ESP/EUS) 17:49.
14. Michael Rogers (AUS/SAX) 19:04.
15. Maxime Monfort (BEL/RSH) 20:00.
16. Romain Bardet (FRA/ALM) 24:53.
17. Daniel Moreno (ESP/KAT) 30:22.
18. Jan Bakelants (BEL/RSH) 33:12.
19. Robert Gesink (NED/BKN) 37:11.
20. Richie Porte (AUS/SKY) 37:53.
1. Peter Sagan (SVK/CAN) 380 pts
2. Mark Cavendish (GBR/OPQ) 278
3. Andre Greipel (GER/LTB) 227
4. Marcel Kittel (GER/ARG) 177
5. Alexander Kristoff (NOR/KAT) 157
6. Jose Joaquin Rojas (ESP/MOV) 155
7. Juan Antonio Flecha (ESP/VAC) 123
8. Michal Kwiatkowski (POL/OPQ) 110
9. Chris Froome (GBR/SKY) 92
10. Daryl Impey (RSA/ORI) 91
King of the Mountains:
1. Chris Froome (GBR/SKY) 104 pts
2. Pierre Rolland (FRA/EUC) 103
3. Mikel Nieve (ESP/EUS) 98
4. Nairo Quintana (COL/MOV) 97
5. Christophe Riblon (FRA/ALM) 93
6. Moreno Moser (ITA/CAN) 72
7. Ryder Hesjedal (CAN/GRM) 64
8. Tejay Van Garderen (USA/BMC) 62
9. Joaquim Rodriguez (ESP/KAT) 59
10. Richie Porte (AUS/SKY) 48
1. Saxo Bank 230hr 46min 35sec.
2. RadioShack at 3:39.
3. AG2R La Mondiale 7:37.
4. Movistar 15:51.
5. Belkin 29:24.
6. Katusha 56:11.
7. Euskaltel 1h20:13.
8. Omega Pharma 1h37:02.
9. Garmin 1h46:15.
10. BMC 1h46:24.
11. Sky 1h47:11.
12. Cofidis 1h56:56.
13. Europcar 2h13:41.
14. FDJ.fr 2h26:48.
15. Lampre 3h32:14.
16. Sojasun 3h33:50.
17. Vacansoleil 3h52:05.
18. Astana 4h12:34.
19. Orica 4h58:47.
20. Lotto 5h18:31.
21. Argos 5h22:31.
22. Cannondale 5h29:15.
Best young riders:
1. Nairo Quintana (COL/MOV) 77h15:32.
2. Michal Kwiatkowski (POL/OPQ) r 10:36.
3. Andrew Talansky (USA/GRM) 10:52.
4. Romain Bardet (FRA/ALM) 19:21.
5. Tom Dumoulin (NED/ARG) 1h18:11.
6. Alexandre Geniez (FRA/FDJ) 1h19:16.
7. Tejay Van Garderen (USA/BMC) 1h20:29.
8. Alexis Vuillermoz (FRA/SOJ) 1h31:09.
9. Tony Gallopin (FRA/RSH) 1h33:35.
10. Arthur Vichot (FRA/FDJ) 1h47:53.
Pierre Rolland (FRA/EUC)