Egan Bernal Awarded Yellow Jersey After Stage 19 was Cancelled

Bernal wins by a landslide

High temps melting  snow and ice caused unraceable conditions and forced Tour organizers to unexpectedly cancel  stage 19 mid-race. A decision was made to take the split times from the summit of the Col de L’Iseran where Egan Bernal lead the yellow jersey of Egan Bernal by over 2 minutes.

Racers looked despondent as they were flagged down by race officials and announcements were made over race radio marking the cancellation of stage 19.

The stage will have no official winner, but the yellow jersey goes to Bernal as he crossed the summit first and was racing downhill with Simon Yates when the pair were told of the danger ahead, the road to Tignes buried in hail and rubble.

Bernal led atop the Col de l’Iseran in the Alps where the race times were taken when the stage was halted.

The 22-year-old will become the first Colombian to win the race should he hold on over the 33km climb on Saturday’s summit finish in the Alps with just Sunday’s procession into Paris to follow.

Bernal attacked on Friday’s last climb, about 5km from the summit, with defending champion Geraint Thomas, plus title rival Steven Kruijswijk trailing around a minute behind.

Overnight leader Julian Alaphilippe was a further minute adrift and was disconsolate after the race.

“I don’t think I can win the yellow jersey back,” Alaphilippe told France television as he climbed into his car and 45 seconds off the overall lead.

“I was beaten by something stronger than me.”

Alaphilippe wore the yellow jersey for 14 days, carrying the hopes of the public who are so eager to see a French winner for the first time since Bernard Hinault in 1985 and defying the pundits who felt he would wilt in the Pyrenees.

Many felt it was the right decision to call off the race.

“It was the only decision possible, imagine what might have happened?” FDJ sports director Marc Madiot said.

Ineos may feel robbed of a further opportunity because Bernal looked set to pulverize the overall standings.

Ineos led the ascent of the Col de l’Iseran with three men, Wout Poels, Dylan van Baarle and Jonathan Castroviejo ahead of Thomas and Bernal.

With the isolated Frenchman struggling for breath towards the summit of the highest point of the Tour, Bernal attacked 5km short of the peak, scampering away with ease.

 

UNOFFICIAL OVERALL RESULTS
  1. Egan Bernal
  2. Julian Alaphilippe :45
  3. Geraint Thomas 1:03

Complete results will be posted as they are released.

 

Tour de France 2019 – 106th Edition – 18th stage – Egan Bernal (COL – Team INEOS)
Tour de France 2019 – 106th Edition – 18th stage Embrun – Valloire 207 km – 25/07/2019 – Egan Bernal (COL – Team INEOS)

RBA/AFP Photos: Bettini

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