CYCLING: Bernal cruises into Paris as first Colombian rider to win the Tour de France

Colombia's Egan Bernal, winner of Paris-Nice and the Tour de France in the same year!

The final ride into Paris was only a formality for Colombia’s Egan Bernal – just 22 – to become the winner of the 106th Tour de France, one of the most exciting in its history.

Widely expected to contend for the title, he finally took control of the race on the 19th stage after a freak hailstorm stopped the event and gave Bernal the lead after he led the ascent on the Col de l’Iseran in the Alps. With Saturday’s stage shortened due to mudslides, he win was assured and he became the first-ever Colombian rider to take cycling’s greatest prize.

What made Bernal’s victory so remarkable is that he is the third-youngest winner of the Tour, and youngest in 84 years:

1. 19 + 352 days ~ Henri Cornet (FRA) in 1904
2. 21 + 344 days ~ Romain Maes (BEL) in 1935
3. 21 + 176 days ~ Egan Bernal (COL) in 2019
4. 21 + 187 days ~ Francois Faber (FRA) in 1909
5. 21 + 280 days ~ Octave Lapize (FRA) in 1910

He finished ahead of his Team INEOS stablemate, defending champion Geraint Thomas (GBR), who was himself in contention up to Friday’s stage. Also:

● Bernal’s win extended the Team INEOS (formerly Team Sky) winning streak to five years in a row, but ended the streak of British winners at four straight.

● Bernal won the Tour without winning an individual stage, which is a rarity. He’s the eighth to do it; the last was Britain’s Chris Froome, in 2017.

● It was his third UCI World Tour win of the year, after taking Paris-Nice in March, and the Tour de Suisse in June. He is the 11th rider to win both Paris-Nice and the Tour; the last do it in the same year was Bradley Wiggins (GBR) in 2012.

Bernal will be long remembered as the winner, but the hero of the 2019 Tour was France’s Julian Alaphilippe. Never mentioned as even a contender, he held the yellow jersey after 14 stages (3-5 and 8-18). He won two stages – no. 3 and the Time Trial (13) – and who knows what would have happened on that 19th stage, as he was making up ground on Bernal on the descent when the stage was called. Certainly, he will be watched more closely in the future.

Sunday’s final stage, always a dramatic ride into Paris, was won by Australia’s Caleb Ewan, who won his third stage of the Tour with a wild sprint, just ahead of Dylan Groenewegen (NED), who won Stage 7.

Ewan (3)was one of three riders to win multiple stages, along with Alaphilippe (2) and Simon Yates (GBR: 12 and 16).

The secondary prizes also made history:

● The Points (Green jersey) standings for the sprinters was once again a showcase for Slovakia’s Peter Sagan, who won with 316 points, ahead of Ewan (248) and Elia Viviani (ITA: 224). It’s a historic win for Sagan, who collected his seventh Tour de France points title, breaking a tie with Germany’s Erik Zabel, who won six straight from 1996-2001.

● The King of the Mountains (Polka Dot jersey) race was won by France’s Romain Bardet, who totaled 86 points, just ahead of Bernal (78) and Tim Wellens (BEL: 75). It’s Bardet’s first KOM title, but the third in a row for a French rider; Alaphilippe won it last year and Warren Barguil in 2017.

This was a memorable Tour and much will be expected of Bernal into the future. Believe it or not, he’s scheduled to ride in the Clasica Ciclista San Sebastian in Spain next week! Summaries:

UCI World Tour/Tour de France
France ~ 6-28 July 2019
(Full results here)

Stage 1 (194.5 km): 1. Mike Teunissen (NED), 4:22:47; 2. Peter Sagan (SVK), 4:22:47; 3. Caleb Ewan (AUS), 4:22:47; 4. Giacomo Nizzolo (ITA), 4:22:47; 5. Sonny Colbrelli (ITA), 4:22:47.

Stage 2 (27.6 km Team Time Trial): 1. Jumbo-Visma (NED), 28:57; 2. Team Ineos (GBR), 29:17; 3. Deceuninck-Quick Step (GER), 29:18; 4. Team Sunweb (GER), 29:23; 5. Team Katusha Alpecin (SUI), 29:23.

Stage 3 (215.0 km): 1. Julien Alaphilippe (FRA), 4:40:29; 2. Michael Matthews (AUS), 4:40:55; 3. Jasper Stuyven (BEL), 4:40:55; 4. Greg van Avermaet (BEL), 4:40:55; 5. Sagan (SVK), 4:40:55.

Stage 4 (213.5 km): 1. Elia Viviani (ITA), 5:09:20; 2. Alexander Kristoff (NOR), 5:09:20; 3. Ewan (AUS), 5:09:20; 4. Sagan (SVk), 5:09:20; 5. Dylan Groenewegen (NED), 5:09:20.

Stage 5 (175.5 km): 1. Sagan (SVK), 4:02:33; 2. Wout van Aert (BEL), 4:02:33; 3. Matteo Trentin (ITA), 4:02:33; 4. Colbrelli (ITA), 4:02:33; 5. van Avermaet (BEL), 4:02:33.

Stage 6 (160.5 km): 1. Dylan Teuns (BEL), 4:29:03; 2. Giulio Ciccone (ITA), 4:29:14; 3. Xandro Meurisse (BEL), 4:30:08; 4. Geraint Thomas (GBR), 4:30:47; 5. Thibaut Pinot (FRA), 4:30:49.

Stage 7 (230.0 km): 1. Groenewegen (NED), 6:02:44; 2. Ewan (AUS), 6:02:44; 3. Sagan (SVK), 6:02:44; 4. Colbrelli (ITA), 6:02:44; 5. Jasper Philipsen (BEL), 6:02:44.

Stage 8 (200.0 km): 1. Thomas de Gendt (BEL), 5:00:17; 2. Pinot (FRA), 5:00:23; 3. Alaphilippe (FRA), 5:00:23; 4. Matthews (AUS), 5:00:43; 5. Sagan (SVK), 5:00:43.

Stage 9 (170.5 km): 1. Daryl Impey (RSA), 4:03:12; 2. Tiesj Benoot (BEL), 4:03:12; 3. Jan Tratnik (SLO), 4:03:22; 4. Oliver Naesen (BEL), 4:03:22; 5. Stuyven (BEL), 4:03:22.

Stage 10 (217.5 km): 1. Wout van Aert (BEL), 4:49:39; 2. Viviani (ITA), 4:49:39; 3. Ewan (AUS), 4:49:39; 4. Matthews (AUS), 4:49:39; 5. Sagan (SVK), 4:49:39.

Stage 11 (167.0 km): 1. Ewan (AUS), 3:51:26; 2. Groenewegen (NED), 3:51:26; 3. Viviani (ITA), 3:51:26; 4. Sagan (SVK), 3:51:26; 5. Jens Debusschere (GER), 3:51:26.

Stage 12 (209.5 km): 1. Simon Yates (GBR), 4:57:53; 3. Pello Bilbao (ESP), 4:57:53; 3. Gregor Muhlberger (AUT), 4:57:53; 4. Tiesj Benott (BEL), 4:59:21; 5. Febio Felline (ITA), 4:59:21.

Stage 13 (27.2 km Indiv. Time Trial): 1. Alaphilippe (FRA), 35:00; 2. Thomas (GBR), 35:14; 3. De Gendt (BEL), 35:36; 4. Rigoberto Uran (COL), 35:36; 5. Richie Porte (AUS), 36:45. Also in the top 25: 9. Joey Rosskopf (USA), 36:01; … 17. Chad Haga (USA), 36:22.

Stage 14 (117.5 km): 1. Thibaut Pinot (FRA), 3:10:20; 2. Alaphilippe (FRA), 3:10:26; 3. Steven Kruijswijk (NED), 3:10:26; 4. Emanuel Buchmann (GER), 3:10:28; 5. Egan Bernal (COL), 3:10:28.

Stage 15 (185.0 km): 1. S. Yates (GBR), 4:47:04; 2. Pinot (FRA), 4:47:37; 3. Mikel Landa (ESP), 4:47:37; 4. Buchmann (GER), 4:47:55; 5. Bernal (COL), 4:47:55.

Stage 16 (177.0 km): 1. Ewan (AUS), 3:57:08; 2. Viviani (ITA), 3:57:08; 3. Groenewegen (NED), 3:57:08; 4. Sagan (SVK), 3:57:08; 5. Niccolo Bonifazio (ITA), 3:57:08.

Stage 17 (200.0 km): 1. Matteo Trentin (ITA), 4:21.36; 2. Kasper Asgreen (DEN), 4:21:13; 3. Van Avermaet (BEL), 4:21:17; 4. Bauke Mollema (NED), 4:21:17; 5. Teuns (BEL), 4:21:17.

Stage 18 (208.0 km): 1. Nairo Quintana (COL), 5:34:15; 2. Romain Bardet (FRA), 5:35:50; 3. Alexey Lutsenko (KAZ), 5:36:53; 4. Lennard Kamna (GER), 5:37:23; 5. Damiano Caruso (ITA), 5:37:15.

Stage 19 (126.5 km; stopped due to weather; no official stage results): 1. Egan Bernal (COL); 2:40:31; 2. Simon Yates, 2:40:44; 3. Warren Barguil (FRA), 2:41:11; 4. Laurens De Plus (BEL), 2:41:29; 5. Steven Kruijswijk (NED), 2:41:29.

Stage 20 (59.5 km; shortened due to mudslides): 1. Vincenzo Nibali (ITA), 1:51:53; 2. Alejandro Valverde (ESP), 1:52:03; 3. Landa (ESP), 1:52:07; 4. Bernal (COL), 1:52:10; 5. Thomas (GBR), 1:52:10.

Stage 21 (128.0 km): 1. Ewan (AUS), 3:04:08; 2. Groenewegen (NED), 3:04:08; 3. Binofazio (ITA), 3:04:08; 4. Maximiliano Richeze (ARG), 3:04:08; 5. Edvald Boasson Hagen (NOR), 3:04:08.

Final Standings: 1. Egan Bernal (COL), 82:57:00; 2. Geraint Thomas (GBR), +1:11; 3. Steven Kruijswijk (NED), +1:31; 4. Emanuel Buchmann (GER), +1:56; 5. Julian Alaphilippe (FRA), +4:05; 6. Mikel Landa (ESP), +4:23; 7. Rigoberto Uran (COL), +5:15; 8. Nairo Quintana (COL), 5:30; 9. Alejandro Valverde (ESP), +6:12; 10. Warren Barguil (FRA), +7:32.

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