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Photography by Cor Vos, Jered & Ashley Gruber
Rain and mountain descents made for a wild day at the Tour de France Friday, as Roman Bardet (Ag2r-La Mondiale) took the Stage 19 win and moved from fifth overall into second, Chris Froome (Team Sky) crashed and finished, bloodied, on a teammate’s bike, and second-placed Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) imploded while chasing back from a crash, losing any hope of a podium finish in Paris.
“I’m over the moon,” Bardet said. “It’s beautiful to ride a bike instinctively. This attack was absolutely not planned. It’s been a flash in [Ag2r teammate] Mikaël Chérel’s mind. He said ‘let’s go flat out in the downhill.’ Climbing to the finishing line was pure emotions. I watched the public in the eyes and shared the emotions with the people. We’re humans and humans need emotions. I ran away from any kind of calculation today.”
Bardet attacked on the run-in to the final climb of the day, as rain-slicked roads saw many riders hit the deck including Froome. The maillot jaune would finish the stage on teammate Geraint Thomas’ bike.
“It’s ironic, I was just trying to stay up front and out of trouble, and I hit one of the white painted lines, and I lost my front wheel,” Froome said. “I’m okay. I’m lucky I’m not seriously injured. I lost a bit of skin, and I banged my knee, but this is the kind of day where I’m grateful to have a four-minute advantage to fall back on.”
Read the full stage 19 race report, highlight video, and results here.