For this year's Tour de France we've teamed up with The Velocast to share with you their nominated Conquistador of the Day. During their daily stage review podcast, Scott and John will announce the rider who they feel deserves a special mention for their efforts that day.
After much deliberation and debate, today's Conquistador of the day is Julian Alaphilippe of Decenuinck - Quick-Step. John talks us through why he's gone for the Frenchman again...
Photo credits - All A.S.O./Pauline BALLET
"I've got a lot of contenders today. I'm sorely tempted by Nairo Quintana because of that attack on the Galibier followed by a wonderful descent, just before it started raining. He could not have timed it better because that descent in the rain would have been horrible. That makes him a strong contender. But given that we have just gushed like schoolgirls about Julian Alaphillipe getting back on during the descent, it's got to be Julian again!
Special mention goes to Roman Bardet because we have seen Julian Alaphilippe fight like a dog day-in, day-out over the past week or so to save the yellow jersey. We've seen Nairo Quintana out in breaks in the Pyrenese before Mikel Landa passed him, and to use a good Scottish word "dingied" him. Bardet has looked to be struggling throughout so whether he simply couldn't match Quintana for strength or pace today he did get himself out in the break and was seen to be pushing for the stage win. That spirit sums up Conquistador of the Day."
STAGE SUMMARY FROM ASO
Colombia’s Nairo Quintana claimed his third stage win at the Tour de France after stage 20 to Annecy-Semnoz in 2013 and stage 17 to col du Portet last year as he rode away solo from a long-lasting breakaway 7.5km before the col du Galibier. The other successful attack in the mythical climb enabled his compatriot Egan Bernal to move to second overall behind Julian Alaphilippe who defended the yellow jersey once again.
34 riders in the lead
156 riders started stage 18 in Embrun. Two non-starters: Lukas Pöstlberger (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Soren Kragh Andersen (Sunweb). Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) was one of the most active riders until Kazakhstan national champion Alexey Lutsenko (Astana) and Pierre-Luc Périchon (Cofidis) rode away 1km before the top of the côte des Demoiselles Coiffées (km 13) they passed in that order. Périchon surrendered before Lutsenko who was reeled in at km 30. At km 35, Lutsenko went again with Daryl Impey and Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott), and Lennard Kämna (Sunweb). At 44, 34 riders managed to get a bit of a gap: Dylan Van Baarle (Ineos), Max Richeze (Deceuninck - Quick-Step), Romain Bardet, Mikaël Chérel and Matthias Frank (AG2R-La Mondiale), Damiano Caruso (Bahrain-Merida), Matthieu Ladagnous (Groupama-FDJ), Nairo Quintana, Andrey Amador and Carlos Verona (Movistar), Gorka Izagirre and Alexey Lutsenko (Astana), Amund Groendahl Jansen and Mike Teunissen (Jumbo-Visma), Alberto Bettiol and Michael Woods (EF Education First), Adam Yates, Daryl Impey and Chris Juul Jensen (Mitchelton-Scott), Greg Van Avermaet, Simon Geschke and Serge Pauwels (CCC), Sergio Henao (UAE Team Emirates), Julien Bernard (Trek-Segafredo), Nikias Arndt and Lennard Kämna (Sunweb), Pierre-Luc Périchon and Stéphane Rossetto (Cofidis), Tiesj Benoot, Jasper De Buyst and Tim Wellens (Lotto-Soudal), Paul Ourselin (Total Direct Energie), Nils Politt (Katusha-Alpecin) and Amaël Moinard (Arkéa-Samsic).
Olympic champion in action between Vars and Izoard
De Buyst passed first at the intermediate sprint of Les Thuiles (km 45), but the Lotto-Soudal team was even more interested in Wellens getting KOM points at col de Vars. It turned out to being a duel between Wellens and Bardet, the Belgian going with more determination to the first place at the top of the of the three climbs of the day culminating over 2000 meters of altitude. Arndt rode away solo for a little while in the downhill. The time difference between the group of Quintana who was 9’30’’ down on GC and the yellow jersey peloton was 7’40’’ at half way into the race. With 95km to go, before tackling the ascent to col d’Izoard, Van Avermaet rode away solo. The Olympic champion was soon caught up by Bernard who continued in his own and reach the summit of the Izoard in first position but was pipped on the line of the King of the Mountains prize by Caruso and Bardet.
Alaphilippe in yellow, Bardet in the polka dot jersey
In the valley, on the way to Briançon, a new group of nine riders was formed at the front: Bardet, Caruso, Quintana, Lutsenko, Woods, A. Yates, Pauwels, Kämna and Bernard. Wellens and six other riders went across. Van Avermaet initiated a new leading group before the ascent to the Galibier: Woods, Pauwels, Lutsenko, Kämna, Chérel and Benoot. 11 riders eventually climbed together until Caruso and Lutsenko upped the tempo 9km before the summit. With 7.5km of climbing remaining, Quintana rode away solo. 1km further, Bardet sped up and Lutsenko followed him. Team Ineos set the pace of the yellow jersey for Egan Bernal to go solo before the summit. Alaphilippe struggled uphill but made it back and passed the Pinot-Thomas group in the downhill. Quintana kept 1’30’’ lead over Bardet to power to victory in Valloire where the Frenchman took a consolation prize with the polka dot jersey while his compatriot Alaphilippe retained the yellow jersey with Bernal as new runner up 1’30’’ adrift. This is the 20th stage victory for Colombian riders at the Tour de France.
Conquistadors of the Day - Tour de France 2019
Stage 01 - Greg Van Avermaet (CCC Team)
Stage 02 - Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott)
Stage 03 - Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck - Quick-Step)
Stage 04 - Michael Mørkøv (Deceuninck - Quick-Step)
Stage 05 - Marcus Burghardt (BORA - hansgrohe)
Stage 06 - Geraint Thomas (Team INEOS)
Stage 07 - Dylan Groenewegen (Team Jumbo - Visma)
Stage 08 - Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal)
Stage 09 - Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-Scott)
Stage 10 - Luke Rowe (Team INEOS)
Stage 11 - Peter Sagan (BORA - hansgrohe)
Stage 12 - Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott)
Stage 13 - Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck - Quick-Step)
Stage 14 - David Gaudu (Groupama - FDJ)
Stage 15 - Thibault Pinot (Groupama - FDJ)
Stage 16 - Maxime Monfort of (Lotto-Soudal)
Stage 17 - Matteo Trentin (Mitchelton-Scott)
Stage 18 - Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck - Quick-Step)
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