Stage 20 - 130 km - Mountain - Albertville > Val Thorens

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.

 

Controversy abounds amidst the Velocast camp. John Galloway has (again) awarded Conquistador of the Day to the stage winner, (on this occasion Vincenzo Nibali of Bahrain-Merida)  - much to Scott's disgust. Scott argues the case for Laurens De Plus of Team Jumbo-Visma, but has been overruled...

 

Photo credit: A.S.O./Alex BROADWAY

 

"I've got two contenders today and my first contender is whichever god happened to be in charge of the weather around Val Thorens today. If we had had the stage cancelled today it would genuinely put a bit of a damp squib to the end of the most magnificent Tour de France. 

 

Photo credit: A.S.O./Alex BROADWAY

 

But of course, I'm going to go for the old warhorse. It's Vincenzo Nibali. The resistance he showed in the face of that group behind him. Lesser riders once that break got down to thirty seconds would have sat up. Or, would have thought I will wait and I will give it my best shot from the sprit- because he's a classy enough rider. He could have dropped back to that group and still rated his own chances for the win from the reduced group of GC favourites. But no, he kept his head down.

So often we have seen him not even breathing through his mouth when he's in absolute top form. He was breathing through every orifice in his body today. Snot was running out of his nose. His mouth was gaping like a fish. He was working so hard. And you saw even in the final kilometre he was still slightly worried. He was starting to smile and he was looking back but still, he persisted. And we saw the emotion when he crossed the line. We saw the emotion as he sat down on the barriers and had a drink of some fluids. We saw it again on the podium. There is life in the old dog yet and it was a joy to see, so today's Conquistador of the Day is Vincenzo Nibali."

 

Photo credit: A.S.O./Pauline BALLET

 

Scott O'Raw takes great exception to John's selection...

"Well, very much like Team INEOS, despite the success of the overall three weeks of Conquistador of the Day, there are questions to be asked John of what you are doing. Far, far too often you have gone for the stage winner.

John protests...

"I think I've only done it four or five times!".

Scott continues...

"I've only got two words to say to you, well three if you count the one in the middle - Laurens De Plus. That's who should have had Conquistador of the Day today!

John responds...

"Well, if Steven Kruijswijk had attacked and taken second on the podium then I would have gone for Laurens De Plus!"

Scott defends his claim...

"Well, if its a case of Steven Kruijswijk can't finish off the job, or his ambition is such that he won't finish off the job, you can't really blame Laurens De Plus for that, so that's a shocking laziness on your part Galloway to just go for the stage winner again !"

John typically has the final word...

"It's failure by association for De Plus and he can blame his teammate for that!

 

 

Photo credit: A.S.O./Pauline BALLET

 

FROM BAHRAIN-MERIDA

“The last 500 meters – Vincenzo Nibali smiles – they never ended! I wanted to honour the Tour and finally I did it today. Yesterday I tried and today it was the right one. The climb was endless and when I saw that the group accelerated I tried it myself. I’m very happy!”.

 

Photo credit: @Bettiniphoto @Team Bahrain Merida

 

“In the last week, I found the right sensations. It wasn’t easy to manage the race but I felt I had a good leg. This morning at the team meeting we decided to get into the break and so I left together with Dylan Teuns. The break was close-knit even though the main peloton never gave us great advantage”.

“When Vincenzo came out of the GC – comments SD and coach Paolo Slongo – we decided to recover for some days and to try to leave a mark in the last mountain stages. Vincenzo once again proved to be a real champion”.

 

STAGE SUMMARY FROM ASO

Vincenzo Nibali, the 2014 overall winner, made it up for a disappointing Tour de France as he claimed a prestigious solo victory at Val Thorens at the end of a 59-km stage. This is his sixth stage win after the four he got five years and at La Toussuire in 2015. Egan Bernal rode home safely to retain the yellow jersey on the eve of the grand finale in Paris.

 

Photo credit: A.S.O./Pauline BALLET

 

29 riders in the lead, including Nibali

155 riders took the start of stage 20 in Albertville. Dylan Teuns (Bahrain-Merida), Magnus Cort (Astana), Rui Costa (UAE Team Emirates), Alberto Bettiol (EF Education First), Kevin Van Melsen (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) and Lilian Calmejane (Total Direct Energie) rode away at km 2. 23 riders chased them down: Elia Viviani (Deceuninck-Quick Step), Tony Gallopin (AG2R-La Mondiale), Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida), Sébastien Reichenbach (Groupama-FDJ), Nelson Oliveira (Movistar), Omar Fraile and Gorka Izagirre (Astana), Michael Woods (EF Education First), Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-Scott), Joey Rosskopf (CCC), Vegard Stake Laengen (UAE Team Emirates), Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo), Nicolas Roche (Sunweb), Pierre-Luc Périchon (Cofidis), Jens Keukeleire (Lotto-Soudal), Niccolo Bonifazio and Anthony Turgis (Total Direct Energie), Ilnur Zakarin and Nils Politt (Katusha-Alpecin), Frederik Backaert (Wanty-Groupe Gobert), Stephen Cummings and Ben King (Dimension Data) and Maxime Bouet (Arkéa-Samsic). It made it a front group of 29 riders at km 19 with an advantage of two minutes over the peloton led by Team Ineos.

Julian Alaphilippe dropped with 13km remaining

Périchon and Turgis attacked right at the bottom of the 33.4km long climb to Val Thorens. 30km before the end, Nibali and Zakarin formed a leading trio along with Périchon. It became a quartet including Nibali, Zakarin, Gallopin and Woods. Périchon courageously bridged the gap. Jumbo-Visma took over from Ineos to lead the peloton strongly up the hill. Fraile caught up with the five leaders 17km before the end. With 15km to go, the time difference between the six escapees and the yellow jersey group was 1’15’’. With 13km remaining, Julian Alaphilippe got dropped, soon followed by Romain Bardet while Nibali rode away solo at the front. The 2014 Tour de France winner had 1’ lead over the main group with 10km to go and 35’’ with 5km to go.

 

Photo credit: A.S.O./Alex BROADWAY

 

Nibali’s first win since the 2018 Milan-Sanremo

Nibali forged on and struggled towards the end of the climb but resisted to the return of Mikel Landa who had attacked from the yellow jersey group led in the final part of the climb by Gregor Mühlberger (Bora-Hansgrohe). It’s Nibali’s first victory since Milan-Sanremo last year. It’s also Bahrain-Merida’s second stage win in this Tour de France after Dylan Teuns on stage 6 to La Planche des Belles Filles. Bardet retained the polka dot jersey as much as Bernal retained the yellow jersey. Alaphilippe dropped down to fifth overall while Kruijswijk moved onto the top 3 along with Team Ineos’ duo Bernal-Thomas.

 

 

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)

Stage 19 - Christian Prudhomme (ASO)

Stage 20 - Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida)

 

For the daily podcast from Le Tour and more visit velocast.cc.

Conquista issue 21 - available now.


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