Bernal back in white as Thomas limits losses

20 Jul 2019

Bernal back in white as Thomas limits losses

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Tour de France – Stage 14: Tarbes –Tourmalet Bareges, 117.5km

Egan Bernal moved back into the white jersey at the Tour de France with fifth place on stage 14, while Geraint Thomas dug deep after dropping time on the Col du Tourmalet.
 
Bernal crossed the line eight seconds behind stage victor Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) at the top of the famous climb, with team-mate Thomas coming home eighth, 36 seconds down, after losing contact in the final kilometre.
 
The result saw Thomas retain his second place overall, with Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) placing second on the stage, extending his race lead to two minutes and two seconds.
 
Bernal jumps up a place to fourth, three minutes off yellow, after hanging tough in an ever-reducing group of favourites.
 
Team INEOS were happy to let a number of GC teams set the tempo across the short, sharp Pyrenean test. Luke Rowe helped Groupama-FDJ with the tempo on the Col du Soulor before Movistar began to turn the screw.
 
With the team down to five riders, on the Tourmalet it was Dylan van Baarle and Wout Poels who held firm in a drastically reduced group. With 7.2km to go Pinot was the first contender to attack as the group continued to break apart.
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- Geraint Thomas

"I just didn't feel quite on it from the start really to be honest - just quite weak. At the end I just knew I had to try to pace it. I didn't really attempt to follow when they kicked. I thought it was better just to try to ride my own pace and limit my losses that way, rather than stay with them and blow up on the steepest bit at the end. Maybe I should have tried to stay with them - it's just one of those days.

"I was hoping I'd come round a bit. On the last climb it was just a matter of staying there for as long as possible. 

"It was a tough day out there. There's still a lot more to come and hopefully I'll feel better tomorrow."
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What's Next?

The weekend concludes with more tough ascending, including a summit finish on the Prat d'Albis. A trio of first-category climbs finishes out another monster mountain day, with close to 5000 metres of combined climbing. Expect more movement on the general classification.

Stage 14 result:

1. Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) 3:10:20
2. Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) +6"
3. Steven Kruijswijk (Jumbo-Visma) s.t.
4. Emanuel Buchmann (Bora-Hansgrohe) +8"
5. Egan Bernal (Team INEOS) s.t.
8. Geraint Thomas (Team INEOS) +36"

Overall standings:

1. Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) 56:11:29
2. Geraint Thomas (Team INEOS) +2:02"
3. Steven Kruijswijk (Jumbo-Visma) +2:14"
4. Egan Bernal (Team INEOS) +3:00"
5. Emanuel Buchmann (Bora-Hansgrohe) +3:12"

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