Bernal climbs up to second

25 Jul 2019

Bernal climbs up to second

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Tour de France – Stage 18: Embrun – Valloire, 208km

Egan Bernal launched an impressive move on the Col du Galibier as Team INEOS looked to take the fight to the yellow jersey on stage 18.
 
The young Colombian accelerated on the steep slopes of the hors-categorie climb, opening out a gap to his rivals which he retained at the finish in Valloire. Crossing the line 32 seconds ahead of the chasing pack, Bernal elevated himself into second place overall, just five seconds ahead of team-mate Geraint Thomas.
 
Thomas also launched an attack higher up the famous climb in a bid to crack the yellow jersey of Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick-Step). The Frenchman was briefly distanced over the summit but was able to regain the lost ground on the lengthy descent. 
 
With two mountain stages remaining he holds an advantage of one minute and 30 seconds over Bernal, who extended his lead further in the young rider standings.
 
Team INEOS worked hard throughout the day, initially placing Dylan van Baarle in a 34-man breakaway. After pressure from Movistar shredded the peloton on the Col du Izoard, Jonathan Castroviejo played a crucial role, regaining contact on the descent, before driving the pace onto the lower slopes of the Galibier. Van Baarle then dropped back to take over, before Bernal made his big move.
Egan Bernal

Egan Bernal

G asked me how I was feeling. I said I was feeling really good so he asked me to attack to try to move the race.
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Reaction

- Egan Bernal

"For us it was really good. I gained a little bit of time on Alaphilippe so I'm really happy for that. G asked me how I was feeling. I said I was feeling really good so he asked me to attack to try to move the race. Then he tried to come with me, but once he saw the guys were on his wheel he stayed with them.

"I was feeling much better when I was at altitude, I don't know if it was just mentally. The last 8km was more than 2000 metres. I was feeling much better and I hope tomorrow can be good for me. I tried to do a time trial in the last 3km. I don't know from how many kilometres out I attacked. I just viewed the finish as the King of the Mountains (summit) and I did my best on the downhill. I was careful to not crash."

- Geraint Thomas

"We wanted it to be hard but the pace just wasn’t really there. The call was made for Egan to just go and hopefully that might kick it off a bit. And it didn’t really – Mas just started riding his tempo. That’s when I went as well, just to test how everyone was. At least Egan gained some time on everyone else. 
 
"I was feeling pretty good today. Two big days to come now. We kind of knew that today wouldn’t be a huge difference and it would be hard to drop Alaphilippe. But it’s certainly going to put some fatigue in everyone for the next two days."
Stage 18 result:

1. Nairo Quintana (Movistar) 5:34:15
2. Romain Bardet (Ag2r-La Mondiale) +1:35"
3. Alexey Lutsenko (Astana) +2:38"
4. Lennard Kamna (Sunweb) +2:58"
5. Damiano Caruso (Bahrain Merida) +3:00"
8. Egan Bernal (Team INEOS) +4:46"
13. Geraint Thomas (Team INEOS) +5:18"


Overall standings:

1. Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) 75:18:49
2. Egan Bernal (Team INEOS) +1:30"
3. Geraint Thomas (Team INEOS) +1:35"

4. Steven Kruijswijk (Jumbo-Visma) +1:47"
5. Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) +1:50"

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