Bernal set to claim yellow in Paris

27 Jul 2019

Bernal set to claim yellow in Paris

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Tour de France – Stage 20: Albertville – Val Thorens, 59.5km

Egan Bernal and Team INEOS put in an emphatic performance on the final day in the mountains to all but wrap up a one-two finish at the Tour de France.
 
The team were more than equal to the task on the tough climb to Val Thorens, with Geraint Thomas finishing arm in arm with team-mate Bernal.
 
Thomas elevated himself to second place overall on the eve of Paris, with long-time leader Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) becoming distanced on the climb.
 
At an incredible 22 years of age, Bernal looks set to win in only his second ever Grand Tour, and will become the first Colombian to do so when he crosses the line on the Champs-Elysees on Sunday.
 
Team INEOS stood firm on the weather-shortened 59.5km stage, vying for control and making sure both Bernal and Thomas were supported on the run to the finish. With a winning margin of one minute and 11 seconds, Bernal will also clinch the white young rider jersey by default.
Egan Bernal

Egan Bernal

I just want to get to the finish line in Paris tomorrow and after I’ll be calmer. Colombia is on the verge of winning its first Tour.
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- Egan Bernal

“We’re now close to making it official. There’s one stage left, but normally if everything goes well, I can say that I’ve won my first Tour. 

“The last climb has been very hard. Jumbo-Visma rode hard to make the podium. We were in a comfortable situation and I felt really well. I’m happy. 

"It’s incredible to think that I have won my first Tour. I just want to get to the finish line in Paris tomorrow and after I’ll be calmer. Colombia is on the verge of winning its first Tour - I feel this is not only my triumph but the triumph of a whole country. We already had the Giro, La Vuelta, but the Tour was missing and it’s a great honour to think that I’m the one achieving this. My dad couldn’t talk at first but when he managed, he congratulated me. He was about to cry. For us, it’s a dream. 

"We used to watch the Tour on TV and we thought it was something unreachable. As a kid, you think “how cool it would be to be there one day”, but it looked so far away. Here we are and I’m very emotional.”
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- Geraint Thomas

“To get first and second doesn’t get any better. The fact that Egan is one step above me, he’s the best person to have in front of me. 
 
“Obviously it’s been a crazy year for me and I can be happy and proud that I’ve given everything to be in my best shape here and I think we rode really well as a team from day one. 
 
“It’s been amazing. I think that we’ve proved time and time again that we’re a strong unit and we know how to ride hard and perform in this race. It’s a pleasure to be a part of.”

- Sir Dave Brailsford

“It’s the most exciting Tour de France that we’ve taken part in and credit to Julian Alaphilippe as he died for that jersey every stage and he made a lot of people second guess what they thought they knew, and I think Pinot did the same in the Pyrenees. He was aggressive, he was brave and he took the race to us.
 
“We knew we had a group of older guys who were performing well, but we looked very hard to find the new generation and we decided that it was going to be Egan. We fought pretty hard to get him and he developed fantastically well.
 
“The advice that G has given [Egan], he knows what he’s doing, he’s generous with his advice and a generous person in that regard and in the end it was all about the team winning.
 
“A lot of people may have questioned having two leaders, were we hedging our bets and whether it was going to work. It’s worked to perfection and you can’t get better than second and first.”
Stage 20 result:

1. Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain Merida) 1:51:53
2. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) +10"
3. Mikel Landa (Movistar) +14"
4. Egan Bernal (Team INEOS) +17"
5. Geraint Thomas (Team INEOS) s.t.


Overall standings:

1. Egan Bernal (Team INEOS) 79:52:52
2. Geraint Thomas (Team INEOS) +1:11"

3. Steven Kruijswijk (Jumbo-Visma) +1:31"
4. Emanuel Buchmann (Bora-Hansgrohe) +1:56"
5. Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) +3'45"

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