Soren Kragh Andersen doubles up at the Tour with stage 19 win

Soren Kragh Andersen doubled down and raised his arms in victory again on stage 19 of the Tour de France on Friday, with another cunningly timed attack.

Behind him, saving their last reserves of strength for a time trial on Saturday that will decide the Tour podium, race leader Primoz Roglic and his rivals preferred to coast to the finish while Andersen hared off for the prestige of the stage victory.

He left 11 other riders he’d been with in a breakaway for dead with an acceleration 16 kilometers from the finish in Champagnole in eastern France. He held up two fingers at the line – one for each of his stage wins.

The focus now shifts to the time trial where Roglic will be aiming to secure his first Tour title, and the first at the 117-year-old race by a Slovenian.

”So far, so good,” he said. ”It’s all on me.”

And if he suffers a mishap, Slovenia will still have a second chance, in the shape of Tadej Pogacar, who is second overall. Just 57 seconds separate the countrymen after more than 3,300 kilometers of racing on French roads since the Aug. 29 start.

That cushion should be ample for Roglic, the winner of time trials last year at the Vuelta, which he won, and at the Giro d’Italia, where he finished third.

At national championships in Slovenia in June, Pogacar beat Roglic by nine seconds in a time trial that also had a similar gain in altitude, about 700 meters, but was much shorter, at just under 16 kilometers.

The route on Saturday is more than twice that, at 36.2 kilometers. It will require a nuanced effort, with an initial flat section followed by a first uphill and then a twisting downhill before a sharp climb up hairpin bends to a small ski station, at La Planche des Belles Filles. The finishing ramp is a very steep 20% gradient, with other sections before that of more than 10%.

Pogacar, who has showered his first Tour with his precocious talent, winning two stages, and who turns 22 the day after the finish in Paris, can be counted on to again give it his all.

”If I’m on a good day, it’s a course that suits me well,” he said. ”If someone told me I’d be in this position before the Tour, I would never have believed them.”

Tour de France 2020 – stage 19 results (Bourg-en-Bresse – Champagnole):

1Søren Kragh Andersen (Team Sunweb)

3:36:33

2Luka Mezgec (Mitchelton-Scott)

+53”

3Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo)

,,

4Greg Van Avermaet (CCC)

,,

5Oliver Naesen (AG2R la Mondiale)

,,

6Nikias Arndt (Team Sunweb)

,,

7Luke Rowe (Ineos Grenadiers)

+59”

8Sam Bennett (Deceuninck-Quick-Step)

+01’02”

9Peter Sagan (Bora-hansgrohe)

,,

10Matteo Trentin (CCC)

,,

11Jack Bauer (Mitchelton-Scott)

+01’07”

12Dries Devenyns (Deceuninck-Quick-Step)

+01’15”

13Edvald Boasson Hagen (NTT)

+03’53”

14Hugo Hofstetter (Israel Start-Up Nation)

,,

15Bryan Coquard (B&B Hotels-Vital Concept)

,,

16Robert Gesink (Jumbo-Visma)

+07’38”

17Nils Politt (Israel Start-Up Nation)

,,

18José Joaquin Rojas (Movistar)

,,

19Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain McLaren)

,,

20Marco Haller (Bahrain McLaren)

,,

 

Tour de France 2020 – general classification after stage 19:

1Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma)

83:29:41

2Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates)

+54”

3Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana)

+01’27”

4Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo)

+03’06”

5Mikel Landa (Bahrain McLaren)

+03’28”

6Enric Mas (Movistar)

+04’19”

7Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott)

+05’55”

8Rigoberto Uran (EF Pro Cycling)

+06’05”

9Tom Dumoulin (Jumbo-Visma)

+07’24”

10Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)

+12’12”

11Damiano Caruso (Bahrain McLaren)

+12’31”

12Guillaume Martin (Cofidis)

+13’16”

13Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers)

+17’48”

14Warren Barguil (Arkea-Samsic)

+28’03”

15Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma)

+35’34”

16Pello Bilbao (Bahrain McLaren)

+53’33”

17Nairo Quintana (Arkea-Samsic)

+57’49”

18Pierre Rolland (B&B Hotels-Vital Concept)

+1h00’13”

19Carlos Verona (Movistar)

+1h11’30”

20Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma)

+1h19’57”

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