Egan Bernal wins the Tour de France as Nibali clinches final mountain stage

Egan Bernal clinched victory in the Tour de France defending his lead in the penultimate stage as Vincenzo Nibali clinched the stage win

Bernal crossed the line at Val Thorens with all the favorites bar Julian Alaphilippe who struggled to stay in contention on the final climb.

The Colombian only needs to cross the finish line on Sunday's parade into Paris to win the 2019 edition.

The champion stayed behind his Team Ineos teammates and  defending champion Geraint Thomas who ended up in second overall, with Dutch rider Steven Kruijswijk in third. 

The stage was won by 2014 Tour de France champion Vincenzo Nibali who broke away on the final climb to solo to the top.

"I still have to get Paris but it's incredible," said the 20 year old rider set to become the Tour's youngest winner since 1909.

"I'm a little calmer now, It'll take a few days to realise what I have achieved. To be honest I was feeling good today, I kept thinking 5km, 4km, 3km one less, one less to go each time. When we got to the finish and Geraint held out his hand I realised it was over and I was going to win the Tour de France." said the 2019 Tour de France champion.

Team Ineos principal Dave Brailsford has masterminded seven tour wins from the last eight editions with Bradley Wiggins, Chris Froome and Thomas having taken six and Bernal the latest triumph.

Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe, who led for 14 days before cracking on Friday's weather neutralised stage finished down the field to drop to fifth place overall, the Frenchman struggled to stay in contention on the final climb and was distanced with 13 kms to go.

Bernal, who is set to become Colombia's first Tour winner, now leads Thomas by 1min 11sec and Jumbo-Visma's Kruijswijk by 1min 31sec ahead of the celebration around the center of Paris.

Bahrain Merida's Italian captain  Vincenzo Nibali, who struggled to find his form at this years race said, "To win here is a great joy"

Green jersey wearer Peter Sagan said happy the stage was shortened, "Tomorrow is Paris and one for the sprinters, so let's see, a win in Paris would be great," said the Slovak gunning for the sprinter's jersey for a record seventh time.

Frenchman Romain Bardet redeemed a disastrous three weeks by taking the King of the Mountains Polka Dot jersey with two brilliant stages in the Alps.

Sunday's parade to Paris embarks late and is due to finish beneath the Arc de Triomphe on the Champs Elysees.

VIDEO: 2019 Tour de France Stage 20 Highlights

2019 Tour de France GC after Stage 20

1 Egan Bernal (Col) Team Ineos 79:52:52
2 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Ineos 0:01:11
3 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma 0:01:31
4 Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:01:56
5 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck-QuickStep 0:03:45
6 Mikel Landa (Spa) Movistar Team 0:04:23
7 Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education First 0:05:15
8 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 0:05:30
9 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 0:06:12
10 Warren Barguil (Fra) Arkéa Samsic 0:07:32.

2019 Tour de France Stage 20 Top 10

1 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida 1:51:53
2 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:10
3 Mikel Landa (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:14
4 Egan Bernal (Col) Team Ineos 0:00:17
5 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Ineos
6 Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education First 0:00:23
7 Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
8 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma 0:00:25
9 Wout Poels (Ned) Team Ineos 0:00:30
10 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team.

 
Tag: tourdefrance
 
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