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Page last updated at 15:32 GMT, Friday, 24 July 2009 16:32 UK

Tour de France - stage 19 as it happened

Stage 19 - Bourgoin Jallieu to Aubenas, 178km

LATEST ACTION (all times BST)

606: DEBATE

To get involved use 606 or text us your views & comments on 81111 and put "Cycling" at the start of them. (Not all contributions can be used)

By Chris Bevan

Bradley Wiggins
1622: Yep, we head for the 'Giant of Provence' - Mont Ventoux - tomorrow for stage 20, which will sort out the podium places in this year's Tour once and for all. The climb to the finish line comes at the very end of the 167km stage and is sure to see a series of attacks from the Schleck brothers and the Astana heavy mob, who will want Lance Armstrong and Andreas Kloden to join champion-in-waiting Alberto Contador in the top three. Can Britain's brave Bradley Wiggins beat them all? Join me tomorrow from around 1030 BST to find out...

1618: It was meant to be a fairly dull day in the Tour today...it never is though is it? And what about tomorrow!?

White jersey
Polka dot jersey
Green jersey
Yellow jersey
1615: TOUR DE FRANCE 2009 AFTER STAGE 19:

Yellow jersey: Alberto Contador (Spa/Astana)
Green jersey: Thor Hushovd (Nor/Cervelo)
Polka dot jersey: Franco Pellizotti (Ita/Liquigas)
White jersey: Andy Schleck (Lux/Saxo Bank)

Green jersey
1612: Ha! As expected, Cav's win has sparked off more chat from you lot on 606 and text on the great green jersey debate of the 2009 Tour, and whether it should go to the best sprinter, best all-round rider, the rider with most stage wins, or even the most outspoken rider from the Isle of Man...the choice is yours. Thor Hushovd is still in green tonight though.

Yellow jersey
1607: GENERAL CLASSIFICATION AFTER STAGE 19:

1. Alberto Contador (Spa/Astana) 73 hrs 15 mins 39 seconds
2. Andy Schleck (Lux/Saxo Bank) + 4 mins 11 secs
3. Lance Armstrong (USA/Astana) + 5 min 21 secs
4. Bradley Wiggins (GB/Garmin) + 5 min 36 secs
5. Andreas Kloden (Ger/Astana) + 5 mins 38 secs
6. Frank Schleck (Lux/Saxo Bank) + 5 mins 59 secs

It's bad news for a British rider
Bradley Wiggins
1602: Not such good news for Bradley Wiggins, however, as it seems there was a bit of a split in the peloton before the end and he lost four seconds on Lance Armstrong, despite finishing only two places behind him in 14th place. All the other big-hitters, including maillot jaune Alberto Contador - finished behind Wiggo with the same time as him, but he now trails the seven-time champion by 15 seconds in the General Classification.

It's good news for a British rider
1558: I've just heard some very good news for Britain - thanks to Cav's five victories, we now have the most stage wins of any country in this year's Tour. Would be very nice if Cav could make it a super six on the Champs Elysees on Sunday...

Text in your views on 81111
1556: From Invisiblebike, via text on 81111: "Amazing Cav, he may be a bit mouthy for some but is unquestionably the best sprinter on the pro tour."

Green jersey
1554: Thor Hushovd was second in the end, and keeps a firm grip on the green jersey - he leads by 25 points with two stages left. But, once again, he had no answer to Cav in a sprint finish, despite being perfectly placed in third on the shoulder of the fading Martin and Cav with 200m to go.

Mark Cavendish
1551: An emotional Mark Cavendish following his latest stage win:

"This wasn't a stage for me - you could see Rabobank going full blast at the front up the climb but my team all stayed with me and we hung in, although it was so hard - they put everything behind me. We caught the two at the end and then Tony Martin took me to within 200m of the line, it was too far for me to go but I had to go and I gave it everything...it was amazing to win, after a disappointing week for me."

It's good news for a British rider
1547: Yep, he's done it again...his fifth stage win of this year's Tour and a British record ninth in total, beating the eight by Barry Hoban. Cav got led out by Tony Martin this time and, again, he was accelerating away from Hushovd at the line.

1546: MARK CAVENDISH WINS STAGE 19 OF THE TOUR DE FRANCE!

1545: Tony Martin is leading Cav out but Hush is on his wheel...

1544: Freire goes across a roundabout after almost losing it on a corner. We're inside the last 1km, this one is going to be close...Ballan has been caught.

1543: The front two are caught and here come Team Columbia...but Ballan has attacked again...

1542: Inside the last 2km and Ballan and Lefevre are still clear...but not by much.

1541: Oscar Freire is back up with Cav and Hushovd - this one is probably going to be between these three now. The main bunch is down to around 35 riders now, and the big-hitters are hanging around at the back, trying to stay out of danger.

1540: It looks like the Columbia train is getting ready to try to bring Cav home. The front two of Ballan and Lefevre are just seven seconds clear as we enter the last 4km.

1539: The gap is still 10 seconds with 5.5km to go. George Hincapie is the latest Columbia man to take up the pace at the top of the peloton. We've got a slight uphill finish in the last 500m of the stage, which might shake things up a bit.

1537: Ballan is gritting his teeth and pedalling hard, he's been towing Lefevre along since they came over the top of the hill. The gap back to the peloton has gone up, slightly, to 14 seconds with 7.5km left. Hushovd is still shadowing Cav at the front of the pack.

Mark Cavendish
1534: Sanchez stands up in the saddle so it is just the front two who are away now...about 12 seconds clear. Not surprisingly, it is Cav's Columbia team-mates who are driving the peloton forwards. Less than 10km to go in today's stage.

1532: Ballan and Lefevre are still out in front, although Sanchez has opened up a gap on the peloton too. Cav? He's at the front of that bunch. The rain is falling quite heavily now...

1530: Luis Leon Sanchez, one of the best descenders on the Tour, attacks off the front of the peloton as we head downhill. The riders behind him are trying to respond...Sandy Casar is behind him.

1527: That gap is coming down as we approach the top of the Col de l'Arenier - the front two are 12 seconds ahead, which probably won't be enough to see them home - we've got 16km until the finish line. There are about 70 riders left in the main bunch after the climb...Cav and Thor Hushovd are among them but no sign of Oscar Freire anymore.

It's raining
1524: Ballan is dragging Laurent Lefevre (thanks to Ben in London for the Lauren Laverne gag) along at the moment and those two are 19 seconds clear with 18km to go. Weather news - further along the course, there is thunder and lightning and it has started to rain...would make a bunch sprint very interesting indeed.

1521: Alessandro Ballan, the world road-race champion, has made his move and gone off the front of the bunch...he's also gone past Lefevre within the blink of an eye. He's got just over 4km to go to the summit, then he will have to hold out on the descent to the finish in Aubenas - a big ask considering he is only 13 seconds ahead of the peloton.

Green jersey
1518: Oscar Freire will be Rabobank's big hope for the stage win if today does come down to a bunch sprint. Cav is still in the hunt at the moment and so is Thor Hushovd. Lefevre, of the BBox team, is just seven seconds clear now, with 21km to go to the finish. The riders still have another 5km left before they reach the top of the Col de l'Arenier. The big-hitters are all together in the peloton.

1514: Laurent Lefevre has gone off the front of the peloton, and has opened up a gap of about eight seconds. Back in the bunch, Cav is still going strong.

Bradley Wiggins
1511: The big-hitters are all together at the moment, all keeping tabs on each other - Wiggo looking very strong, alongside Contador, Armstrong and the Schlecks. Cav is still up there too at the moment too, but so is the man in green, Thor Hushovd. Behind them, there are riders scattered all over the hill. We've got 25km to go.

Text in your views on 81111
1509: From Tom in london, via text on 81111: "Any chance of the monster of the Isle of Man taking the stage today or will he be left behind on the climb?"

The Manx Missile, Mark Cavendish, is near the front of the peloton at the moment, but there is a long way to go before they get to the top of this hill...not really his territory to be honest.

The sun is out
1505: A few men falling off the back of the peloton on the way up this hill. Duque is one of those to be dropped, and David Millar is also in a Gruppetto. It's been a very hot day and, ominously, it is going to be even hotter tomorrow, when the riders tackle Mont Ventoux - could be carnage on those slopes!

Mark Cavendish
1502: Yep, Duque is caught...and disappears through the bunch. Rabobank are still driving the peloton forward but a few sprinters are looking interested all of a sudden...and, yes, Mark Cavendish is near the front of the pack.

1500: Rabobank are still working hard at the front of the peloton - it is clear they want to reel Duque back in as quickly as possible - his lead is just 10 seconds with 32km to go. All the riders are going to be back together very soon - then expect some more attacks on the way up the Col de l'Arenier.

Text in your views on 81111
1457: From Ed in Bristol, via text on 81111: "(Re 1409) I propose that in addition to all the red bits and pieces suggested so far, the Lantern Rouge is also made to carry a large red bell. Just to make sure no one misses him."

Green jersey
1455: Leonardo Duque, one of the five riders in that breakaway, has not given up...he's surged clear of the other four, who have just been absorbed by the peloton, and has picked up the six points for the sprint at St Julien en St Alban. He has a lead of 18 seconds over the other 157 riders, with 35km to go.

1450: Phew. Make that a gap of 15 seconds...the Rabobank and Milram boys have done their job - the breakaway is about to be no more, just as we approach the intermediate sprint.

It's bad news for a British rider
1448: Bad news for Dave Millar and his bid for a stage win here - that gap is coming down at a rate of knots...the peloton are just 44 seconds behind now, with 41km to go.

Text in your views on 81111
1446: From Youngy dodging lightning in Edinburgh, via text on 81111: "I would be proud to year a red shirt or grey cardigan if i was good enough to get to Paris behind these boys."

1442: We've got less than 50km of the 178km to go now...the riders will start their ascent of the Col de l'Arenier after they contest the next intermediate sprint at St Julien en St Alban which is at the 141km mark.

1439: Our live commentary from the 5 Live boys is about to start - give this page a manual refresh and you will be able to find the link at the top. On the road? The five riders are now one minute and 26 seconds ahead of the peloton - the other 14 men have either been caught by the main bunch or are about to be...Astana, Milram and Rabobank have really upped the pace in the last few minutes.

Bradley Wiggins
Yellow jersey
1431: The five riders in Millar's group are now around 40 seconds clear of the 14 riders in the second group. In case you were wondering, all the big-hitters in the General Classification - maillot jaune Alberto Contador, Lance Armstrong, Wiggo, Andreas Kloden and the Schleck brothers - are all safely in the peloton, which is another minute and 20 seconds back.

Text in your views on 81111
1427: From Andy in Manchester, via text on 81111: "Not sure what Millar is playing at getting in the break - he's going to need every ounce of energy working for Twiggo tomorrow!"

1425: Lots of attacks and counter-attacks are going off as the second breakaway group try to catch these five up - Cadel Evans is trying to get things organised. Roche is working with Riblon, but has Arrieta up the road of course.

It's good news for a British rider
1423: Oooh...a bit of a split in the breakaway bunch - Duque, Arrieta, Gutierrez and Popovych have gone...along with David Millar. They have a lead of around 20 seconds on the rest of the escapees at the moment. Nicolas Roche is trying to join them too...we've got around 63km of today's 178km to go.

Text in your views on 81111
1420: From Graham Torrance in Edinburgh, via text on 81111: "Let's hope big Dave Millar can stay away with the break and give himself a stage win chance. I was gutted for him on stage five when he ran out of gas so near the end. Millar is a legend."

1414: Speaking of jerseys, Nicolas Roche is wearing the jersey of all-Ireland road-race champion during this year's Tour - he is one of three AG2R riders in the breakaway, along with Jose Luis Arrieta and Christophe Riblon. The gap is down to one minute and 55 seconds, with 67km to go. They might have to step this up a bit if they are going to stay away until the end...

Get involved on 606
1409: thOldhamFox on 606: "Lets get this straight; the Lanterne Rouge should in future be identified by the rider in a red jersey, on a red bike, a shopping basket attached to his handlebars and a red light attached to a tall bendy flagpole? I fear such a cyclist would be open to ridicule, but how about a red nose and big floppy shoes for good measure?"

1406: Along with Rabobank, Milram are the other team doing some legwork at the front of the peloton now - the gap is two minutes and 30 seconds, with 73km to go.

Text in your views on 81111
1402: From Owen in Edinburgh, via text on 81111: "(Re 1306) Surely the oldest rider should have a grey cardigan rather than a grey jersey?"

1356: The full list of the 19 riders in the breakaway is: David Millar, Nicolas Roche, Kim Kirchen, Cadel Evans, Yaroslav Popovych, Ruben Moreno Perez, Jonathan Hivert, Geoffroy Lequatre, Styn Vandenbergh, Carlos Barredo, Sylvain Chavanel, Simon Spilak, Luis Leon Sanchez, Jose Ivan Gutierrez, David Arroyo, Daniele Bennati, Jose Luis Arrieta, Leonardo Duque and Christophe Riblon - Nicolai Trussov has fallen off the pace. Thirteen of the 20 teams are represented, Rabobank are one of those not to be represented in the leading group - they are still heading up the peloton.

Get involved on 606
1347: fufighter on 606: "I agree the Lanterne Rouge is too inconspicuous, it should be attached to a bendy flagpole in a 70s Chopper style."

1342: We've got around 95km to go of today's stage. Rabobank are still leading the peloton but the gap is growing...up to two minutes and 55 seconds now. Once they've had lunch, the riders have a long flat section before they reach the Col de l'Arenier, around 18km from the finish - if this group are still away then, expect a few riders to attack again on that climb. Should be interesting.

Text in your views on 81111
1337: From The Armchair Cyclist, in London, via text on 81111: "(Re 1246) Should the Lanterne Rouge not have to ride with a wicker shopping basket attached to his handle bars?"

At this rate poor Yauheni Hutatovich will be carrying his weekly shop up Mont Venteux tomorrow...

1333: Just a reminder that David Millar, Nicolas Roche and Cadel Evans are among those 20 riders in the breakaway bunch. I need Maltese, Scottish, Irish, Australian and Welsh flag-up graphics just to cover those three, let alone the other 17 escapees...The escapees are now two minutes and 40 seconds clear with 103km of today's 178km to go.

Text in your views on 81111
1324: From HonestManInEdinburgh, via text on 81111: "(Re 1246) A bright red jersey for the Lanterne Rouge rider!?"

Someone else suggested earlier that the Lanterne Rouge should actually be forced to carry a red lantern. Let's go the whole hog and make him wear a completely red outfit on a red bike too...I wonder if Yauheni Hutatovich would agree to all of that?

1320: It is the Rabobank team who are heading up the peloton right now. The gap to the 20 escapees is not budging though, and remains at around two minutes and 20 seconds as the riders head towards the feed zone, which begins at Bourg de Peage at the 83km mark. They still have another 20km or so to go before they can bring out the musettes though...


1315: We'll have live coverage via our 5 Live stream of the end of today's stage from 1445 BST today. Apologies again for the technical problems that affected us yesterday - they took a while to get sorted but luckily things were sorted by the time the big-hitters hit the road in the time trial.

Text in your views on 81111
1312: From David in the Suffolk Alps, via text on 81111: "(Re 1246) I propose a darker shade of green jersey for the rider showing the most envy to the proper green jersey holder!!"

I think we all know who this one is directed at!

1309: That gap is still growing and, as a few of you have remarked on 606, there are some very strong riders in this group of 20. They are now two minutes and 20 seconds clear, after 56km of today's 178km.

Text in your views on 81111
1306: From John in London, via text on 81111: "(Re 1246) How about grey jersey for best old rider? Lance could then win another seven."

It's good news for a British rider
1302: Hmmm, the gap to our 20 leaders seems to have leaped out again awfully quickly...up to one minute and 50 seconds now. David Millar and Cadel Evans still in that bunch by the way.

Text in your views on 81111
1259: From Will in Chesterfield, via text on 81111: "(Re 1246) How about a black and blue jersey for the rider with the most falls. Poor old Menchov would win that hands down!"

Polka dot jersey
1255: Geoffroy Lequatre picked up the three King of the Mountains points for being first up the Cote de la Foret de Chambarans, followed by Roche and Leonardo Duque. By the way, it's the Astana heavy mob who are setting the pace at the front of the peloton.

1251: The gap to the 20 escapees is coming down - just 40 seconds now, after 40km. News of 'Lanterne Rouge' Yauheni Hutarovich - who is last in the overall standings, three hours 32 minutes and 43 seconds behind Alberto Contador. The Belarus rider has been dropped by the peloton on the way up the Cote de la Foret de Chambarans. Could be a long old day for him...

Text in your views on 81111
1246: From anon, via text on 81111: "If you could create a new jersey for the TdF, what would it be for and what would it look like. I would do a striped jersey for fastest overall descending time, on designated descents measured by a timing chip."

Fabian Cancellara would be a shoe-in for this one, surely?

Green jersey
1243: Cofidis rider Leonardo Duque picked up the six points for winning the intermediate sprint, followed by Nicolas 'I'm not going to mention who he is related to anymore' Roche and Sylvain Chavanel. Roche is sixth in the green jersey standings at the moment which is a pretty good show for his first Tour...a stage win would be nice though, wouldn't it?

Green jersey
Mark Cavendish
1238: The breakaway bunch now has 20 riders in it - they are one minute and 20 seconds clear of the peloton as they approach the first intermediate sprint of the day, at Le Rival, which is at the 33km mark. Both Le Rivals for the green jersey, Thor Hushovd and Mark Cavendish are back in the main bunch so neither will contest this one...

Polka dot jersey
1232: Forgot to mention earlier that we've already had our first climb of the day, the Cote de Culin after 6.5km. No sign of Franco Pellizotti but Egoi Martinez, who lies second in the King of the Mountains category behind the Italian, did pick up a point - shame he is still 77 points adrift really.

1228: Nicolas Roche, son of 1987 winner Stephen Roche, is one of the men to join the front bunch. After 25km, they are 28 seconds ahead of the peloton with William Bonnet trying to bridge the gap.

1224: Clearly a lot of men fancy this one today. Six more riders have caught our 11 escapees and one of them, Russia's Nicolai Trussov has gone off the front on his own.

Get involved on 606
1224: fufighter on 606: "I thought Millar would be told to rest today in order to support Wiggo on the climb tomorrow. Obviously not."

It's good news for a British rider
1221: We've got 11 riders in the breakaway group now - Cadel Evans, Yaroslav Popovych, Kim Kirchen, Jose Luis Arrieta, David Arroyo, Luis Leon Sanchez, Leonardo Duque, Simon Spilak, Carlos Barredo, Geoffroy Lequatre and Britain's David Millar! Go Dave! With 18km of today's 178km gone, they are around 20 seconds clear of the main bunch.

Text in your views on 81111
1217: From Mike, not doing much work in Leeds, via text on 81111: "What's the criteria for the White Jersey? I understand it's the best young rider but what exactly does that consist of?"

Hi Mike, the white jersey is worn by the man highest in the General Classification who is aged 25 or younger. So Andy Schleck, who is 24, should be wearing it a lot again next year...providing he is not in yellow by then of course!

1213: Cadel Evans is one of the riders in this breakaway group. The Welsh-Australian did salvage some pride from what has been a disastrous Tour with 12th place in yesterday's TT...fair play to him for still giving this race a go.

1212: The three riders who went off early have already been reeled in but another 10 men went off at the 9km mark...not much of a gap at the moment though...

1207: This is who owns what jersey at the moment. We've got three more climbs today so expect to see quite a bit of Franco Pellizotti, and his polka dot socks, in the next few hours...

White jersey
Polka dot jersey
Green jersey
Yellow jersey
TOUR DE FRANCE 2009 AFTER STAGE 18:

Yellow jersey: Alberto Contador (Spa/Astana)
Green jersey: Thor Hushovd (Nor/Cervelo)
Polka dot jersey: Franco Pellizotti (Ita/Liquigas)
White jersey: Andy Schleck (Lux/Saxo Bank)

1204: Thierry Hupond (Skil Shimano) was the rider who attacked as the race pulled out of Bourgoin Jallieu - after 3km he is 40 seconds clear of Frederik Willems (Liquigas) and Samuel Dumoulin (Cofidis), with the peloton another 20 seconds back.

1200: There is a climb towards the end of today's stage where, in theory, we could see some of the riders in the top six have a go but it is far more likely that the big-hitters in the General Classification will be saving themselves for Mont Ventoux - aka the Giant of Provence - at the end of tomorrow's stage, when all hell is expected to break loose.

1157: Stage 19 is officially under way. Inside the first kilometre, Nicolas Roche, son of 1987 winner Stephen, called for assistance from his team car and we also had our first attack of the day - it's been that kind of Tour really, hasn't it?

Get involved on 606
1155: SeanF81 on 606: "Great performance yesterday by Wiggins - shame he couldn't quite eek out 3rd place, but its down to one 20km climb tomorrow - he's had Lance's number once and Lance has had his once, so 11 seconds isn't impossible!

Today it'll be time for Cofidis, BBox and the rest of the French teams to get their air time - wouldn't be surprised to see Chavanel pick up the win."

1153: Andy Schleck fared better than expected around Annecy, and comfortably held on to second spot overall, but behind him the race for a place on a podium in Paris is intense with only 34 seconds separating Lance Armstrong in third and Frank Schleck in sixth - with Bradley Wiggins and Andreas Kloden in between.

Yellow jersey
1150: GENERAL CLASSIFICATION AFTER STAGE 18:

1. Alberto Contador (Spa/Astana) 73 hrs 15 mins 39 seconds
2. Andy Schleck (Lux/Saxo Bank) + 4 mins 11 secs
3. Lance Armstrong (USA/Astana) + 5 min 25 secs
4. Bradley Wiggins (GB/Garmin) + 5 min 36 secs
5. Andreas Kloden (Ger/Astana) + 5 mins 38 secs
6. Frank Schleck (Lux/Saxo Bank) + 5 mins 59 secs

1149: Today? Well, in theory it is a transitional stage - and we are more likely to see attacks from riders down the General Classification who are looking for a final shot at glory and a stage win before Paris than any moves by the big-hitters.

1147: The 158 riders still in the Tour are about to roll through the neutral zone in Bourgoin Jallieu and get stage 19 under way.

1145 BST: All hail King Contador! Yep, after yesterday's time trial, it's virtually certain that Alberto will be celebrating his second Tour win in Paris on Sunday. Behind him? It's all still up for grabs...




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see also
Cavendish claims record Tour win
24 Jul 09 |  Cycling
Wiggins boosts Tour podium hopes
23 Jul 09 |  Cycling
Contador moves closer to Tour win
22 Jul 09 |  Cycling
Contador keeps hold of Tour lead
21 Jul 09 |  Cycling
Contador wary of Wiggins threat
21 Jul 09 |  Cycling
Wiggins may quit track for Tour
20 Jul 09 |  Cycling
Contador storms to win and yellow
19 Jul 09 |  Cycling
Tour de France week three photos
24 Jul 09 |  Cycling
Tour de France week two photos
17 Jul 09 |  Cycling
Tour de France ones to watch
03 Jul 09 |  Cycling
Understanding the Tour de France
03 Jul 09 |  Cycling


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