Rui Costa takes Tour stage win number two in Le Grand Bornand

Rui Costa won stage 19 of the Tour de France in to Le Grand Bornand, his second win in four days.

Costa spent the day in the break that went clear on the first climb then simply bided his time until the later stages when he made his one and only move. Sound familiar?

The win in Le Grand Bornand was almost a carbon copy of his win in Gap – knowing exactly when to attack and making it look easy. Even with four riders chasing him over the final 11km climb he slowly eked out his lead.

At the summit, with 13km to go, he was almost a minute clear of a hard working group of four and looked relaxed all the way down the final descent that by then had been rained on for the last 30 minutes.

The GC battle behind never really materialised as Saxo Tinkoff employed yet more puzzling tactics. Following yesterdays desperate attacks on the descent of the Col de Sarrene, the Danish team of Alberto Contador instead pushed the pace over the last two climbs.

They looked like they were setting up an attack for Contador as one by one his team mates rode at the front before dropping off. But Contador never looked comfortable, and was in and out of the saddle as Roman Kreuziger rode the final few kilometres of the Col de la Croix Fry. In the end it was Joaquim Rodriguez who attacked.

Nairo Quintana was first on his wheel followed by Chris Froome and Contador. It was an immediate stalemate and the end of any ecitemet.

Kreuziger kept the pace high on the wet descent but there was no real impetus. Despite doubts over his descending, Chris Froome has proved over and over again that he has no problems on the descents, and Contador now know is. The group reformed as Richie Porte, Andrew Talansky and others caught them up.

More later…..

RESULT (provisional)
Tour de France 2013 stage 19: Bourg-d’Oisans – Le Grand Bornand 204.5km

1. Rui Costa (Por) Movistar
2. Andreas Kloden (Ger) RadioShack
3. Jan Bakelants (Ger) RadioShack
4. Alexandre Genez (Fra) FDJ
5. Daniel Navarro (Spa) Cofidis

General classification after stage 19
1. Chris Froome (GBr) Team Sky

2. Alberto Contador (Spa) Saxo Tinkoff bank
3. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar
4. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Saxo Tinkoff bank
5. Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Katusha