Stage 20 of the Tour de France could be shortened by a further 11km amid uncertain weather conditions

It was touch and go this morning whether the penultimate stage of the 2019 Tour would go ahead at all

Egan Bernal at the 2019 Tour de France (Marco Bertorello/AFP/Getty Images)
(Image credit: AFP/Getty Images)

Stage 20 of the Tour de France 2019 could be shortened by a further 11km as the race continues to battle with poor weather over the final two Alpine stages.

The planned parcours has already been reduced from the original 130km route to just 59km due to "difficult weather conditions" including the threat of further landslides along the original route after race director Christian Prudhomme had said three had occurred already.

With two climbs taken out of stage 20, the 33km summit finish climb to Val Thorens remained. However, the race could finish 11km lower than originally planned on Val Thorens, according to French television, with this decision due to be made when the riders are at the foot of the climb.

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Although the weather is said to have cleared slightly, video footage earlier in the day shows heavy fog and rain on Val Thorens, with some describing the last 3km of the climb as being "like a river" this morning.

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This latest development comes after stage 19 called off mid-race, just as the riders were descending the Col de l'Iseran. Teams were told to tell their riders to stop riders as a freak hailstorm had made conditions treacherous and a landslide up towards the summit finish at Tignes had blocked off the road.

The reduced route for stage 20 involves the peloton rolling out from Albertville as originally planned but then taking a shortcut to get to the final 33km up Val Thorens to contest the final climb of this year's race.

More to follow...

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Hi. I'm Cycling Weekly's Weekend Editor. I like writing offbeat features and eating too much bread when working out on the road at bike races.

Before joining Cycling Weekly I worked at The Tab and I've also written for Vice, Time Out, and worked freelance for The Telegraph (I know, but I needed the money at the time so let me live).

I also worked for ITV Cycling between 2011-2018 on their Tour de France and Vuelta a España coverage. Sometimes I'd be helping the producers make the programme and other times I'd be getting the lunches. Just in case you were wondering - Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen had the same ham sandwich every day, it was great.