Tour de France stage 19 LIVE: Mourenx to Libourne

Live coverage on the flat stage 19 to Libourne that should favour the sprinters

Hello and welcome to live coverage of stage 19 of the 2021 Tour de France, 207km from Mourenx to Libourne in southwest France.

Stage finish: 17.06 to 17.33 (16.06 to 16.33 UK)


Good morning!

This is the profile for today's stage. As you can see there's not much in the way of obstacles for the peloton, with some small rises and falls along the stage following the categorised climb.

The intermediate sprint also comes quite early on at 54km ridden, so we should see some action there as the likes of Michael Matthews (BikeExchange) and Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain Victorious) desperately try to close the gap on green jersey Mark Cavendish (Deceuninck-Quick-Step).

This is the top-three in the green jersey competition:

We've had our first abandon of the stage already.

Miguel Angel Lopez (Movistar) has also abandoned the Tour today. The Colombian has looked off the boil in this Tour, trying a tentative attack in the final day in the Pyrenees which came to nothing.

Of course while today looks like a nailed on sprint stage, at this point of the Tour things can become a little more unpredictable. There's the fatigue from the recent mountain stages, plus there's a lot of teams and riders here who haven't got anything out the Tour yet, so will be desperate to form a breakaway that has a chance to stick all the way to the finish.

Here's a little pre-stage reading for you.

Eddy Merckx is at the start in Mourenx today and has just embraced Mark Cavendish, who will be aiming to set new record of 35 stage wins at the Tour de France today

The riders roll out on the départ fictif, 4.3km behind the car before the stage gets underway in earnest 

You've got to feel for Wout Poels (Bahrain Victorious) today. The Dutchman has been fighting for most of this race to take the mountains classification, and after cruelly losing it to the yellow jersey Pogačar yesterday after his two stage wins still has to wear it today as he's second in the rankings despite the fact he won't win it.

One thing everyone will be pleased about today is the weather. The sun is out, it's nice and warm, and it looks like a proper Tour de France day after so much rain throughout the Pyrenees.

Here's that Cav/Merckx moment

The flag is waved and there's attacks immediately as stage 19 gets underway

Thomas De Gendt is trying to bring a group away

As expected there's a big fight for the breakaway and the movement of riders has caused a nasty crash in the bunch

The crash was actually caused by one rider on the left of the bunch catching the verge on the side of the road, falling right and taking a number of riders down including Geraint Thomas and Sergio Henao, who seems to have crashed every day for the past week

The crash has really reduced the main peloton which is chasing a few riders just off the front. It's going to take an effort for those caught in the crash to get back, but there's still 201km to go

There's five riders out front with Matej Mohoric chasing behind. Deceuninck-Quick-Step look happy with this and are trying to calm the peloton down

Tadej Pogacar is now chasing down an attack from Toms Skujins and Michal Kwiatkowski!

It looks like Pogacar is unhappy with the increase of pace from those two as he has team-mates chasing behind. They were caught in that early crash and are yet to return to the yellow jersey group.

We have a breakaway 45 seconds up the road and 196km to go:

The yellow jersey and Deceuninck-Quick-Step are both happy with this and the pace is slowing in the peloton.

This definitely looks like the break for the day now, they have 1-50 and growing. This is perfect for the sprint teams.

There was an expectation for a bigger fight for the breakaway here, but it seems it's been accepted that this is it as we pass the only categorised climb of the day

It's slightly surprising to see Simon Clarke in the break. The Australian has been hanging on through the race since the first week, revealing earlier this week that he's been riding around with a fracture in his back, although was determined to finish the race.

Race situation with 182km to go:

Alpecin-Fenix are doing the riding on the front of the peloton

The break's advantage is already coming down to around 3-40 with 170km to go as Alpecin-Fenix chase them down. They're flying along in the peloton at over 50kmh, the speed clear as the riders are in one long line

There's been a crash in the peloton - there's several Cofidis riders down including Guillaume Martin, Enric Mas is down for Movistar. Deceuninck-Quick-Step, including Mark Cavendish appear to have been caught up but they're all back riding.

Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain) is making his way back to the bunch alongside Martin and Davide Ballerini (Deceuninck-Quick-Step). The peloton has slowed up to wait for the riders held up in that crash.

After a brief lull Alpecin-Fenix have put the pace back on. There's still a lot of riders caught behind in a second group after that crash, including Cavendish.

It looks like a lot riders are getting back onto the rear of the peloton but Enric Mas is still working his way back with the help of team-mates (and the Deceuninck-Quick-Step car)

Enric Mas is back in the bunch and it looks like everyone is back together again with 158km to go

Deceuninck-Quick-Step are riding up to the front led by world champion Julian Alaphilippe. They're getting ready for the intermediate sprint in four kilometres or so.

The top six points will be taken by the breakaway, but Cavendish will want to take as many as possible to solidify his green jersey lead

It's been a really fast start today and the break have done well to keep four minutes' gap with 155km to go. Average speed so far is 47.7kmh.

Just catching a glimpse of the run in to the intermediate sprint and it's far from straight with a slight uphill run into it - that will favour the likes of Matthews and Colbrelli

From the break, Zimmerman takes the 20 points for first with Bonnamour in second

The bunch is approaching the intermediate sprint...

BikeExchange led out into the sprint with Cavendish on their wheel.

Confirmation of the intermediate sprint:

Green jersey standings after intermediate sprint:

There's a slight counter-attack after the intermediate sprint from five riders including Michal Kwiatkowski (Ineos), but UAE aren't happy with it and are chasing them down

That group is pulled back but there's immediately more attempts at attacks from the bunch. The leading breakaway is still 3-48 up the road with 142km to go.

Toms Skujins is trying to break clear but he has a UAE and an Alpecin rider on his wheel

We've got around 15 riders now splitting off the bunch, but the peloton again are on their case. These attacks are bringing the gap down to the breakaway to around 3-20

It's pretty chaotic now with riders all over the road as groups try to get away. Alpecin and UAE are trying to track riders and shut the moves down.

Nairo Quintana is one of the riders on the attack

The attacks have calmed for now - we have UAE and Deceuninck trying to slow things down

Another counter attack sees Edward Teuns (Trek) and Nils Politt (Bora) get away

We now have a proper counter attack that's made it off the peloton of 19 riders. They're around 50 seconds ahead of the peloton and 2-44 behind the six-man breakaway with 129km to go.

Here's that group: Nils Politt (Bora-Hansgrohe), Edward Theuns (Trek-Segafredo), Mike Teunissen (Jumbo-Visma), Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo), Davide Ballerini (Deceuninck-Quick-Step), Ivan Garcia Cortina (Movistar), Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), Christophe Laporte (Cofidis), Silvan Dillier (Alpecin-Fenix), Michael Valgren (EF-Nippo), Greg Van Avermaet (Ag2r Citroën Team), Élie Gesbert (Arkéa-Samsic), Casper Pedersen (DSM), Brent Van Moer (Lotto-Soudal), Omar Fraile (Astana-Premier Tech), Dmitriy Gruzdev (Astana-Premier Tech), Ion Izagirre (Astana-Premier Tech), Max Walscheid (Qhubeka-NextHash), and Anthony Turgis (Team TotalEnergies).

There's been a number of riders dropped from the chasing group which is 1-36 behind the breakaway. Those dropped were Valverde, Garcia Cortina, Fraile, Gruzdev, Van Avermaet, Jorge Arcas (Movistar)

The remaining riders only have 15 seconds on the yellow jersey group right now 

Right, HELLO. Jonny Long here taking over on the lunch shift. This is somehow my first time live-blogging this here goes...

The current race situation is six riders off the front in the day's break, a minute ahead of the peloton, while a group of 14 have peeled off the front of the bunch and currently sit halfway in between.

The 14 poursuivants currently look like they're on their way to the front of the race, my GCSE Maths jumping in to let me know that would make 20 in the leading group if the juncture is made.

The groups off the front have combined, but with a gap of only 40-odd seconds over the peloton they'll need to get to work now.

Ineos have stopped pulling on the front of the peloton, despite having no rider in the break, with BikeExchange's Luke Durbridge and Israel Start-Up Nation trying to get the chase going again, both also not represented up front in the group of 20.

The break is populated by a number of talented riders more than capable of the stage win today, meaning those teams won't be fussed about contributing to the chase.

Trek-Segafredo's Jasper Stuyven, Deceuninck - Quick-Step's Davide Ballerini, Jumbo-Visma's Mike Teunissen and Cofidis' Christophe Laporte could deliver the goods should the group of 20 make it to the finish.

Great point made by Eurosport's Brian Smith, part of BikeExchange's impetuous to bring the break back (which doesn't look like it's happening) is to continue to push Mark Cavendish in the green jersey competition.

With 85km to go the gap is up to 1-45 and the breakaway is working well together. This one is starting to look like it will go the distance perhaps, as long as they can keep this collaboration going.

Hello all, Tim Bonville-Ginn here taking over all the way to the line. The pace has completely gone out of the chase now and the gap has soared to almost seven minutes now. 

The average speed from the stage so far has been just over 48kph. They have really been shifting along today.

It very much feels like the calm before the storm. 50km to go with a huge gap of 10-35 now between the break and the peloton.

Right here we go. The first moves are coming from the break. Mohorič was the first to go and now it is likely going to be wave after wave of attacks and counter-attacks. 

Wind is now playing a bit of havoc with the break. Gesbert was brought back very easily as Ballerini, Valgren, Casper Pedersen, Laporte and Politt hold the front for now.

Jonas Rutsch and Brent Van Moer have now kicked on which is very dangerous. Theuns quickly closes that down and we have a brief hiatus. 37km to go with a 12 minute gap to the peloton.

Bonnamour and Rutsch kick clear now on a bit of a kicker with eight per cent gradients. Gesbert using the kick to try and push across with Ballerini leading the bunch.

Mohorič bridges the gap and drags everyone back together yet again with 33km to go. Not that it matters, but it's 13-05 back to the peloton. Ballerini the next to go on a move but he's being chanced.

Rather oddly, the next move is by one of the fastest in the group. Laporte tries to get away and he is looking strong so far. Rutsch kicks after him. He is a box of matches today.

The two big sprint teams of Deceuninck - Quick-Step and Alpecin-Fenix stopped woring because they had Davide Ballerini and Silvan Dillier in the break. But, they have now both been dropped.

Politt is now trying to rip the rest of the break to pieces on this next hill. Mohorič, Bonnamour and Turgis are following well with the rest struggling to cling on with 25km to go.

Laporte is trying to bridge to Mohorič as they all look like they're riding in slow motion as they're turning over huge gears. 23km to go and it's 19 seconds between him and the chase.

Laporte has been dragged back by the first chase group as they look like they're starting to work together, but Mohorič has 37 seconds now with 20km to go.

Politt tried once again to break away. Pedersen, Laporte, Turgis and Rutsch get away but the rest get back with Bonnamour being the next man to lose touch. 

Constant attacks coming from the chasers now as Teunissen, Laporte and Pedersen getting a bit of a gap but it's pulled back again. 8km to go and its 44 seconds to Mohorič.

Michael Valgren tries to go clear now and he has a decent enough gap for the moment. Turgis seems keen to try and bridge again.

Blimey that final kilometre came quickly! Matej Mohorič has gone solo to another stage win. That's five stage wins for Slovenia. Who needs Roglič?

Stage 19 top 10

Read our race report: Matej Mohorič powers clear of breakaway to take Tour de France stage 19 win

Read the full standings after stage 19: Tour de France standings: The latest results from the French Grand Tour

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