By Jonny Long
A maximum of 64 bonus seconds will be awarded at the summits of eight climbs at the Tour de France 2019.
As well as the regular time bonuses available at the end of every stage, 10, six and four each for the top three finishers, bonus seconds will now be available at mountain summits, which provides the potential to shake up the GC.
Eight points will go to the first rider to reach each of the eight specified summits, with five and two seconds going to second and third respectively.
The two most prominent climbs where bonus points will be awarded are on stages 18 and 19, at the summits of the Galibier and Col de l'Iseran, which are both HC-category climbs.
Stage 15's ascent of the first category Mur de Péguère is also one of the climbs selected, as is stage six's Col des Chevrères, a category one climb situated just 10km from the start of La Planche des Belles Filles, which is the stage's summit finish.
The majority of the climbs where bonus seconds have been placed feature towards the end of stages, encouraging attacks to animate the races as they reach their climaxes.
The other four summits are stage three's Côte de Mutigny, stage eight's Côte de Jaillère, stage nine's Côte de Saint-Just, which are all third category climbs, as well as stage 12's first category Hourquette d'Ancizan.
The time bonuses have been introduced under article 26 of the official race rules and with a maximum of 64 seconds available could influence the overall classification.
The bonus seconds available on stages 18 and 19 are the most likely to be contested by the GC contenders, with those days of racing two of three big days in the Alps that are expected to decide the wearer of the jersey on the Champs-Élysées after stage 21.
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.
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