Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) took the summit victory on the Tourmalet after edging ahead of the group of favourites on stage 14 of the Tour de France 2019.
Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) strengthened his position in yellow as he finished in the front group and Geraint Thomas (Ineos) lost time as he was dropped with 1km to go.
The race leader finished second, six seconds back, just ahead of Steven Kruijswijk (Jumbo-Visma). Two seconds further back Emanuel Buchmann (Bora-Hansgrohe) was fourth and Egan Bernal (Ineos) fifth, with Mikel Landa (Movistar) the last of the front group over the line 14 seconds down on Pinot.
Geraint Thomas finished in eighth, 36 seconds seconds down and therefore losing half a minute to Alaphilippe, who now leads the Welshman by just over two minutes.
How it happened
The race would finish at the summit of the Tourmalet for just the third time in the Tour’s history, with Andy Schleck taking the victory on stage 17 back in 2010 ahead of Alberto Contador.
After environmental protestors momentarily held up Prudhomme waving the white flag and getting the race underway.
Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Vincenzo (Bahrain-Merida) initially jumped ahead of the peloton, with 15 chasers catching the pair after 20km, taking out a lead of three minutes over the peloton.
The group began to splinter on the first climb of the day, the first category Col du Soulor, situated at the halfway point of the day’s parcours, as Romain Bardet (Ag2r La Mondiale) was dropped from the peloton, something clearly not right with the Frenchman at this year’s Tour, as Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) also struggled.
Nibali, Tim Wellens (Lotto-Soudal) and Elie Gesbert (Arkéa-Samsic) went it alone at the front of the race, looking for the King of the Mountains points on offer at the top. After a spectator shepherded cows away from the side of the road, Wellens rode Nibali off his wheel to claim the 10 points on offer at the summit.
Adam Yates was dragged back to the yellow jersey group by his brother Simon, with Sagan rejoining the peloton on the flat after the descent, working for Movistar on the front of the peloton with the Spanish team returning the favour by allowing the Slovakian to sweep up the remaining points on offer at the intermediate sprint after the eight riders up ahead had already passed through.
Romain Sicard (Total Direct Energie) hit out and went ahead on his own from the breakaway group, taking out an advantage of 1-30 over the peloton and 30 seconds ahead of Gesbert and team-mate Lilian Calmejane (Total Direct Energie) with 20km left to race and the Tourmalet just up ahead.
Gesbert joined Sicard at the front of the race and dropped him with 13km to go, as Adam Yates was dropped once again. Gesbert was then caught by the yellow jersey group with just over 10km remaining, handing the race over to the group of overall contenders.
Nairo Quintana was dropped from the yellow jersey group with 10km to go, as the domestiques Dylan van Baarle (Ineos) and Marc Soler (Movistar) were also distanced.
Sensing a lull in action as Movistar attempted to get their affairs in order, Warren Barguil (Arkéa-Samsic) attacked with 9.5km to go and found himself with a 15 second gap a couple of kilometres later. Quintana was now 20 seconds back, Adam Yates’ group a minute and a half behind and Romain Bardet (Ag2r La Mondiale) now ten minutes back, his Tour de France well and truly over if it wasn’t already.
David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ) came to the front with 7km remaining, looking to set up Thibaut Pinot and the young Frenchman riding his leader away from the Ineos-led group.
Barguil’s 13 second advantage with 6km to go but was caught in the next 300m, as Quintana now dropped a minute behind and Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo), Enric Mas (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) and Wout Poels (Ineos) also found himself detached.
Gaudu was still setting an infernal pace with 5km left, as Alaphilippe got out of his saddle at the back of the group, still sitting on Geraint Thomas’ wheel, marking the man closest to his race lead.
With 4.5km to go, Thomas moved himself up the group, with Bernal following, Alaphilippe battling as Gaudu increased the pace once again, before he attacked, dropping Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) and Barguil also being spat out the back.
Thomas moved back towards the rear of the group, with Alaphilippe latching onto his wheel once more, as Gaudu finally cracked with 3.6km to go as Jumbo-Visma, with three riders left, took control of the front group.
Mas and Porte found themselves 43 seconds behind as Barguil got back onto the front group with 3km to go, with Laurens De Plus pulling off the front at the steepest bit of the climb, handing over to his Jumbo-Visma team-mate George Bennett, the final domestique in the front selection.
Rigoberto Urán (EF Education), Barguil and Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) were distanced with 1.5km to go, as Alaphilippe moved up the group, ahead of Thomas, the Frenchman now in fifth wheel behind Buchmann, Landa and then Bennett leading Kruijswijk.
Buchmann took over pace setting duties as the GC favourites went under the 1km banner, with Bernal taking the German’s wheel and Thomas starting to lose contact.
Bernal looked around for his team-mate, but stuck with the front selection of Kruijswijk, Alaphilippe, Buchmann, Pinot and Landa as the defending champion slipped back.
The six riders started looking at each other as they chugged towards the finish, before Pinot moved ahead with 250m to go, Alaphilippe latching onto Bernal’s wheel.
Pinot sailed across the finish line to take a famous victory at the summit of the Tourmalet, with his compatriot Alaphilippe second and Kruijswijk third, both six seconds behind.
Thomas came across the line 36 seconds after Pinot, and when accounting for bonus seconds now trails Alaphilippe by just over two minutes in the general classification.
Tour de France 2019, stage 14: Tarbes to Tourmalet (111km)
1. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ, in 3-10-20
2. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck – Quick-Step, at six seconds
3. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Jumbo-Visma, at same time
4. Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe, at eight seconds
5. Egan Bernal (Col) Ineos, at same time
6. Mikel Landa (Esp) Movistar, at 14s
7. Rigoberto Urán (Col) EF Education First, at 30s
8. Geraint Thomas (GBr) Ineos, at 36s
9. Warren Barguil (Fra) Arkéa-Samsic, at 38s
10. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana, at 53s
14. Richie Porte (Aus) Trek-Segafredo, at 2-05
16. Enric Mas (Esp) Deceuninck – Quick-Step, at 2-54
17. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar, at 3-24
25. Adam Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott, at 6-42
66. Romain Bardet (Fra) Ag2r La Mondiale, at 20-19
General classification after stage 14
1. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck – Quick-Step, in 56-11-29
2. Geraint Thomas (GBR) Ineos, at 2-02
3. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Jumbo-Visma, at 2-14
4. Egan Bernal (Col) Ineos), at 3-00
5. Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe, at 3-12
6. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ, at same time
7. Rigoberto Urán (Col) EF Education First, at 4-24
8. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana, at 5-22
9. Alejandro Valverde (Esp) Movistar, at 5-27
10. Enric Mas (Esp) Deceuninck – Quick-Step, at 5-38