Matej Mohorič outsprints Kasper Asgreen and seizes Tour de France stage 19 victory in Poligny

Breakaway stays away for second day, Asgreen gets second with Ben O'Connor taking third

Matej Mohoric
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Matej Mohorič (Bahrain Victorious) outsprinted Kasper Asgreen (Soudal Quick-Step) to take an astonishing victory from the breakaway on stage 19 of the Tour de France.

On a frenetic day of action, Mohorič and Asgreen denied Ben O’Connor (AG2R Citroen) the win as they powered past the Australian in a three-up sprint for the line in Poligny. The trio broke away from a large group of riders on the category 3 Côte d'Ivry climb in the final phase of racing.

Originally sparked by Asgreen, the three riders managed to make their move stick as they held off the chasing group which contained the likes of Mathieu van der Poel and Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin Deceuninck), Mads Pedersen (Lidl-Trek), Christophe Laporte (Jumbo-Visma) and Tom Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers) amongst others.

Philipsen took fourth behind O’Connor and will now have to wait until the final day in Paris for a final opportunity to take a fifth stage victory in this Tour. Meanwhile Asgreen came staggeringly close to a second stage win in two days.

Mohorič now has three victories to his name at the French Grand Tour. His previous two came in 2021.

The main peloton - containing race leader Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) - came in ten minutes behind the leaders. More than 30 riders had managed to get into the breakaway and small groups came across the line in between Mohorič and the main field after a chaotic day.

How it happened

After the breakaway outfoxed the sprinters in Bourg-en-Bresse, stage 19 was expected to be a day which would favour a potential breakaway once more. The peloton faced 173 hilly kilometres between Moirans-en-Montagne and Poligny.

As the riders rolled out of the long neutralised zone, several attacks went which would blow the race to pieces. Multiple riders would try their luck and attempted to get up the road and make a move stick. Victor Campenaerts (Lotto-Dstny) was in the thick of the action once more as was Lidl-Trek’s Mads Pedersen.

Even Peter Sagan (TotalEnergies) rolled back the years and attempted a brief attack but it was short lived. Pedersen and Aleksey Lutsenko (Astana Qazaqstan) were outfront for a handful of kilometres but would be pulled back in by a lively peloton with multiple other riders looking to ensure that if a breakaway went, they were in it.

Julian Alaphilippe (Soudal Quick-Step) and Stefan Küng (Groupama-FDJ) were the next two to go but the peloton had other ideas.

Eventually a small breakaway would stick with around 114 kilometres still to race. Nils Politt (Bora-Hansgrohe) was present, as was Jack Haig (Bahrain Victorious), Tiesj Benoot (Jumbo-Visma), Campenaerts, Georg Zimmerman (Intermarche-Circus-Wanty), Alaphilippe, Matteo Trentin (UAE Emirates), Warren Barguil (Arkea-Samsic) and Pedersen.

The gap between the breakaway would fluctuate as the kilometres ticked by, but edged up to well over a minute as a large group of dropped riders formed a third group on the road behind the leaders.

Politt then suffered an unfortunate mechanical incident with 90 kilometres to go as he suffered a broken chain. The German rider was visibly frustrated, particularly after switching between several neutral service bikes before being forced to wait for the Bora-Hansgrohe team car.

Jasper Philipsen and Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Deceuninck) then caused a split in the main peloton which led to a large group of riders going clear and eventually joining up with the breakaway.

The new breakaway had 36 riders present which included sprinters, puncheurs and climbers alike. It included Tom Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers), Christophe Laporte (Jumbo-Visma), Dylan Groenewegen (Jayco-AIUla) amongst others.

Pedersen took the intermediate sprint points at Ney ahead of Philipsen and then with 60 kilometres remaining, Campenaerts - who was still present at this point - attacked out of the lead group with Simon Clarke (Israel-Premier Tech) for company. The duo pushed on and extended their advantage to up to 50 seconds but the main breakaway was never too far away.

With 30 kilometres left to go, Clarke slowed down and was seen holding his calf as he suffered cramp. Campenaerts continued without him although a huge attack sparked by Kasper Asgreen (Soudal Quick-Step) went clear from the main breakaway. Ben O’Connor (AG2R Citroën) followed the Danish rider as did Matej Mohorič (Bahrain Victorious).

The trio of leaders swiftly built a lead of more than 30 seconds on the group containing Philipsen just behind them and swapped turns to share the work as they thundered towards Poligny.

More attacks would come from the chase group and it was soon split to pieces all over the road. Pidcock was one of the main culprits looking to get clear as were Bettiol, Van der Poel and Trentin.

With 10 kilometres to go, the chasers were joined by Laporte, Pedersen and Luka Mezgec (Jayco-AIUla) and they set off in pursuit of Mohorič, Asgreen and O’Connor.

However, the trio of leaders had simply too much power and were able to hold their advantage into the final kilometre.

O’Connor was the first of the three to open up his sprint with the line in sight with Asgreen the next to go. Mohorič drew level with Asgreen as they both threw their bikes over the line.

In the end a photo finish declared Mohorič the winner giving Bahrain Victorious a third stage win at the race.

Tour de France stage 19: Moirans-en-Montagne to Poligny 173 km

1. Matej Mohorič (Slo) Bahrain Victorious, in 03-31-02
2. Kasper Asgreen (Den) Soudal Quick-Step, at same time
3. Ben O'Connor (Aus) AG2R Citroën, at 4s
4. Jasper Philipsen (Bel) Alpecin-Deceuninck, at 39s
5. Mads Pedersen (Den) Lidl-Trek,
6. Christophe Laporte (Fra) Jumbo-Visma,
7. Luka Mezgec (Slo) Jayco-AIUla,
8. Alberto Bettiol (Ita) EF Education-EasyPost,
9. Matteo Trentin (Ita) UAE Team Emirates,
10. Tom Pidcock (Gbr) Ineos Grenadiers, all same time 

General classification after stage 19

1. Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma in 75-49-24
2. Tadej Pogačar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates, at 7-35
3. Adam Yates (GBr) UAE Team Emirates, at 10-45
4. Carlos Rodriguez (Spa) Ineos Grenadiers, at 12-01
5. Simon Yates (Gbr) Jayco-AIUla, at 12-19
6. Pello Bilbao (Esp) Bahrain Victorious, at 12-50
7. Jai Hindley (Aus) Bora-Hansgrohe, at 13-50
8. Felix Gall (Aut) AG2R Citroën, at 16-11
9. Sepp Kuss (Usa) Jumbo-Visma, at 16-49
10. David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ, at 17-57

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