BERGERAC, France (AP) — A brief look at the 19th stage of the Tour de France on Friday:
The stage: A 130-mile flat stage from Maubourguet to Bergerac in the scenic Dordogne region. One small hill 13 kilometers (8 miles) from the finish gave non-sprinters hope that a breakaway would stick, while slick wet roads from an afternoon downpour added danger to the finale.
Winner: Ramunas Navardauskas. The 26-year-old rider provided U.S. team Garmin Sharp with its first win of this year’s Tour, and gave Lithuania its first win in any Tour. The rider nicknamed “Honey Badger” for his relentlessness and strength finished solo after breaking away in the race’s final kilometers. Sprinter John Degenkolb of Germany finished second seven seconds back, and Norway’s Alexander Kristoff was third, in the same time.
Yellow jersey: Vincenzo Nibali. The Italian finished safely in the main pack to maintain his tight grip on the leader’s yellow jersey, 7:10 ahead of France’s Thibaut Pinot. Another Frenchman Jean-Christophe Peraud is third, 7:23 behind.
Quote of the day: “Ramunas is so strong and we’ve known it for so long, for him to be able to show it on this stage is really what him and the whole team deserves.” Garmin Sharp sports director Charly Wegelius.
Stat of the day: 1. The number of Tour de France stage wins now claimed by Lithuania after Navardauskas’ victory in Bergerac.
Next stage: Saturday’s 20th stage is a 33.5-mile time trial across rolling countryside between Bergerac and Perigueux in France’s bucolic Dordogne region. The race-against-the-clock stage will likely determine who occupies the second and third steps on the final Champs Elysees podium, with three riders all within 15 seconds of each other and fighting for the two open spots: Pinot, Peraud and Spain’s Alejandro Valverde.
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