Rui Costa wins again in the Alps

Doug Pensinger

On the hardest day on paper of this race the GC riders took a half day off allowing a massive break roll off on the first climb of the day, the HC Col de Glandon. Most aggressive in the break were Ryder Hesjedal and Pierre Rolland who spent the first half of the stage at the front of the race. Hesjedal tired early and lost contact while Rolland held on until the final climb of the day, the Col de la Croix Fry, where he succumbed to cramps and the aggressively chasing group behind.

Rui Costa of Movistar had used his teammates in the break to close the distance to the tiring Rolland and set in an attack on the Croix Fry that no one was able to match. Bakelants, Klöden, Navarro and De Clerq all tried and failed to keep up with the portuguese rider who was able to pass the col and ride relatively safely down the wet descent to clinch his second stagewin in this Tour de France.

Behind the breakaway the peloton showed itself to have few ambitions the day after the big Alpe d'Huez stage. Sky maintained a mediocre tempo that saw the breakaway gain enough time to make the battle for the stagewin slip out of range. Saxo-Tinkoff took over after the second HC climb of the day but they too did little to minimize the gap and the objective of their riding was unclear. A few minor jabs happened late on the final climb where Alejandro Valverde pressed on to squeeze himself into the top 10 and when Joaqium Rodriguez joined in some of the riders at the bottom of the top 10 struggled. Michael Rodgers and Laurens ten Dam both slipped out the backdoor.

Tomorrow sees the last chance to make changes to the top 10 behind Chris Froome who in all likelihood has the win sewn up and also the Climbers jersey may be hotly contested with 5 riders all within reasonable range to claim the jersey.

Top 10 Stage 19:

1. PORCOSTA Rui Alberto 124 MOVISTAR TEAM 05h 59' 01''
2. GERKLÖDEN Andreas 46 RADIOSHACK LEOPARD 05h 59' 49'' + 00' 48''
3. BELBAKELANTS Jan 42 RADIOSHACK LEOPARD 06h 00' 45'' + 01' 44''
4. FRAGENIEZ Alexandre 76 FDJ.FR 06h 00' 53'' + 01' 52''
5. ESPNAVARRO Daniel 139 COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS 06h 00' 56'' + 01' 55''
6. BELDE CLERCQ Bart 23 LOTTO-BELISOL 06h 00' 59'' + 01' 58''
7. NEDGESINK Robert 162 BELKIN PRO CYCLING 06h 01' 04'' + 02' 03''
8. ITADE MARCHI Alessandro 13 CANNONDALE 06h 01' 06'' + 02' 05''
9. ESPNIEVE ITURRALDE Mikel 116 EUSKALTEL - EUSKADI 06h 01' 17'' + 02' 16''
10. ESPPLAZA MOLINA Ruben 127 MOVISTAR TEAM 06h 01' 45'' + 02' 44''

General Classification:

1. GBRFROOME Christopher 1 SKY PROCYCLING 77h 10' 00''
2. ESPCONTADOR Alberto 91 TEAM SAXO-TINKOFF 77h 15' 11'' + 05' 11''
3. COLQUINTANA ROJAS Nairo Alexander 128 MOVISTAR TEAM 77h 15' 32'' + 05' 32''
4. CZEKREUZIGER Roman 94 TEAM SAXO-TINKOFF 77h 15' 44'' + 05' 44''
5. ESPRODRIGUEZ OLIVER Joaquin 101 KATUSHA TEAM 77h 15' 58'' + 05' 58''
6. NEDMOLLEMA Bauke 164 BELKIN PRO CYCLING 77h 18' 58'' + 08' 58''
7. DENFUGLSANG Jakob 63 ASTANA PRO TEAM 77h 19' 33'' + 09' 33''
8. ESPNAVARRO Daniel 139 COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS 77h 22' 33'' + 12' 33''
9. ESPVALVERDE Alejandro 121 MOVISTAR TEAM 77h 24' 56'' + 14' 56''
10. POLKWIATKOWSKI Michal 153 OMEGA PHARMA-QUICK STEP 77h 26' 08'' + 16' 08''

Points Competition:

1. SVKSAGAN Peter 11 CANNONDALE 380 pts
2. GBRCAVENDISH Mark 151 OMEGA PHARMA-QUICK STEP 278 pts
3. GERGREIPEL André 24 LOTTO-BELISOL 227 pts

Climbers Competition:

1. GBRFROOME Christopher 1 SKY PROCYCLING 104 pts
2. FRAROLLAND Pierre 51 TEAM EUROPCAR 103 pts
3. ESPNIEVE ITURRALDE Mikel 116 EUSKALTEL - EUSKADI 98 pts

Young rider Competition:

1. COLQUINTANA ROJAS Nairo Alexander 128 MOVISTAR TEAM 77h 15' 32''
2. POLKWIATKOWSKI Michal 153 OMEGA PHARMA-QUICK STEP 77h 26' 08'' + 10' 36''
3. USATALANSKY Andrew 178 GARMIN - SHARP 77h 26' 24'' + 10' 52'
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