Kragh Andersen strikes again to win 19th stage

Kragh Andersen strikes again to win 19th stage

CHAMPAGNOLE (France) • Denmark’s Soren Kragh Andersen claimed his second audacious solo stage win of the Tour de France yesterday with a perfectly-timed attack late in the 19th stage, an undulating 166.5km ride from Bourg en Bresse to Champagnole.

The Sunweb rider, who also won the 14th stage in Lyon, jumped away from a group of late breakaway riders to give his team their third stage win this year after Marc Hirschi’s victory in the 12th stage.

Slovenian Luka Mezgec was second, and Belgian Jasper Stuyven finished third, both 53 seconds behind, as Primoz Roglic retained the overall leader’s yellow jersey.

“I have to say that, in the last kilometres, I was actually screaming in pure disbelief. I got two stage wins on the same Tour de France… It’s incredible,” said Kragh Andersen.

“When I saw who was in the breakaway group, I realised I was in the mix with some of the best riders of the world for this type of race.

“I honestly didn’t know how to beat them, and I was on my limit too. But then I realised that, if I managed somehow to get a small gap, it may enable me to pull it off… This is a memory I will carry in my mind for the rest of my life.”

Roglic leads nearest rival and fellow Slovenian Tadej Pogacar by 57 seconds going into today’s decisive individual time trial, which should see the Jumbo Visma rider secure his maiden Tour title.

Ireland’s Sam Bennett kept three-time world champion Peter Sagan at bay, even extending his lead in the points classification to 55 points from 52. He is hoping to become the first Irishman to win the green jersey since Sean Kelly in 1989, while Slovakian Sagan is looking to claim it for a record-extending eighth time.

France’s Remi Cavagna was the only early breakaway rider and the Deceuninck-Quick Step rider, helped by a strong tailwind, opened a decent gap. But he was caught by the bunch 50km from the finish and several attacks took place within the group of 12 riders, featuring top sprinters and one-day race specialists, who broke clear with 25km to go. Kragh Andersen then accelerated away and his move went unanswered.