Tour de France 2019 Notebook

The 106th edition of the Tour de France will take place July 6 - July 28, 2019 covering a total distance of 3460 kms over 21 stages. This is a very long race with many stories to be told as the event unfolds. 

Each day La Bicicletta will pick a rider of interest and post a little story. It might be about the stage winner or 152nd place. There is always the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat but there is a lot of road in between. These stories all add up to the Tour de France. 

Cycling is thirsty work; so we created the laBici Pick prize award each day: A virtual six-pack of beer from our favorite nearby Toronto craft brewery Bellwoods Brewery. Cheers!

Stage 1 Saturday, July 6 2019  194.5km Brussels - Brussels
laBici Pick: Mike Teunissen-Team Jumbo Visma | Mike Teunissen quickly reworked tactics after a crash in the group with 1.5km to the finish took out his team designated sprinter Dylan Groenewegen. Mike found the front of the group sprint finish at the last moment, edging out Peter Sagan by a tire width. For his effort he also took the Maillot Jaune as overall race leader. ...and he is a nice guy too. An unexpected reward. Happy for him. | Stage winner: Mike Teunissen-Team Jumbo Visma | Yellow: Mike Teunissen-Team Jumbo Visma

Stage 2 Sunday, July 7 2019  27.6km Brussels (TTT)
laBici Pick: Team Jumbo Visma | Our pick today is a team as race is a TTT (team time trial) event. These guys rode together so nicely. Notables in the ride include George Bennett, powerhouse Tony Martin, the injured Dylan Groenewegen and Wout van Aert. Nice and quick too. So quick that they beat Team INEOS by 20 seconds, taking the stage win and solidifying the overall lead of Mike Teunissen. Mike holds both yellow and green jerseys. Wout van Aert picked up the white jersey. Not too bad a result today for the team. (laBici Pick prize today revised to an 8-pack of Bellwoods, one each for the 8 team riders)

Stage 3 Monday, July 8 2019  215km Binche - Epernay
laBici Pick: Julian Alaphilippe - Deceuninck-QuickStep | A puncheur storms to the finish. The French call it panache, and Julian Alaphilippe gave it everything in a brutal solo attack approx 15km from the finish and took it full gas all the way to the finish line. Tricky and twisting roads with numerous steep testing hills challenged tired legs. Alaphilippe finished 26 seconds in front of the much diminished peloton to collect the stage win and combined with the 10 seconds bonus took over the maillot jaune as race leader. Salut! | Stage winner: Julian Alaphilippe -Deceuninck-QuickStep  Yellow:Julian Alaphilippe - Deceuninck-QuickStep

Stage 4 Tuesday, July 9 2019  213.5km Reims - Nancy
laBici Pick: Michael Schar - CCC Team | Joining a three up breakaway with more than 200km to go in the stage, Michael Schar was the driving force of the trio. Surviving until 16.5km from the finish when the surging peloton captured him 1.5km from the summit of the last climb of the day, safe to say Michael Schar had given it a "good go". Bravo. | Stage winner: Elia Viviani-Deceuninck-QuickStep | Yellow:Julian Alaphilippe - Deceuninck-QuickStep

Stage 5 Wednesday, July 10 2019  175.5km Saint-Die-Des-Vosges - Colmar
laBici Pick: Peter Sagan - BORA-Hansgrohe | Rolling through the hilly Vosges region of France the peloton negotiated the four category 2 and 3 climbs in pursuit of the four man breakaway. As the break riders were consumed, the peloton thinned noticeably on the penultimate and final climb of the day. It was left to the surviving sprinters to contest the finish and green jersey holder Peter Sagan proved strongest and powered to the win. 100% PowerPlus. | Stage winner: Peter Sagan - BORA-Hansgrohe | Yellow:Julian Alaphilippe - Deceuninck-QuickStep

Stage 6 Thursday, July 11 2019 160.5km Mulhouse - La Planche Des Belles Filles 
laBici Pick: Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain-Merida | This stage was thought to be a day of reckoning... and it was. Dylan Teuns won his first ever Grand Tour stage in superb style. Part of a breakaway group right from the start he was still there at the end along with Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Trek-Segafredo. Considered to be perhaps the most demanding stage of the 2019 TdF, the 1km finishing segment of gravel road with a gradient of 24% was a special touch to an already difficult course. Top ride jongen! | Stage winner: Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain-Merida | Yellow: Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Trek-Segafredo

Stage 7 Friday, July 12 2019 230km Belfort - Chalon-Sur-Saone
laBici Pick: Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma | The longest stage of the 2019 TdF was a flattish run favoring rouleurs and sprinters. Dylan Groenewegen takes home the beersAfter his bad stage 1 crash it appears that he has recovered and showed everyone the speedy finish for which he is known. | Stage winner: Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma | Yellow: Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Trek-Segafredo

Stage 8 Saturday, July 13 2019  200km Macon - Saint-Etienne 
laBici Pick: Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal |  Attacking right from the first kilometer, Thomas de Gendt created the break of the day and stayed out front the whole 200km. As the finale played out he resisted the chase of the combined efforts of both Julian Alaphilippe and Thibaut Pinot. Impressive. Actually, more than impressive. | Stage winner:Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal | Yellow:Julian Alaphilippe - Deceuninck-QuickStep

Stage 9 Sunday, July 14 2019  170.5km Saint-Etienne - Brioude
laBici Pick: Daryl Impey (RSA) Mitchelton-Scott  |  Another day for a breakaway group. This time larger and the main peloton let them move out to 15 minutes lead assuring that the stage winner would come from this group. After a number of tactical attacks on the final 3.6km climb of the day Daryl Impey and Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal broke free and descended to the finish line where Daryl Impey sprinted to the top prize. The main group rolled in 16 minutes later with the French riders crowding to the front to celebrate Bastille Day. | Stage winner: Daryl Impey (RSA) Mitchelton-Scott | Yellow: Julian Alaphilippe - Deceuninck-QuickStep

Stage 10 Monday, July 15 2019  217.5km Saint-Flour - Albi
laBici Pick: Wout Van Aert (Bel) Team Jumbo-Visma  | Surprise, SURPRISE, NO surprise. When the winds blow the echelons form. Result was major changes in the GC classification and for those with hopes and aspirations. Cyclo-cross star Wout Van Aert was in the first small group and beat many of the specialist established sprinters for the stage win. The lead echelon group took 1:40 from the next chasing group and 2 minutes plus from the third group. TdF general classification hopes dashed for many. So much for the expected quiet transitional stage as the race heads towards the first rest day and the Pyrenees mountains. Nice win. | Stage winner: Wout Van Aert (Bel) Team Jumbo-Visma | Yellow: Julian Alaphilippe - Deceuninck-QuickStep

Rest Day 1 Tuesday, July 16 2019

Stage 11 Wednesday, July 17 2019  167km Albi - Toulouse
laBici Pick: Caleb Ewan (Aus) Lotto Soudal | ...and Caleb Ewan finally gets his 2019 TdF stage win after so many close finishes. After a minor interruption on the roadside approximately 10km from the finish Caleb surfed through the peloton moving back to the front (not an easy recovery). Once there he timed his rush to the line perfectly, overtaking Dylan Groenewegen in a photo finish. 
| Stage winner: Caleb Ewan (Aus) Lotto Soudal  | Yellow: Julian Alaphilippe - Deceuninck-QuickStep

Stage 12 Thursday, July 18 2019  209.5km Toulouse - Bagneres-De-Bigorre
laBici Pick: Rohan Dennis (Aus) Bahrain-Merida | Australian Rohan Dennis stopped the TdF with approximately 80km to go, whatever the reason he could probably do with a Bellwoods beer or two. Meanwhile the breakaway of the day played out the finale with Simon Yates winning the three-up sprint finish. The peloton rolled over the two major climbs of the stage with reserve in anticipation of the critical individual TT tomorrow. 
| Stage winner: Simon Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott  | Yellow: Julian Alaphilippe - Deceuninck-QuickStep

Stage 13 Friday, July 19 2019  27.2km Pau (ITT)
laBici Pick: Julian Alaphilippe -Deceuninck-QuickStep |An incredible TT from the maillot jaune. Not only defended the leaders jersey but increased his lead overall. Not much else to say. Amazing. | Stage winner: Julian Alaphilippe -Deceuninck-QuickStep  | Yellow:Julian Alaphilippe - Deceuninck-QuickStep

Stage 14 Saturday, July 20 2019  117.5km Tarbes - Tourmalet
laBici Pick: Julian Alaphilippe -Deceuninck-QuickStep | This was always going to be a big day for GC contenders in the 2019 TdF with the finish at the summit of the giant Tourmalet. Thibaut Pinot showed all of France his form and attacked to the win... with Julian Alaphilippe right behind him! Geraint Thomas was dropped with 1 km to go and lost 30 sec to the maillot jaune. | Stage winner: Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ  | Yellow:Julian Alaphilippe - Deceuninck-QuickStep

Stage 15 Sunday, July 21 2019  185km Limoux - Foix
laBici Pick: Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ |Although Simon Yates deservedly won his second TdF stage, Thibaut Pinot won the GC battle of the day attacking and again leaving Geraint Thomas and others on the road, closing the overall time gap. Maillot Jaune Julian Alaphilippe cracked just a little on the final approach to the finish. Its really a wide open bike race, very interesting. | Stage winner: Simon Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott  | Yellow: Julian Alaphilippe - Deceuninck-QuickStep

Rest Day 2 Monday, July 22 2019  Nimes

Stage 16 Tuesday, July 23 2019  177km Nimes - Nimes
laBici Pick: The peloton, on a hellish hot day, a beer for everyone. | A very, very hot day in the south of France. Caleb Ewan picked up his second stage win in a sprint finish in Nimes.  This time it was very decisive as he power surged past the other sprint contenders, no photo finish required. | Stage winner: Caleb Ewan (Aus) Lotto Soudal  | Yellow: Julian Alaphilippe - Deceuninck-QuickStep

Stage 17 Wednesday, July 24 2019  200km Pont Du Gard - Gap
laBici Pick: Matteo Trentin (Ita) Mitchelton-Scott | Matteo had a funny quip in a Stage 17 pre-race interview when asked if his team had a successful TdF so far with three stage wins, He said "Yeah they have but I haven't won my stage yet. Today is my last chance this tour." So he then went out and collected his TdF stage with a nice solo win. Awesome. Love it. | 
Stage winner: Matteo Trentin (Ita) Mitchelton-Scott  | Yellow: Julian Alaphilippe - Deceuninck-QuickStep

Stage 18 Thursday, July 25 2019  208km Embrun - Valloire 
laBici Pick: Julian Alaphilippe -Deceuninck-QuickStep | A long day in the high mountains. Still there... Julian Alaphilippe stayed with the all the main GC riders as they traversed the three major climbs today. Although he lost contact very near the summit of the Galibier, his super descent reconnected him with the small select group of GC contenders. Chapeau. Still there. ALL the way. | Stage winner: Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team  | Yellow: Julian Alaphilippe - Deceuninck-QuickStep

Stage 19 Friday, July 26 2019  126.5km Saint-Jean-De-Maurienne - Tignes
laBici Pick: Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ | Mother Nature intervened with a road closure on the route. The stage winner results were nullified and times for GC taken atop the Col de l'Iseran. Thus Julian Alaphilippe was assigned a 2:10 deficit and therefore lost his maillot jaune. Notably Thibaut Pinot was forced to abandon the TdF with a muscle injury. A big fizzle on the stage. | Stage winner: no stage winner determined  | Yellow: Egan Bernal (Col) Team Ineos

Stage 20 Saturday, July 27 2019  130km Albertville - Val Thorens
laBici Pick: Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida |Exceptional weather continued to impact the race with road closures due to landslides in the area causing the stage route to be cut to 59km. Fortunately the final 33km climb to Val Thorens at 2365m altitude was still included as planned. Although short it produced an animated and valid race with Vincenzo Nibali winning solo and importantly Egan Bernal confirming his right to the yellow jersey.
| Stage winner: Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida | Yellow: Egan Bernal (Col) Team Ineos

Stage 21 Sunday, July 28 2019  128km Rambouillet - Paris Champs-Elysees
laBici Pick: Sebastian Langeveld (Ned) EF Education First | Caleb Ewan confirmed in Paris on the Champs-Élysées that he is the fastest sprinter of the 2019 TdF winning his third stage of the event. Egan Bernal confirmed his Maillot Jaune while Sebastian Langeveld confirmed his Lanterne Rouge. All riders were happy to reach the finish in Paris. | Stage winner: Caleb Ewan (Aus) Lotto Soudal  | Yellow: Egan Bernal (Col) Team Ineos

Tour de France winner: Egan Bernal (Col) Team Ineos

That's it folks! Hope that you followed and enjoyed the event with us. 
The La Bicicletta Team