Bernal seals historic Tour de France title

By Sports Desk July 28, 2019

Egan Bernal made history by becoming the first Colombian to win the Tour de France in Paris on Sunday.

The 22-year-old all but claimed the title in the ski resort of Val Thorens on Saturday, crossing the line in fourth alongside Geraint Thomas to put Team INEOS on the brink of a one-two.

Bernal completed the formality of becoming the youngest Tour winner for 110 years by finishing the 128-kilometre procession from Rambouillet to the capital after sampling the customary glass of champagne soon after setting off.

Caleb Ewan sprinted to a victory on the Champs-Elysees, having vowed to accomplish that feat when he visited Paris for the first time at the age of 17.

The Australian's rapid final burst on a glorious evening earned him a third stage success of the race ahead of Dylan Groenewegen and Niccolo Bonifazio.

Bernal crossed the line soon after with 2018 champion and colleague Thomas, becoming the only rider to win the Paris-Nice, Tour de Suisse and Tour de France in the same year.

The brilliant Bernal is the third-youngest champion in the most prestigious Grand Tour, having taken the yellow jersey off long-time leader and home hope Julian Alaphilippe in dramatic fashion in the Alps.

Bernal's aggressive climb of the Col de l'Iseran proved to be decisive, with stage 19 cut short on the descent due to hailstorms and mudslides on Friday.

That gave Bernal the lead and he retained it after a penultimate stage to Val Thorens that was shortened due to concerns over the weather, going on to take the title by a margin of 71 seconds over Thomas.

Alaphilippe finished back in fifth in the general classification, with Steven Kruijswijk third and Emanuel Buchmann fourth.

Deceuninck-Quick Step rider Alaphilippe was unable to end the 34-year wait for a home winner of the Tour but was named the most combative rider after spending 14 days in yellow.

 

STAGE RESULT

1. Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) 3:04:08
2. Dylan Groenewegen (Jumbo-Visma)
3. Niccolo Bonifazio (Total Direct Energie)
4. Maximiliano Richeze (Deceuninck-Quick Step)
5. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension Data)

CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS

General Classification

1. Egan Bernal (Team INEOS) 82:57:00
2. Geraint Thomas (Team INEOS) +1:11
3. Steven Kruijswijk (Jumbo-Visma) +1:31

Points Classification

1. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) 316
2. Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) 248
3. Elia Viviani (Deceuninck-Quick Step) 224

King of the Mountains

1. Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale) 86
2. Egan Bernal (Team INEOS) 78
3. Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal) 75

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