‘You never know how the body will respond after a rest day’ – Yates’ Tour de France stage-by

Adam Yates

Adam Yates’ best Grand Tour finish is fourth at the 2016 Tour de France

This year’s Tour de France, which began in Brussels, is Adam Yates’ fourth.

The British rider’s best finish is fourth in 2016, when he won the white jersey as best young rider in the race.

The 26-year-old is leading the Mitchelton-Scott team at the 106th edition of the three-week race and he’s given BBC Sport his insight into each of the 21 stages.

This page will up updated throughout the Tour with the winner and brief report after each stage has been completed.

Saturday, 6 July – Stage 1: Brussels – Brussels, 194.5km


Teunissen (bottom) wins his first Tour de France stage and will wear the yellow jersey on stage two

Winner: Michael Teunissen (Ned/Jumbo-Visma)

Report: Thomas ‘fine’ after crash as Teunissen takes surprise win

Defending champion Geraint Thomas says he is “unhurt” after being involved in a crash around 1.6km from the finish line. Pre-stage favourite Dylan Groenewegen goes down hard in the crash and his team-mate and lead-out man Michael Teunissen takes advantage of having a free role to pip three-time world champion Peter Sagan on the finish line.

BeSpoke podcast: Stage one – surprise winners

Sunday, 7 July – Stage 2: Brussels, 27.6km team time trial


Dutch team Jumbo-Visma finished the team time trial 20 seconds ahead of Ineos

Winner: Jumbo-Visma

Report: Thomas puts time into Tour rivals as Teunissen extends race lead

Geraint Thomas gains time on his rivals for the overall Tour de France victory as Team Ineos finish second on stage two’s team time trial with Team Ineos. Jumbo-Visma win the stage by 20 seconds, so surprise stage one winner Mike Teunissen extends his race lead.

BeSpoke podcast: Stage two – Ineos pipped at the post

Monday, 8 July – Stage 3: Binche – Epernay, 215km


Julian Alaphilippe is the first Frenchman to lead the race since Tony Gallopin in 2014

Winner: Julian Alaphilippe (Fra/Deceuninck-Quick Step)

Report: Thomas loses a handful of seconds as Alaphilippe wins stage three to lead Tour

Defending champion Geraint Thomas loses time on two of his Tour de France rivals with his Ineos co-leader Egan Bernal and France’s Thibaut Pinot both taking five seconds out of him at the finish in Epernay.

France’s Julian Alaphilippe rides clear to win the stage and take the yellow jersey with a superb solo attack on the final climb.

BeSpoke podcast: Stage three – Champagne Supernova

Tuesday, 9 July – Stage 4: Reims – Nancy, 213.5km


Elia Viviani (left) is overcome with emotion after winning stage four. The Italian has previously won stages at the Giro d’Italia and the Vuelta a Espana

Winner: Elia Viviani (Ita/Deceuninck-Quick Step)

Report: Viviani takes sprint for first Tour win

BeSpoke podcast: Stage four – quiche and bunch sprints

Elia Viviani claims his first Tour de France stage win as his team-mate Julian Alaphilippe retains the yellow jersey after stage four. Defending champion Geraint Thomas steers clear of trouble to finish in the peloton, remaining seventh in the general classification, 45 seconds behind Alaphilippe.

Wednesday, 10 July – Stage 5: Saint-Die-des-Vosges – Colmar, 175.5km


Peter Sagan, a three-time world road race champion, celebrated victory on stage five with a muscleman pose

Winner: Peter Sagan (Svk/Bora-Hansgrohe)

Report: Sagan takes first stage win of 2019 Tour

BeSpoke podcast: Stage five – superstar Sagan shines

Peter Sagan secures his first win of this year’s Tour de France, and 12th in total, as he sprints to victory on stage five. Geraint Thomas stays seventh overall, 45 seconds adrift of race leader Julian Alaphilippe.

Thursday, 11 July – Stage 6: Mulhouse – La Planche des Belles Filles, 160.5km


Giulio Ciccone (left) was beaten by a powerful finish from Dylan Teuns but his second place saw him gain enough time to take the yellow jersey

Winner: Dylan Teuns (Bel/Bahrain-Merida)

Report: Thomas moves up as Teuns wins stage six

BeSpoke podcast: Stage six – Thomas lays down marker

Dylan Teuns won the first mountain stage of the 2019 Tour de France as Geraint Thomas attacked his general classification rivals late on to finish fourth on the day.

Friday, 12 July – Stage 7: Belfort – Chalon-sur-Saone, 230km


Groenewegen won his first stage at this year’s Tour with a powerful lunge for the line

Winner: Dylan Groenewegen (Ned/Bora-Hansgrohe)

Report: Groenewegen wins stage seven of Tour

BeSpoke podcast: Stage seven – The Flying Dutchman

Dylan Groenewegen claimed his first stage win of this year’s Tour de France as Giulio Ciccone retained the leader’s yellow jersey after stage seven.

At 230km, stage seven was the longest of this year’s Tour and the relatively flat route set up a bunch sprint to the finish line in Chalon-sur-Saone, where Groenewegen beat Ewan to the line.

Saturday, 13 July – Stage 8: Macon – Saint-Etienne, 200km


Geraint Thomas lost time on stage eight after being involved in his second crash on the Tour

Winner: Thomas de Gendt (Bel/Lotto Soudal)

Report: Thomas survives crash as De Gendt solos to superb stage win

BeSpoke podcast:Stage eight – breakaways and broken bikes

Defending champion Geraint Thomas loses time to French duo Julian Alaphilippe and Thibaut Pinot after crashing 15km from the end of stage eight on the Tour de France. Belgium’s Thomas de Gendt wins after a stage-long breakaway, with France’s Alaphilippe reclaiming the yellow jersey going into Bastille Day.

Sunday, 14 July – Stage 9: Saint-Etienne – Brioude, 170.5km


Daryl Impey becomes the first South African to win a Tour de France stage since 2007

Winner: Daryl Impey (SA/Mitchelton Scott)

Report: Impey wins stage, Alaphilippe leads

BeSpoke podcast: Victory for Impey

South Africa’s Daryl Impey wins stage nine as Julian Alaphilippe retained his overall lead. Victory is Impey’s first in the race and comes as he forms part of a 15-man breakaway which finishes over 16 minutes clear of the main peloton.

Monday, 15 July – Stage 10: Saint-Flour – Albi, 217.5km


Wout van Aert’s first stage victory in Albi was the fourth win for Jumbo-Visma and the third for Belgian riders at the 2019 Tour de France

Winner: Wout van Aert (Bel/Jumbo-Visma)

Report: Thomas moves up to second at Le Tour

BeSpoke podcast: Thomas takes control

Defending champion Geraint Thomas moves up to second in the Tour de France as stage 10 concludes in dramatic fashion. Julian Alaphilippe remains the overall race leader as Belgian Wout van Aert, wins a sprint finish against Italy’s Elia Viviani.

Tuesday, 16 July – Rest day

BeSpoke podcast: Rest day reflections

Wednesday, 17 July – Stage 11: Albi – Toulouse, 167km


Mark Cavendish sprinted to his second Tour de France stage win in Toulouse in 2008

Adam says: I don’t think there’s many riders in the bunch unhappy to see a stage like this after a rest day. Some manage to get going after a rest day better than others, but truth is you never really know how the body will respond. It would normally be a sprint finish, but the day has sticky, slow roads and the wind can be a factor because it’s open, so you need to remain vigilant as we saw on stage 10.

Rider to watch: Peter Sagan. The Slovakian has had a decent first week and will be looking to build on his lead in the green points jersey classification.

Thursday, 18 July – Stage 12: Toulouse – Bagneres-de-Bigorre, 209.5km


Ireland’s Dan Martin outsprinted Jakob Fuglsang to win the last time Bagneres-de-Bigorre was used as a stage finish in 2013

Adam says: We ride through the valley for most of the day before we hit the two climbs but there’s not as many climbing metres as say, on stage six. We should see a breakaway go to the line, but there will be two races – one will be to get in the break and that could take a long time. Once that’s formed, it’ll be a race for the win and a race for the GC riders.

Rider to watch: Pello Bilbao. The Spaniard is known as the ‘Puppy of Guernica’ and won two stages at this year’s Giro d’Italia.

Friday, 19 July – Stage 13: Pau, 27.2km – time trial


Bernard Hinault won the only other individual time trial in Pau, en route to this third Tour triumph in 1981

Adam says: There’s no question that the time trial kilometres are limited this year especially with half of them being taken up by the team time trial in week one, and that this suits me just fine. Despite that, it’s a day where some time will be won or lost but the gaps shouldn’t be too big. On the GC front, Geraint Thomas will take time on everyone else. But positioning on the GC going into this stage is irrelevant – it’s full gas.

Rider to watch: Rohan Dennis. The Australian won the world time trial title in 2018 and has won individual time trial stages at all three Grand Tours.

Saturday, 20 July – Stage 14: Tarbes – Tourmalet, 117.5km


First ascended in 1910, the legendary Tourmalet has been visited 82 times by the race, more than any other pass

Adam says: And so we reach the famous Tourmalet. It’s a long climb at 19km, but it’s a short day, which encourages aggressive racing. However, that limits the opportunity for the breakaway to get any sizeable gap and should mean the winner is a GC rider. But, the hardest kilometres come at the final – you don’t want to be empty before you reach them.

Rider to watch: Egan Bernal. The Colombian came into the race as joint Team Ineos leader with Geraint Thomas and is an excellent climber.

Sunday, 21 July – Stage 15: Limoux – Foix Prat d’Albis


Limoux has hosted the Tour twice before in 2011 and 2012

Adam says: By this time of the race the GC is really starting to sort itself out and this can increase the opportunities for a breakaway to succeed, but regardless the battle continues behind. Again, it’ll be a battle for the break and a battle for GC. Teams classification and those chasing King of the Mountains points can start to play a part of the stage tactics too.

Rider to watch: Vincenzo Nibali. The Italian has won each Grand Tour and loves attacking in the mountains. He was second at this year’s Giro d’Italia.

Monday, 22 July – Rest day

Adam says: A copy and paste of the previous rest day! Lie in, easy spin in the morning, talk to directors, relax and massage in the afternoon. Normally, there’s not too much reason to change the process between the two rest days, by now we know what works best for us. But, we do need to be conscious of predicted winds for the next day and that could change our plans…

Tuesday, 23 July – Stage 16: Nimes – Nimes, 177km


The Vuelta a Espana started in Nimes in 2017

Adam says: It’s another pretty flat stage after a rest day. Lately, we’re used to seeing some ugly days or time trials straight after the rest days, but today could be all about the wind. It’s not the time to switch off, flat stages are always stressful at some point and if there’s wind, it will cause havoc.

Rider to watch: Elia Viviani. The Italian won his first Tour stage in the opening week. It will be interesting to see how he fares after a few mountain stages have sapped some energy.

Wednesday, 24 July – Stage 17: Pont du Gard – Gap, 200km


The last three stages in to Gap ended with solo wins for Thor Hushovd (2011), Rui Costa (2013) and Ruben Plaza (2015)

Adam says: The precursor for three big stages to come. There’ll be a fight for the breakaway, a lot of teams and riders will want to be in it. Once the right move goes, the bunch will be happy to let it go, but it won’t come easy. These can be some of the hardest days of the race because of the motivation to make the break and it is the last chance for a lot of teams to get a result at the Tour.

Rider to watch: Matteo Trentin. My Mitchelton-Scott team-mate enjoys a breakaway and this stage could suit him.

Thursday, 25 July – Stage 18: Embrun – Valloire, 208km


Chris Froome won the climbing time trial stage that started in Embrun in the 2013 Tour

Adam says: It’s hard to say if this will be the toughest stage of the Tour, how it is raced will determine that. But, what is for sure is that these next three days are huge. I’ve recced these stages and there’ll be fireworks. What back-to-back stages like this do is often make riders think about what’s to come. If you’re feeling good, it’s perfect. If you’re feeling tired, you can start to think about conserving energy – but generally you can’t win the Tour like this. So anyone looking to make up time, this is your first opportunity and there’s only two more to come. There’ll be someone in a GC position who requires a bold move.

Rider to watch: Geraint Thomas. The defending champion will be under a lot of pressure as we take on three mountains over 2,000m in altitude.

Friday, 26 July – Stage 19: Saint-Jean-De-Maurienne – Tignes, 126.5km


Michael Rasmussen won in Tignes in 2007 before being withdrawn by the Rabobank team while leading the race

Adam says: We go high again today, it’s a bit of a theme this Tour compared to previous editions. But the biggest difference between today and yesterday is the kilometres – it’s 80km less racing today and that equates to maybe two hours or so less time on the bike. Generally we see more aggressive racing on shorter days, so today and tomorrow are prime. Most of the stage is at altitude and this has more of an effect than a stage that just finishes at the top of a mountain. It will be a high intensity day and that means there will be nowhere to hide.

Rider to watch: Nairo Quintana. The Colombian has won the Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a Espana and loves the high mountains.

Saturday, 27 July – Stage 20: Albertville – Val Thorens, 130km


Colombian Nelson Rodriguez climbed to victory in the only other finish on Val Thorens in 1994

Adam says: Another short stage but with two long climbs. For the fans’ sake, you’re hoping that it’s today that decides the 2019 champion. A good team helps today, because numbers over the first climb and onto the final climb will be invaluable. You can absolutely lose the Tour on a day like today – although you can, of course, lose it on any of these mountain stages. If it’s not the yellow jersey to shift, something on the podium or top 10 will. The Tour is one of those races where there’s a genuine fight for the top 10 and that can make it interesting for the games of the riders sitting a little higher too.

Rider to watch: Adam Yates. Regardless of the GC race, it would be nice to go out on a good note.

Sunday, 28 July – Stage 21: Rambouillet – Paris Champs-Elysees, 128km


Mark Cavendish won the sprint finish in Paris for four consecutive years between 2009-2012

Adam says: It’s always nice to arrive in Paris. Of course, the roll towards the Champs-Elysees is a lot nicer after a good performance, but regardless you’re happy to enjoy it with your team-mates and also some friends within the bunch. The atmosphere when you arrive on the circuit around the city centre is pretty special. It’s one of the most iconic moments in sport but then it’s time to switch on and suffer it out for one final day. It’s one of the most prestigious stages for a sprinter to try to win here – the hardest step is to make it there in the first place!

Rider to watch: Elia Viviani. Will the Italian cap a race where he won his first Tour stage with a victory on the most famous finishing strip in cycling?

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/48851221

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