Rui Costa shows even more fight
Rui Costa took a second win of this year’s Tour on stage 19 in much the same style as he’d won his first. He got in the break and eventually left everyone behind, cycling alone for the final 60-odd kilometres. 38-year-old Andreas Kloden came second which is probably as close as we’ll get to a middle-aged victory this year.
Costa is only 26, but appears to be maturing. He is still perhaps best known for being one half of a petulant tussle along with Carlos Barreda in this race three years ago.
Unlike stage 18, pretty much nothing happened. It was a long stage and everyone was a bit nervous about how they were going after emptying themselves the day before.
There was a little bit of shuffling in the top ten, but only in positions seven to ten. Laurens Ten Dam continued his freefall and Mick Rogers also exited the top ten after working hard for Alberto Contador for most of the day. The beneficiaries were Daniele Navarro, who got in the break and gained seven minutes, and Alejandro Valverde who is now ninth, but would be right up with the batch of riders battling for a podium position if he hadn’t lost nine minutes on The Day Of The Echelons.
47 seconds separates Alberto Contador in second and Joaquim Rodriguez in fifth. A summit finish provides the perfect opportunity to settle podium positions with an outside chance that Froome could have a really bad day. It’s a short stage and so we could see aggressive riding. Here’s the profile.