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“Our thoughts have already turned to tomorrow now and G, Richie and Kiry will be looking to give it 100% in the time trial before we all make the long trip to Paris," Portal says

Photo: Sirotti










25.07.2014 @ 20:27 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Team Sky now only have two chances left to win a stage in the Tour de France and with no real sprinter on their roster, the best chance may come in tomorrow's time trial. The team puts its money on Geraint Thomas, Richie Porte adn Vasil Kiryienka who will all go full gas.


Team Sky came through a wet and wild 19th stage of the Tour de France unscathed after Ramunas Navardauskas had escaped to a brave victory in Bergerac.


Geraint Thomas and Mikel Nieve rolled home in the same group as Vincenzo Nibali after the peloton had been decimated by a large crash in the last 3km.


Fortunately, no Team Sky riders hit the deck as the likes of Romain Bardet (AG2R), Leopold Konig (NetApp-Endura) and Peter Sagan (Cannondale) were all downed in a sizeable tumble on the rain-soaked roads, and everyone was awarded the same time as Navardauskas, who would have surely evaded his pursuers even without the late pile up.


The Garmin-Sharp rider attacked from an already-reduced peloton on the final fourth-category climb, and then pressed home his advantage in fine style to become the Tour’s first-ever Lithuanian stage winner.


John Degenkolb (Giant-Shimano) took the five-man sprint for second place ahead of Alexander Kristoff (Katusha), while Thomas was the first Team Sky rider home in 28th position.


The crash ensured there was no change at the top of the general classification, which meant Nibali (Astana) retained his 7min 10sec lead over Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) heading into Saturday’s decisive time trial.


Back at the team hotel, Sports Director Nicolas Portal was pleased to report a clean bill of health as the race edged one day closer to Paris.


“I’m pleased that every one of our riders managed to stay upright at the end there,” he told “It was a long stage today and nice to travel on roads that are familiar to me. They looked like the roads in Yorkshire in a lot of respects - narrow and twisting with nice rolling countryside.


“We wanted to get through it with no crashes and we achieved that. If Bernie had been feeling good, we would have tried to set something up for him, but he put his hand up towards the finish and said he wasn’t 100% so we took things relatively easy from then on to stay safe as the sprinters battled it out.


“Our thoughts have already turned to tomorrow now and G, Richie and Kiry will be looking to give it 100% in the time trial before we all make the long trip to Paris.”



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