CHAMPAGNOLE, France: Denmark’s Soren Kragh Andersen claimed his second audacious solo stage win of the Tour de France on Friday with a wonderfully timed assault late within the 19th stage, an undulating 166.5-km experience from Bourg en Bresse to Champagnole.
The Sunweb rider, who additionally gained the 14th stage in Lyon with an instinctive transfer within the finale, jumped away from a bunch of late breakaway riders to provide his group their third stage win this yr after Marc Hirschi’s victory within the 12th stage.
“The victory in Lyon gave me confidence because I had proven myself on the biggest race in the world,” Kragh Andersen advised a information convention.
“That’s why I went for it today. I was suffering but I knew that in that case the others were suffering as well.”
Slovenian Luka Mezgec took second place on Friday, and Belgian Jasper Stuyven completed third, each 53 seconds behind, as Primoz Roglic retained the general chief’s yellow jersey.
Roglic leads second-placed and fellow Slovenian Tadej Pogacar by 57 seconds going into Saturday’s decisive particular person time trial, which ought to see the Jumbo Visma rider safe his maiden Tour title.
Ireland’s Sam Bennett did job at preserving triple world champion Peter Sagan at bay, even extending his lead within the factors classification to 55 factors from 52.
Bennett is hoping to change into the primary Irishman to win the inexperienced jersey since Sean Kelly in 1989 whereas Slovakian Sagan is trying to declare it for a record-extending eighth time.
France’s Remi Cavagna was the one early breakaway rider and the Deceuninck-Quick Step rider, helped by a robust tailwind, opened an honest hole.
He was nonetheless caught by the bunch 50km from the end and a number of other assaults befell inside the group of 12 riders, that includes prime sprinters and one-day race specialists, who broke clear with 25km to go.
Kragh Andersen then accelerated away and his transfer went unanswered. The Dane didn’t look again and shortly prolonged his benefit, his rivals then trying to put together for the dash for second place.
“At first I didn’t realize I had that much of a gap in the final kilometre but then I thought ‘Wow, I’m winning two stages in the same Tour, some riders will never win one in their career’,” stated Kragh Andersen.
“It’s better than anything I ever dreamt of as a child,” added the 2018 Paris-Tours winner.