Tour de France 2017: Edvald Boasson Hagen wins stage 19 after late attack from breakaway

Chris Froome defends yellow jersey on longest stage of 2017 Tour

Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension Data) soloed to victory on stage 19 of the 2017 Tour de France, successfully attacking from the breakaway in the final few kilometres.

Boasson Hagen, so close to victory on stages seven and 16 when he was denied in photo finishes, rode away from an elite nine-man group after picking the best line around a roundabout with three kilometres to go.

Nikias Arndt (Team Sunweb) had also gone clear with him, but after flicking his elbow to call the Norwegian through he had no response as Boasson Hagen simply rode away from him and pressed on to claim victory.

It meant a first stage win of the 2017 Tour for Dimension Data who, since Mark Cavendish crashed out on stage four, have suffered a number of near-misses in the sprints.

Chris Froome (Team Sky) and Simon Yates (Orica-Scott) enjoyed a more sedate day in the peloton, meanwhile, with the GC men all finishing together, meaning no change overall ahead of Saturday’s time trial.

Edvald Boasson Hagen won stage 19 of the 2017 Tour de France (pic – Sirotti)

With this the last realistic chance for the breakaway, on the assumption stage 21 on the Champs-Elysees ends in a bunch sprint, plenty of people wanted to get up the road.

After a number of attacks were reeled in, the group that eventually went clear was 20-strong, with some big hitters present.

Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) was the highest placed overall, but no threat to the GC, as Team Sky let the group get away.

Also present were Ben Swift (UAE Team Emirates), breakaway regulars Thomas de Gendt (Lotto-Soudal) and Sylvain Chavanel (Direct Energie), and Boasson Hagen.

De Gendt, whose frequent endeavours in the breakaway have him in the prize money for the points classification, added 20 to his total at the intermediate sprint, but Boasson Hagen kept his powder dry.

Action was otherwise limited on the longest stage of this year’s race, with the peloton happy to let the break go and the 20 riders co-operating well.

As the kilometres ticked down, however, the frequency of the attacks went up, and the group was split with 16km to go – Swift missing the split, but the remaining sprinters all getting in the front group.

That meant Boasson Hagen, Nikias Arndt (Team Sunweb), Daniele Bennati (Movistar), Michael Albasini and Jens Keukeleire (both Orica-Scott) emerged as favourites for the stage.

With that in mind, while the nine riders continued to work together, care was needed as those not blessed with as fast a sprint tried to up the ante on the front.

Albasini kept the pace high, however, working for Keukeleire and keen to prevent any further attacks off the front – though every slowing of the pace was marked by a fresh acceleration off the front.

Arndt and Boasson Hagen earned a gap a different way around the roundabout with less than three kilometres to go, however.

Arndt flicked his elbows to call the Norwegian through, but was made to regret that decision when the Dimension Data man simply rode away from him.

And the Norwegian champion was not going to be brought back, as he celebrated his first Tour de France stage wins since his double for Team Sky in 2011.

The peloton were led home by Team Sky more than ten minutes later, meanwhile – the GC men happy to wait for the stage 20 time trial in a final bid to dethrone Froome in the yellow jersey.

Tour de France 2017: stage 19 – result

1) Edvald Boasson Hagen (NOR) – Dimension Data – 5.06.09hrs
2) Nikias Arndt (GER) – Team Sunweb +5″
3) Jens Keukeleire (BEL) – Orica-Scott +17″
4) Daniele Bennati (ITA) – Movistar – ST
5) Thomas de Gendt (BEL) – Lotto-Soudal
6) Sylvain Chavanel (FRA) – Direct Energie
7) Elie Gesbert (FRA) – Fortuneo-Oscaro
8) Jan Bakelants (BEL) – Ag2r-La Mondiale
9) Michael Albasini (SUI) – Orica-Scott +19″
10) Pierre-Luc Perichon (FRA) – Fortuneo-Oscaro +1.32

General classification

1) Chris Froome (GBR) – Team Sky – 83.26.55hrs
2) Romain Bardet (FRA) – Ag2r-La Mondiale +23″
3) Rigoberto Uran (COL) – Cannondale-Drapac +29″
4) Mikel Landa (ESP) – Team Sky +1.36
5) Fabio Aru (ITA) – Astana +1.55
6) Daniel Martin (IRL) – QuickStep Floors +2.56
7) Simon Yates (GBR) – Orica-Scott +4.46
8) Louis Meintjes (RSA) – UAE Team Emirates +6.52
9) Warren Barguil (FRA) – Team Sunweb +8.22
10) Alberto Contador (ESP) – Trek-Segafredo +8.34

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