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The Best of The Tour de France
21 Days of Amazing Photos and Activities from the Biggest Race in Cycling
The sun sets on another Tour de France, and what a Tour it was! Some have even called it the greatest Tour of this century – filled with upsets, underdogs and the unexpected.
The 2019 Tour was certainly as hard to predict as any Tour de France in recent history. From Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe's valiant stint in yellow, to the tragic ending of Thibaut Pinot's race, as he had to abandon in distress, it was a captivating 21 days.
90 riders shared their activities on Strava this year – 51% of the peloton. Read on to see some of our favorite photos and activities from the race.
The second stage of this year’s race was a Team Time Trial and Jumbo-Visma would defend the yellow jersey and take the stage win. The team averaged 54.7 km/h! Checkout team leader Steven Kruijswijk’s activity.
Stage 3: Binche > Épernay
After a courageous breakaway, Julian Alaphilippe won the stage and became the first French rider to wear the Maillot Jaune in five years. The rest of the field would sprint it out behind and Greg Van Avermaet finished in 4th place.
Stage 4: Reims > Nancy
This was another long sprint stage for the riders. They rode for over 5 hours and covered 215 kilometers! At least there were some great views.
Stage 5: Saint-Dié-des-Vosges > Colmar
A few categorized climbs throughout the stage gave hope to an early breakaway, but ultimately this stage would end in a sprint. Peter Sagan took the top step, while the young Belgian Wout van Art finished just behind in second. Wout’s max speed in the sprint was 68.7 km/h!
Stage 6: Mulhouse > La Planche des Belles Filles
The first truly mountainous stage of this year’s Tour had an uphill finish on La Planche des Belles Filles. Dylan Teuns won the stage, while Giulio Ciccone got a pretty great consolation prize by taking the yellow jersey from Alaphilippe. Ciccone shared his ride on Strava and his average power for the final climb was 371 watts (6.4 w/kg) for 22 minutes – after riding in the breakaway for most of the day.
Stage 7: Belfort > Chalon-sur-Saône
A flat sprint stage, the victory went to Dylan Groenewegen – another stage win for a team who were having a great Tour, Jumbo-Visma. This stage was marred by a big crash that ultimately took American Tejay Van Garderen out of the race, although he battled on to finish the stage he ultimately had to pull out the following day.
Stage 8: Mâcon > Saint-Étienne
Thomas De Gendt scored a remarkable breakaway victory on this hilly stage. He was off the front for a remarkable 5 hours and 14 minutes at 343 watts (5.0 w/kg) and took a handful of KoMs along the way. Also, Julian Alaphilippe raced hard to regain the yellow jersey he had lost just a couple days before.
“It’s the seventh time I’m riding the Tour de France and have been in a number of breakaways. To finally nail it today, it’s a dream come true. I really don’t have any words.” Daryl Impey made a life long dream come true by taking his first Tour de France stage win in a two-man sprint against breakaway companion Tiesj Benoot.
The young Belgian rider Wout van Aert took his first stage win in his debut Tour. The sprint came out of a reduced field after crosswinds split the peloton, causing havoc in the GC and costing contenders like Thibaut Pinot 1:40.
They call it the Tour de France for a reason and long flat stages that show off the beautiful French countryside that are as much a part of the race as the Alps. The field stayed together heading into Toulouse and Australian Caleb Ewan won his first Tour de France stage.
Stage 12: Toulouse > Bagnères-de-Bigorre
The Tour entered the Pyrenees and Julian Alaphilippe defended the yellow jersey despite expectations that he may lose it any day. The stage winner from a breakaway was Simon Yates while Tiesj Benoot won the field sprint. Although the race finished with a descent, Benoot stilled averaged 350 watts (4.9 w/kg) for 28 minutes on the final climb while sitting in the field.
Stage 13: Pau > Pau
Julian Alaphilippe had another unbelievable performance as he won the individual time trial and defended his yellow jersey. He bested 2nd place finisher Geraint Thomas by 14 seconds. Thomas De Gendt finished in third place, 36 seconds off of Alaphilippe’s time. The Belgian’s effort still required an impressive 418 watts (6.0 w/kg) for 37 minutes.
Stage 14: Tarbes > Tourmalet Barèges
A spectacular win from French rider Thibaut Pinot, who attacked hard in the finale. Pinot finished at the top of the Tourmalet without another rider in the photo – and he took the KoM along the way. Julian Alaphilippe finished 6 seconds back and defended his yellow jersey.
Stage 15: Limoux > Foix Prat d'Albis
Simon Yates won his second stage of this year’s Tour de France while Thibaut Pinot finished second, taking the KoM on the Prat d’Albis. Alaphilippe started to show cracks and lost time to the GC favorites. Fortunately for him, this stage preceded a rest day.
Stage 16: Nîmes > Nîmes
Another sprint stage offered more time for the riders to recover and assured Alaphilippe would keep the yellow jersey. Caleb Ewan won his second stage in his Tour de France premiere.
Stage 17: Pont du Gard > Gap
A big breakaway went up the road early in this stage. Matteo Trentin attacked from a reduced group and took the stage win. Greg Van Avermaet finished 3rd, 41 seconds back.
Stage 18: Embrun > Valloire
Nairo Quintana took his first stage win of this year’s Tour and set the fastest known time up the Col du Galibier (although it’s not on Strava). Julian Alaphilippe defended the yellow jersey after descending aggressively to catch, and briefly pass, the group containing all the main GC contenders. The KoM up the iconic Galibier climb was taken by Thibaut Pinot, who pushed the pace up the climb and finished in a group of favorites including Kruijswijk and Thomas.
Stage 19: Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne > Tignes
There was no official winner of the stage after extreme weather conditions forced the race to be neutralized after the second to final climb. Despite a shortened stage, Egan Bernal took enough time away from Julian Alaphilippe on the Col de l’Iseran to claim the yellow jersey. All of this followed the unexpected departure of Thibaut Pinot, who tragically had to drop out of the race due to injury while he was a favorite to win the overall.
The KoM up the Iseran was nabbed by Steven Kruijswijk, who finished in 5th place, 1:03 behind Bernal.
Stage 20: Albertville > Val Thorens
Egan Bernal locked in his first Tour de France victory, crossing the finish line hand-in-hand with defending champion, teammate Geraint Thomas. Vincenzo Nibali took the win on the stage that finished in Val Thorens while Steven Kruijswijk took the KoM and assured himself a third spot on the overall podium, behind Bernal and Thomas.
Stage 21: Rambouillet > Paris Champs-Élysées
The 2019 Tour ended as it traditionally has, with a mostly ceremonial ride into Paris followed by a few fast laps on the boulevards and a sprint finish on the Champs-Élysées. Caleb Ewan won the final stage, his third victory in as many weeks.
It was truly a race for the young riders, with both Ewan (25) and Bernal (22) riding outstandingly in their premier Tour de France. While the race finished at sunset to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Yellow Jersey, it’s also the dawn of a new era where we may see these two young riders standing on the podium for years to come.
Although Bernal did not upload his Tour de France, you can follow him on Strava to see all his training.