Mudslide Ruins Part Of The Tour de France Course, Ends Stage 19 Of Race Early

Stage 19 of this year's Tour de France bicycle race has been aborted due to severe weather, including snow, hail and a mudslide covering part of the course.

Today's leg of the race was supposed to take riders up the Col de l'Iseran mountain pass, down into Val d'Isere, a municipality in the Tarentaise Valley, ending in the town of Tignes. Unfortunately, the race was halted shortly after the first racers made it to the top of l'Iseran.

The mudslide was caught on video by a reporter for Norway's TV 2 covering the race. Riders were due to hit that part of the course minutes after the mudslide began.

Egan Bernal of Colombia was in the lead when the race was called off. The organizers decided that the best solution would be to award racers their times as they reached the top of l'Iseran. Though there were no official winners, since Bernal was in the lead, tomorrow he'll be wearing the yellow jersey that denotes the cyclist who earned first place in the previous stage.

Egan Bernal Tour De France 2019
Egan Bernal, pictured near the beginning of Stage 19. Had it not been canceled, Stage 19 would have been a 78.5-mile course. Tim de Waele/Getty

Stage 18's holder of the yellow jersey, French cyclist Julian Alaphilippe trailed Bernal. He hoped to overtake Bernal coming down the mountain. But those hopes were dashed when the race was called off with 18.5 miles left to go. Instead, he came in 14th today, 2 minutes and 7 seconds behind Bernal.

Alaphilippe is likely out of the race. When asked if he thought he could win the jersey back in tomorrow's race, said no.

"I don't think so, no. It was already a dream to wear it. I wore it for longer than I ever imagined," he told the Wall Street Journal.

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Julian Alaphilippe, who won yesterday's Stage 18, found himself in 14th place when Stage 19 was canceled due to a freak hailstorm and mudslide covering the course. Tim de Waele/Getty

Tomorrow's Stage 20 is the final stage before the cyclists finish the race on Sunday, riding into Paris. With today's results, Bernal is expected to win, as he has 45 seconds over Alaphilippe, and he is over a minute lead over all other riders. Should he win, Bernal will be the first Colombian to win the Tour de France. At 22, Bernal would also be the youngest rider to win in the modern era.

The youngest-ever rider to win in the Tour de France history was Henri Cornet in 1904, who was 19 years old at the time. Cornet initially came in fifth, but the four cyclists before him were all disqualified for cheating.

The final rankings after Stage 19 are:

1. Egan Bernal (Colombia)
2. Julian Alaphilippe (France): 48 seconds behind
3. Geraint Thomas (Great Britain): 1:16 behind
4. Steven Kruijswijk (Netherlands): 1:28 behind
5. Emanuel Buchmann (Germany): 1:55 behind
6. Mikel Landa (Spain): 4:35 behind
7. Rigoberto Uran (Colombia): 5:14 behind
8. Nairo Quintana (Colombia): 5:17 behind
9. Alejandro Valverde (Spain): 6:25 behind
10. Richie Porte (Australia): 6:28 behind

This story was updated to indicate that Val D'Isere is a municipality.

Mudslide Ruins Part Of The Tour de France Course, Ends Stage 19 Of Race Early | Sports