Rui Costa takes out theatre 19 of a Tour de France while yellow jersey hilt Chris Froome retains his altogether lead over a ubiquitous sequence riders.
RUI Costa was named “Athlete of a Year” in Portugal final year, forward of Cristiano Ronaldo, though winning a Tour de France stage.
Having cumulative his second Tour stage, into Le Grand-Bornand, he contingency be a shoo-in this year.
Costa’ recognition during home has also seen him be a supplement to have perceived a many fan mail during this year’s Tour.
FROOME THE CHAMP BARRING DISASTER
His second win was a CO duplicate of his first, into Gap, with an conflict on a final stand from a vast breakaway group.
There was also a small bit of heart-in-mouth for his fans on a soppy skirmish to a finish line, as a motorbike cameraman couldn’t keep adult with him. But Costa is cold underneath vigour and there was no need to worry.
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This Tour has also noted a changing of a ensure in Australian cycling.
As Cadel Evans came in some-more than half an hour behind, in a organisation that enclosed Mark Cavendish, Simon Clarke reliable his early promise.
Clarke usually mislaid hit with a yellow jersey organisation mid adult a final climb.
The Orica-GreenEDGE supplement is in his initial Tour de France, has been in a few breakaways, and shown no signs of being intimidated by a sport’s biggest race.
Clarke is not a intensity Tour personality though most as a French frequently hearten Sylvain Chavanel to theatre victories or stints in a yellow jersey Clarke will do a same for Australian cycling fans.
He will have an even bigger impact on a competition in a future.
Well behind a theatre personality was a competition for a mark on a lectern alongside Chris Froome.
From second place, Alberto Contador, to fifth place, Joaquim Rodriguez, there is usually a 47 second gap. Four riders – Contador, Quintana, Kreuziger, Rodriguez –racing for dual spots.
Exhausted from a prior day to Alpe d’Huez, and some-more than 3,000km of racing, not a lot happened until a final stand of a day. And even afterwards no repairs was done.
The one large change was a change in plan from Contador.
Conceding Froome has an indomitable lead a Spaniard rode to save second.
Crucial to this invulnerability was Canberra’s Michael Rogers. Rogers rode dash on a final stand to forestall a attacks from Quintana and Rodriguez, while Contador only responded to their contingent moves.
The efforts cost Rogers a place inside a top-10 altogether though he won’t remove any nap over that. At no indicate has a 33-year-old given any care to his possess results. Only Contador’s.
The selflessness of Rogers also relates to Kreuziger who, still sitting in fourth place overall, is doing all he can to assistance Contador, his group leader.
Going into refuge mode is unknown domain for a desirous Contador nonetheless his best possibility of holding onto to second place is to hang with this strategy.
If he tries to conflict on Saturday’s final towering theatre he could open himself adult to a renew from his rivals, who will be baying for blood.
Quintana and Rodriguez will chuck all they have during Contador and he’ll need all he’s got to conflict their barrage.
Once again Richie Porte rode faultlessly in support of Froome.
One some-more day for Porte, a protector, afterwards he can relax on a roads of Paris meaningful he’s played a vital purpose in a teammate’s Tour de France feat for a second year running.
Saturday 20 July
Stage 20: Annecy – Semnoz 125km
Live coverage starts on SBS1 during 10pm
Follow Matt Keenan on Twitter: @mwkeenan