Slippery downhill causes a lot of crashes on stage 19.


3.114 kilometers are already behind the riders. Today the 19th stage lead from Albertville over 146 k to Saint-Gervais Mont Blanc. It was not the longest stage, but again a very difficult one with five climbs.
Emanuel Buchmann from BORA – ARGON 18 followed the plan he already had in mind two days ago and attacked with 20 other riders on the first climb. After the first climb, they had a gap of four minutes but in the peloton Astana took over control and opposite to the last mountain stages, this time the peloton didn't allow the break to build a proper gap.
Emanuel was 3rd on the intermediate sprint and gained 15 points. The advantage of the group over the peloton shuttled between three and four minutes. On the 4th climb to Montèe de Bisanne, a climb of the highest category, some riders couldn`t follow the pace of R. Majka. Also Emu was in trouble but kept his own rhythm and came back several times. On the last 2k he finally had to accept to be dropped.
In the descent it started to rain. Rui Costa and Pierre Rolland, who crashed later, could go clear from the rest of the leading group. Also in the peloton some riders attacked while others had some difficulties in the downhill. Several riders crashed, also C. Froome the yellow jersey. Emanuel was caught before the final climb of the day, little later Romain Bardet attacked from this group of favorites.

Still leading at this stage of the race was Rui Costa, but Bardet overtook him on the last climb and took the stage in Saint-Gervais Mont Blanc.

Emanuel Buchmann spent a lot of energy in his break but still climbed well to the finish. He crossed the line in 24th at 4’42’’ behind the stage winner. In the GC he still is in 21st place, less than one minute behind his goal, the top 20 result.
“Today you had to be lucky not to crash. On the last climb my wheel slipped because of the bad grip. In the morning my plan was to go in the break today, this worked out well. But the peloton didn’t let us go far away enough even we pushed hard, therefore we were caught after the penultimate climb. Before the stage you never know what the best tactics are, today it would have been better to stay in the peloton with Froome. Tomorrow is another day, the last mountain stage, and I have to see how my legs will be because today was really hard for me.” – Emanuel Buchmann.