Nieve and Yates go down fighting on final mountain stage of the Tour de France

Fri 27 Jul 2018

Mitchelton-SCOTT climbers Mikel Nieve and Adam Yates put in one last fight on the final mountain stage of the Tour de France today.

The duo featured in the day’s breakaway but lost touch before the general classification contenders took over proceedings.

Step 1: The Breakaway:
As their last stage to make an impact on racing, Mitchelton-SCOTT’s climbers were charged with the task of making today’s breakaway. 

Yates made it across first and settled in a group of six before Nieve then joined him by working with a larger group of 12 to bridge across to make 18 in the lead. 

The Tourmalet:
The front group started to diminish at the bottom of the Col du Tourmalet but Yates and Mikel remained as the front as it reduced to just six riders with 100km left to ride. 

Yates started to lose touch a few kilometres from the top and was swept up by a chase group that had launched from the peloton and included Mikel Landa (Movistar Team) and Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale).

Nieve’s group remained in front by 50seconds on the Yates’ chasers and three minutes on the peloton over the top. 

As the road went down for the long descent, Yates lost touch. His chase group caught the lead group with Nieve with 64km to go as the Briton was swept up by the bunch. 

Double finale:
The final double of Col de Borderes and Col d’Aubisque would prove to be the deciders, despite the action early. 

Mitchelton-SCOTT’s last survivor Nieve lost touch as the pace increased with 42km to go as the peloton continued to peg back the time to under two minutes.

By the top of the final climb the attacks of the top general classification had ended the day for the last surviving breakaway riders, and it was Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo) who showed his superior descending skills to win solo and move into the top-three overall.

Mikel Nieve:
“Personally it’s been a bit of a disappointing day. I was feeling quite good all day but on the final climb I just couldn’t go. The legs were empty and I couldn’t follow the breakaway riders. 

“I hoped for more, but sometimes it’s like this and when you gave everything that you can, you can’t do anything more.”

Tour de France – Stage 19 Results:
1. Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo) 5:28:17
2. Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) +0:17
3. Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale) +0:17
24. Mikel Nieve (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +7:18 

Tour de France – General Classification after Stage 19:
1. Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) 79:49:31
2. Tom Dumoulin (Tema Sunweb) +2:05
3. Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo) +2:24
23. Mikel Nieve (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +45:39

Photo courtesy of Getty Images.