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Christophe Laporte wins stage 19

Dhe French cycling fans drummed particularly hard against the advertising boards when Christophe Laporte had finally redeemed the Grande Nation. “I’m so happy. The victory was important for France. I’ve given people something to celebrate and I hope they’re happy for me, too,” said Laporte after giving the hosts their first win of the 109th Tour de France two days before the grand finale in Paris.

After a long sprint, the faithful helper of Tour leader Jonas Vingegaard won the 19th stage after 188.3 kilometers from Castelnau-Magnoac to Cahors in front of Belgian Jasper Philipsen and Italian Alberto Dainese. This saves the French from the biggest fiasco since 1999, when they last failed to win at home.

Vingegaard remains in the yellow jersey

One of the first to congratulate was Vingegaard, who lost five seconds to rival Tadej Pogacar in the final sprint due to carelessness. Nevertheless, his lead of 3:21 minutes over the defending champion remains comfortable. The Dane also has an unassailable lead in the mountains classification. As deputy, Simon Geschke was allowed to wear the red dotted dress again, since Vingegaard wears yellow. Geschke lost the mountain jersey on Thursday after nine days.

“I haven’t really understood it yet. I believed the team supported me. There were hardly any chances for me,” said Laporte, who is primarily responsible for protecting captain Vingegaard on the flat stages: “I enjoy working for the team. Tour victory should be assured,” said Laporte.

“Can something still go wrong for Vingegaard?” asked the Danish newspaper “Ekstrabladet”. Not really, because the lead over Pogacar should easily be enough in the individual time trial over 40.7 kilometers from Lacapelle-Marival to Rocamadour on Saturday. Pogacar snatched the yellow jersey from his compatriot Primoz Roglic two years ago in the last fight against the clock just before Paris, but this time it’s not going up the hill.

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