Bordeaux – Slovenia’s Matej Mohorič (Bahrain Victorious) won stage 19 of the Tour de France from Mourenx to Libourne on Friday after attacking 25km from finish, surging clear from a large breakaway group.
“During this stage I noticed I had good legs, but there was no real cooperation in the first breakaway group. I convinced them we have to keep high rhythm so that sprint teams could no longer control our breakaway,” the 26-year-old Mohorič said after the race.
“When Nils Politt attacked, I was on the edge, saying to myself that if that is the hardest moment, I have to give it my best even if I end up on the side of the road. I did my best and when I looked back, there was nobody… I used all of my energy, but fortunately I managed to keep the lead ahead of the fellow chasers.”
Mohorič’s win of the 207km stage is his second at this year’s Tour de France after he won the longest leg of 249 km on 2 July.
His is also the fifth stage win for Slovenia’s riders at the world’s No.1 cycling race this year, with the remaining three credited to Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates), the defending champion, who is in the overall lead.
This is Mohorič’s 14th win in professional cycling, of which two came at the other two major three-week races – the 2017 Vuelta and at Giro d’Italia in 2018.
Wearing the yellow jersey, Pogačar finished today more than 20 minutes behind the winner, but commands an almost six minute lead ahead of the runner-up Jonas Vingegaard (Dan/Jumbo-Visma).
Commenting on the development of Slovenian professional cycling in the light of Mohorič’s win, Pogačar said: “This feels great. In Slovenia we always also wanted to succeed in cycling. We were good, now we are winning. It’s really great.”