/ Cycling

Ramunas Navardauskas triumphs on treacherous Tour de France stage

Updated: Friday, 25 Jul 2014 17:54 | Comments

A saturated Ramunas Navardauskas prevails in Bergerac
A saturated Ramunas Navardauskas prevails in Bergerac

Ramunas Navardauskas was rewarded for a daring late escape with victory on stage 19 of the Tour de France in Bergerac.

Navardauskas held off a peloton splintered by crashes on a treacherous finale to the 208.5-kilometre route from Maubourguet Pays du Val d'Adour to claim victory for Garmin-Sharp.

The torrential rain in the Dordogne region aided the Lithuanian's chances as Navardauskas achieved what his team-mate Jack Bauer could not last Sunday in finishing first ahead of the sprinters.

John Degenkolb (Giant-Shimano) led home a small bunch, with Alexander Kristoff (Katusha), the man who caught Bauer in Nimes, third.

All the riders from the main pack were credited with the same time due to a late crash with less than three kilometres left.

Ireland’s Nicolas Roche finished 51st on the stage and the Tinkoff-Saxo rider is now just under two hours behind the overall leader in 39th place.

The 101st edition of the race may belong to Nibali, but the stage belonged to Navardauskas for a first Lithuanian win in the Tour.

The day's five-man breakaway of Cyril Gautier (Europcar), Martin Elmiger (IAM Cycling), Arnaud Gerard (Bretagne-Seche Environnemen), Tom-Jelte Slagter (Garmin-Sharp) and Rein Taaramae (Cofidis) were always on a short lead as the peloton kept the escapees' advantage hovering around two minutes.

With 32km to go, Slagter accelerated away from his fellow fugitives and he was out on his own 10km later as the bunch absorbed the other escapees.

The peloton reduced the deficit with every revolution despite the wet roads.

Slagter had a slender 15-second advantage at the foot of the day's only categorised climb, the category four Cote de Monbazillac.

The 1.3km ascent might have ended some of the sprinters' chances and Marcel Kittel (Giant-Shimano), winner of three of the race's first four stages, dropped out of contention.

Slagter crested the summit first, ahead of team-mate Navardauskas, who then forged on himself on the descent in a bid to hold off the charging peloton.

The Lithuanian built a lead of 24 seconds with 7km to go in a technical finale made more difficult by the conditions.

Garmin-Sharp loaded the front of the bunch in a bid to slow the peloton and help their team-mate's bid.

A large crash inside 3km to go split the peloton and ended points classification leader Peter Sagan's bid for a first stage success of the race.

The dissolving group helped Navardauskas as he was able to finish seven seconds ahead of Degenkolb.

As the crash took place in the final 3km, all the riders involved finished on the same time as Degenkolb.

User contributions and/or comments do not, unless specifically stated, represent the views of RTÉ.ie or RTÉ.
Click here for Terms of use