Matej Mohoric is the current Slovenian road racing champion
Bahrain-Victorious’s Matej Mohoric won the 19th stage of the Tour de France, denying Mark Cavendish the opportunity to break the stage win record he shares with Eddy Merckx.
Cavendish had hoped to fight for a 35th stage win, but a breakaway group of 20 riders left the peloton way behind.
Cavendish will get another chance in the last stage on Sunday, which ends on the Champs-Elysees in Paris.
The Slovenian Tadej Pogacar remains in the yellow jersey of the front runner.
Mohoric’s second win of the tour comes after his team’s hotel French police were searched on Wednesday on a doping charge.
He said after his victory: “I was mainly thinking about what happened two days ago. You feel a bit like a criminal. It’s good that the police are checking – of course they haven’t found anything because we have nothing to hide to have.”
“But I’m a little disappointed with the system – it’s not a nice thing when the police come into your room and rummage through all of your belongings.
“Even if you have nothing to hide, it feels a little weird when they go over your personal belongings, photos of your family, your phone, and your messages.”
The largely flat 207 km long stage to Libourne should end with a sprint finish, all eyes on Cavendish, who was warmly hugged by the Belgian cycling legend Merckx at the start in Mourenx.
However, after a frenetic opening and early falls with Geraint Thomas, Rafal Majka, Enric Mas, Sonny Colbrelli and Cavendish, a big runaway managed to escape from a peloton with little appetite to provide a meaningful chase after several punishing days in the Pyrenees.
And Mohoric provided a replica of the great solo attack that led him to victory on stage seven. With 26 km to go, he drove flawlessly and increased his lead because the pursuers couldn’t organize.
The peloton rolled home almost 21 minutes later and Pogacar will defend a lead of five minutes and 45 seconds over Jonas Vingegaard in the 30.8 km individual time trial from Libourne to Saint Emilion on Saturday.
Results of stage 19
1. Matej Mohoric (Slo / Bahrain victorious) 4 hours 19 minutes 17 seconds
2. Christophe Laporte (Fra / Cofidis) + 58 sec.
3. Casper Pedersen (Den / DSM) at the same time
4. Mike Teunissen (Ned / Jumbo Visma) + 1 min. 02 sec.
5. Nils Politt (Ger / Bora-Hansgrohe) + 1min 08sec
Edward Theuns (Bel / Trek-Segafredo) At the same time
7. Michael Valgren (Den / EF Education-Nippo)
8. Georg Zimmermann (Ger / Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert)
9. Anthony Turgis (Fra / TotalEnergies) 1min 10sec
10. Jasper Stuyen (Bel / Trek-Segafredo) At the same time
General classification according to level 19
1. Tadej Pogacar (Slo / UAE-Team Emirates) 79 hours 40 min. 09 sec.
2. Jonas Vingegaard (Den / Jumbo Visma) + 5 min. 45 sec.
3. Richard Carapaz (Ecu / Ineos Grenadiers) +5 min. 51 sec.
4. Ben O’Connor (Aus / AG2R Citroen) +8 min. 18 sec.
5. Wilco Kelderman (Ned / Bora-Hansgrohe) +8 min. 50 sec.
6. Enric Mas (Spa / Movistar) + 10 min. 11 sec.
7. Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz / Astana) +11 min. 22 sec.
8. Guillaume Martin (Fra / Cofidis) + 12 min. 46 sec.
9. Pello Bilbao (Spa / Bahrain-Victorious) +13 min. 48 sec.
10. Rigoberto Uran (Col / EF Education Nippo) +16 min. 25 sec.