Egan Bernal Wins The 2019 Tour de France!

The first Latin American Tour champion has officially sealed his win.


AFP/Bicycling.com |

  • Egan Bernal officially won the 2019 Tour de France on Sunday.
  • Bernal – the first Colombian and first Latin American Tour champion, and the youngest winner in modern race history – took the lead on Stage 19 and held it through a final day in the Alps and the ceremonial last stage in Paris.
  • After winning twice already this year, Caleb Ewan took the prestigious Stage 21 victory in a bunch sprint on the Champs-Élysées.
  • Peter Sagan won a record-breaking seventh green jersey, and Romain Bardet salvaged his Tour to win the King of the Mountains classification.

It was a day of triumph in Paris as Egan Bernal celebrated his official victory at the Tour de France on Sunday.

Bernal, considered a strong favourite to win this year due to his superb climbing and comfort at high altitudes, became both the first Colombian and the first Latin American to win the Tour when he crossed the final finish line on the Champs-Élysées. At age 22, he’s also the youngest winner in modern race history; you’d have to go back to 1909 to find a younger champion in François Faber. (Henri Cornet, who won the second Tour in 1904, is the youngest ever.)

Bernal emerged as the probable winner on Stage 18. There, he launched a powerful solo attack in the Alps and became the only overall contender to put in time on Julian Alaphilippe, the French underdog who led the race for 14 stages total this year. Bernal then took the yellow jersey the following day, leading the field when officials ended the stage early due to flooding and mudslides.

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Egan Bernal led the Tour since the end of Stage 19 and took his yellow jersey home after the last two days of racing.
Pete Goding – PA Images Getty Images

On Stage 20, the final day in the mountains, he defended his lead comfortably as Alaphilippe cracked and fell out of the top four. In the process, Bernal became the presumptive winner of the Tour, and since nothing egregious happened on the last, largely ceremonial stage in Paris, his lead was made official and permanent when the race concluded on Sunday.

Geraint Thomas, the 2018 Tour champion and Bernal’s co-captain on the dominant British team Ineos, finished behind him on the General Classification to place second. Jumbo–Visma’s Steven Kruijswijk will join them on the final podium in third, while the German dark horse Emanuel Buchmann quietly rode a solid Tour to place fourth.

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Riders snake by the Louvre Museum on the final stage of the 2019 Tour.
LAHALLE PIERRE Getty Images

It’s the fifth straight Tour de France title for Ineos, and the outfit’s seventh victory in eight years – a feat it earned with four different riders (Bernal, Thomas, Chris Froome four times, and Bradley Wiggins as the first in 2012).

Alaphilippe, who raced an admirable Tour and defended his yellow jersey for 10 days straight until Bernal finally snatched it away, maintained fifth overall, ahead of Spanish favourite Mikel Landa in sixth and Colombians Rigoberto Urán and Nairo Quintana in seventh and eighth. For his unexpectedly strong and consistent performance at the front of the General Classification, Alaphilippe was awarded the red number for Most Combative Rider over the entire Tour.

Caleb Ewan, the young Australian upstart on Lotto–Soudal, added a third stage victory to his résumé on Sunday when he prevailed in a bunch sprint to the finish on the Champs. Racing in his debut Tour, Ewan reached the podium four times this year before finally out-sprinting the pack to win on Stage 11.

Ewan then made a repeat victory on Stage 16, beating frequent rivals Elia Viviani and Dylan Groenewegen. With his third win on the Champs, Ewan has announced himself as one of the most exciting sprinters in elite men’s road racing.

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Ewan, front left, won the third stage at his 2019 Tour at the final finish line in Paris.
JEFF PACHOUD Getty Images

Indeed, a new generation of Tour contenders has emerged this year, and it won’t wait for the old guard to pass the torch. Bernal was the youngest competitor to finish the 2019 Tour, and in addition to yellow, he also won the white jersey as the race’s Best Young Rider.

Peter Sagan, meanwhile, made Tour history by handily winning a record-breaking seventh green jersey in the Points Classification. The Slovak sprinter had tied Erik Zabel’s Tour record of six career green jersey wins last year. Now, he’ll go home in green for the seventh time in the last eight Tours.

Romain Bardet, who struggled to find his form early on this year and quickly fell out of contention for the overall win, managed to salvage his Tour with a comeback in the final week. He stole the polka dot jersey from Tim Wellens (who had defended it for 15 days) in the Alps on Stage 18, then carried through two more days of climbing to the finish in Paris.

Bardet didn’t win any stages this year – and, curiously, he never won any individual climbs – but by racking up points on summits like the Col d’Izoard and Col du Galibier, he can go home satisfied as winner of the King of the Mountains classification.

Next year, the Tour will start on June 27 in the southeastern French city of Nice. The course will be announced in October, but until then the focus will stay on Bernal and Ineos – and whether anyone can challenge them in the coming years.

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