Added by Nigel Shelbourne on July 22, 2011
France’s Pierre Rolland won the 19th stage of the Tour on Friday, in a dramatic win over Samuel Sanchez and Alberto Contador. This is Rolland’s first career stage win and France’s first winner in Alpe d’Huez since Bernard Hinault’s win in 1986.
Andy Schleck took the overall lead from France’s Thomas Voeckler, who lost more than two minutes on the final climb. Frank Schleck, Andy Schleck’s brother, is 53sec behind him followed by Cadel Evens at 57sec. Alberto Contador placed third.
The current standings place Andy Schleck and Australia’s Cadel Evans in roughly equal positions going in to the race’s final days, shutting out Alberto Contador’s hopes of a fourth win.
Bjorn Leukemans withdrew from the race, the 31st racer to withdraw, for being outside the time limit.
Tomorrow’s 42.5km stage 20 is the race’s only individual time trial. Jean-Francois Pescheux, assistant Tour de France race director, said of the 20th stage, “In this solitary exercise, there is no way a rider can bluff or hide in the wheels of their team-mates.”
The leaders in the various standings are as follows: