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Gallery: Mohoric at the double for Bahrain Victorious

Martin James
17 Jul 2021

Slovenian's second solo stage success provides welcome boost for team after recent distractions

Could spending more than four hours in the saddle with 3,000km already in your legs ever be called a day off?

Probably not, but the peloton did their best on Stage 19 of the 2021 Tour de France yesterday, letting a large breakaway group dictate terms as the weariness from three weeks of high-intensity riding started to bite.

That set the stage for Matej Mohoric (Bahrain Victorious) to ride clear from the break with 30km to go and time-trial his way to his second stage win of the Tour as yet again a solo move proved decisive. 

It was a different story in the early phases of the stage. With fully 15 teams still without a stage win as the riders rolled out of Mourenx, the action was fast and furious from the start.

But eventually a group of 20 riders came together and once Ineos Grenadiers and Israel Start-Up Nation were persuaded by yellow jersey Tadej Pogacar to stop chasing, the gap quickly shot up as the peloton downed tools and let them go.

Maybe Pogacar knew something we didn’t – at this point we wouldn’t be surprised – since that inadvertently set countryman Mohoric on his way to victory.

It didn’t come easy for the Slovenian national champion, but driving a huge gear directly into the wind with his head down, he pushed on while the rest of the group fought over who was going to chase and who wasn’t, and that was that.

The victory made for a welcome distraction for Bahrain Victorious after it emerged the team's hotel had been searched by French police on Thursday night, allegedly amid doping suspicions.

Now it’s on to the Tour’s final weekend, with first a time-trial tomorrow and then the traditional procession into Paris on Sunday almost certainly culminating in a bunch sprint on the Champs-Élysées.

The smart money is surely on a peloton-breaking performance (again) from Pogacar tomorrow and – dare we say it – a record-breaking one from Mark Cavendish on Sunday.

Here’s a taste of the action from Stage 19 of the 2021 Tour de France courtesy of Cyclist photographer Chris Auld:

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