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As the sun sets on the Tour’s 19th stage, between Lourdes and Laruns, so the ambitions of Geraint Thomas’s rivals are slowly sinking below the horizon. In one of the hardest stages of the 2018 Tour, crossing multiple climbs, the Welshman extended his overall advantage over second-placed Tom Dumoulin to two minutes and five seconds. With only a 31-kilometre time trial and the Paris sprint stage to come, it looks like Thomas will win his first Tour de France on Sunday.
LottoNL-Jumbo’s Primoz Roglic was the winner on the day. The Slovenian attacked on the descent of the final mountain of the Tour, the Col d’Aubisque, and flew to a 19-second advantage, overtaking defending champion Chris Froome in the overall standings to go into the final weekend third overall.
It was a dynamic day’s racing. Mikel Landa, Ilnur Zakarin and Romain Bardet, all in the top 10, attacked as early as the Col du Tourmalet with 100 kilometres to go. While Landa rose as high as second on the virtual general classification, Sky and LottoNL-Jumbo worked to close the gap. When the race came together again on the Aubisque, Roglic, his team-mate Kruijswijk and Tom Dumoulin all made attacks, but none shook off Thomas, though Froome was temporarily distanced. Over the top, it all came together before Roglic finally broke away.