Tour de France: Egan Bernal set to win maiden title | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 27.07.2019
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Tour de France: Egan Bernal set to win maiden title

Colombian rider Egan Bernal has all but secured his first Tour de France title after a fourth-place finish in stage 20 on Saturday. Bernal crossed the line with 2018 winner Geraint Thomas and will wrap it up on Sunday.

Egan Bernal will ride the ceremonial race into Paris on Sunday as a champion after safely negotiating a shortened penultimate stage to wrap up his maiden Tour de France victory on Saturday.

The Colombian will become the first rider from South America to claim the title and merely needs to make sure he crosses the line down the Champs Elysees on Sunday, with tradition dictating that the yellow jersey holder is not attacked on the final stage. 

"It'll need some time to sink in and for me to realise what's happening," Bernal said. "Tomorrow in Paris will be something. It must be amazing in Colombia."

Saturday's rain-hit stage from Albertville to fellow Alpine ski resort Val Thorens was reduced by 71 kilometres to just 59km because of landslides and severe weather warnings. It was won by Italy's Vincenzo Nibali, a champion in 2014, with Bernal finishing fourth on the climb.

Defending champion Geraint Thomas will finish second overall. The British rider is 1 minute 11 seconds adrift of Bernal, having helped his team-mate to overall victory in the penultimate stage. The Team Ineos riders held hands as they crossed the line.

Bernal's win has been built on consistent performances in the mountains. Like many cyclists from his country, he's an excellent climber and thrived in high altitude. As such, it was fitting that he delivered his final strike in the Iseran mountain pass.

mp (AP, AFP)

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