Sénéchal comes close to first Tour de France podium
For the first time since 1994, the peloton returned to Cahors, and the scenario of that edition – when a breakaway came close to holding off the peloton – was just seconds away from repeating in the small town located in Occitanie.
Stage 19 started with Mikkel Honoré and four other men going clear and putting a minute between them and the peloton, who to the surprise of many didn’t let the maximum gap go north of one minute and a half. At one point, the bunch was on the point of making the catch with more than 100 kilometers to go, only the Dane’s incredible commitment and valiant effort – who continued to push hard on the flat roads to Cahors – helped the group remain clear until 40 kilometers to go.
Once they were caught, three riders jumped from the peloton and it didn’t take long before they put a good buffer between them and the field. It was only when Mattia Cattaneo took over the reins that the gap dropped to a mere ten seconds, which allowed the chasers to reel in the trio under the flamme rouge. On the uphill drag to the line, Christophe Laporte (Jumbo-Visma) attacked and took a solo victory, while Florian Sénéchal sprinted from the reduced bunch and concluded in fourth place, his best result at the race.
“Today was full gas from the beginning, many teams pulled hard behind the breakaway and things didn’t settle down even after they were reeled in, as others attacked and because of that the tempo remained high. Going into the closing kilometers, Fabio told me in the radio I should go for the sprint, which I did, but other guys were stronger. I would have liked more from this stage, but after three hard weeks it’s all I could do and I don’t have any regrets, as I did and gave my best”, the French Champion explained after his eighth top 10 finish of the season.
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele / Getty Images