Tour de France Update Stage 19

Tour de France Update Stage 19

British cyclist Mark Cavendish, of Team Columbia – HTC, won the Tour’s 19th stage today, scoring his fifth stage victory this year. Norway’s Thor Hushovd, riding for the Cervelo Test Team and wearing the green jersey of the leader in points, finished second and the German Gerald Ciolek, of Milram, took third, in the 178 kilometer race from Bourgoin-Jallieu in the Alps south of Lyon to Aubenas in the southern Ardèche.

Cavendish, a native of the Isle of Man, won four stages in last year’s Tour, giving him a total of nine stage wins and setting a record for British participants.

Today’s race did not change the overall standings, with Spain’s Alberto Contador (Astana) holding first place and the yellow jersey, Luxembourg’s Andy Schleck (Saxo Bank) second, trailing Contador by 4’11”, and Lance Armstrong (Astana) trailing Contador by 5’25”.

Tomorrow’s 20th stage starts in Montilimar and ends with the famously daunting, steep climb up Provence’s big bald Mont Ventoux. No matter who wins the stage, though, it’s expected to clinch Contador’s overall victory in this 2009 race, making it two Tour titles in a row for the Spanish champion.

Back in Texas, RadioShack Corporation announced yesterday that next year Armstrong will lead a new RadioShack American Pro-Tour cycling team, competing in international events including the 2010 Tour de France.

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