Navardauskas delivers for Garmin as Nibali retains lead
By Julien Pretot
BERGERAC France (Reuters) - Ramunas Navardauskas finished off Garmin-Sharp's plan to win the 19th stage of the Tour de France, a 208.5-km ride from Maubourguet on Friday as Italian Vincenzo Nibali retained the overall leader's yellow jersey.
Five days after team mate Jack Bauer was caught by the peloton a few meters from the line after a 222-km breakaway, the Lithuanian attacked on a short climb close to the finish and never looked back.
German John Degenkolb took second place seven seconds behind and Norway's Alexander Kristoff finished third after the main bunch was split by a late crash on roads made slippery by torrential rain earlier in the day.
All the riders from the main pack were credited with the same time as the incident happened with less than three kilometers left.
"I was the first to crash, I did not know what happened," said Slovakian Peter Sagan, who had been tipped as one of the stage favorites.
Nibali still leads France's Thibaut Pinot by 7:10 and another Frenchman, Jean-Christophe Peraud, who crashed but said he was fine, by 7:23, ahead of Saturday's decisive time trial, a 54-km solo ride between Bergerac and Perigueux.
Garmin-Sharp, without team leader Andrew Talansky after the American pulled out due to lower back pain, only had a stage win in mind.
They had Tom-Jelte Slagter in the day's breakaway and the Dutchman served as Navardauskas's launchpad after the climb. Continued...