Bahrain Victorious’ Slovenian rider Matej Mohoric won stage 19 of the Tour de France on Friday, a day after his team hotel and bus were subject to an anti-doping raid.
It was Mohoric’s second win on this edition of the Tour, and was achieved after he joined an early break and then broke clear for a solo win at Libourne, with the main peloton several minutes adrift.
Mohoric made a gesture at the finish line running a finger across his lips horizontally as if he were closing a zip, after the team’s third victory of this year’s race.
He briefly appeared at the post stage press conference, but then left without saying anything, possibly to head to the winner’s podium ceremony as the peloton had arrived so late.
Christophe Laporte of Cofidis was second at 58sec and Casper Pedersen of DSM was third.
Overall leader Tadej Pogacar’s UAE Team led the peloton over the line 20min and 49sec later with no change in the overall top ten ahead of Saturday’s decisive 30km individual time-trial.
The 19th stage had been billed as the day Mark Cavendish would set a new record of 35 Tour de France stage wins with his fifth win on the 2021 edition.
But an early mass fall and lack of will from other teams to stop a breakaway allowed a large group to build up a 15-minute lead over the main pack.